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Definition of Tyrosine

Tyrosine: An amino acid, one of the 20 building blocks of protein. A nonessential amino acid, tyrosine is produced from another amino acid, phenylalanine. Deficiency of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase that catalyzes this reaction causes the genetic disease called phenylketonuria (PKU). Tyrosine is a precursor of thyroid hormones, catecholamines, and melanin. Symbol: Tyr.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22836
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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