Aspartic acid (abbreviated as Asp or D; encoded by the codons [GAU and GAC]), also known as aspartate, is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Similar to all other amino acids it contains an amino group and a carboxylic acid. Its α-amino group is in the protonated –NH+. 3 form under physiological conditions, while its α-carboxylic acid group is deprotonated −COO− under physiological conditions. Aspartic acid has an acidic side chain (CH2COOH) which reacts with other amino acids, enzymes and proteins in the body.