Open In App

Difference Between Glutamate and Glutamine

Last Updated : 14 Jun, 2023
Like Article

Difference Between Glutamate and Glutamine: Glutamate and Glutamine are two amino acids. Amino acids are essential biomolecules that participate in the synthesis of a variety of proteins in living systems. The Primary difference between glutamate and glutamine is that glutamate is a non-essential amino acid that is considered the most prevalent neurotransmitter in the nervous system. whereas glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid that performs a variety of functions in the body.

Difference Between Glutamine and Glutamate




Amino Acids

Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid that performs a variety of functions in the body.

Glutamate is a non-essential amino acid that is considered the most prevalent neurotransmitter in the nervous system


Glutamine molecule develops as a neutrally charged amino acid with polar characteristics.

It is glutamic acid’s divalent anion

Chemical Formula

Glutamine- C5H10N2O3

Glutamate- C5H9NO4


The body can produce enough glutamine to meet its normal needs. Skeletal muscle contains 80% of the body’s glutamine supply.

Glutamate is recycled and made by glial cells in your brain.


Glutamine plays a role as an energy source and a donor for carbon and nitrogen and maintains ionic balance in the kidney and non-toxic transportation of ammonia in the blood

Glutamate is the most prevalent excitatory neurotransmitter present in the nervous system. The function of an excitatory neurotransmitter is to energize a nerve cell.

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine is an important amino acid that is produced by the human body. In fact, it is present in large amounts in the body. It is one of the 20 amino acids that comprise all proteins. Glutamine molecules are conditionally essential amino acids. The glutamine molecule is made up of an α-amino group, and an α-carboxylic acid group, which become protonated and deprotonated, respectively, under specific biological conditions. It develops when the hydroxyl side chain of glutamic acid is replaced by an amide side chain; an amine functional group. At physiological pH conditions, the glutamine molecule develops as a neutrally charged amino acid with polar characteristics.


It indicates that during traumatic conditions is necessary. Glutamine should be obtained from the diet. Dietary sources of glutamine should be preferred. Protein-rich foods including cattle, eggs, fish, chicken, cabbage, papaya, wheat, and spinach are good sources of glutamine. It is also required to comprise other amino acids and glucose molecules. Furthermore, glutamine is important in numerous aspects. One of the most important functions of glutamine is its role in the immune system. It serves as a fuel source for immunological cells, such as white blood cells and some intestinal cells. It is also involved in the synthesis of proteins and lipids. Glutamine also controlled the acid-base balance in the kidney by developing ammonium. It can also be helpful when providing nitrogen for specific anabolic activities. It transports ammonia harmlessly through the bloodstream. Additionally, glutamine helps in the non-toxic transfer of ammonia in the blood and serves as a precursor for the creation of the amino acid glutamate.

What is Glutamate?

Glutamate is part of a non-essential amino acid. It is glutamic acid’s divalent anion and also consists of a neurotransmitter. Glutamate is the most prevalent excitatory neurotransmitter present in the nervous system. The function of an excitatory neurotransmitter is to energize a nerve cell. Glutamate is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is composed of the glial cells of the nervous system.  Gamma-aminobutyric acid, another neurotransmitter in the brain, is also made up of glutamate.


Additionally, these neurotransmitters remain in synaptic vesicles that may be present at the axon terminal on each nerve cell. These thick-walled vesicles also consist of 1000 neurotransmitter molecules. Electrical charges that move along the nerve cell after reaching the end of the nerve cell cause the vesicle transfer to glutamate (neurotransmitter) into the fluid-filled gap between nerve cells. After that, the nerve cell’s unique message-receiving receptors are bound by the glutamate molecules. The subsequent nerve cell undergoes a change as a result of this neurotransmitter. Signals are transmitted from one nerve cell to the next in this manner. 

Similarities Between Glutamine and Glutamate

  • Both glutamate and glutamine are amino acids and perform a variety of functions in the human body.
  • Both amino acids consist of the carboxylic acid chemical group.
  • Glutamine and glutamate are alkaline and consist of nitrogen.
  • Both amino acids participate in Protein Synthesis.

FAQs on Glutamine and Glutamate

Q1: How are glutamate and glutamine related to each other?


Glutamine is the precursor of glutamate, the most prevalent excitatory amino acid in the brain and a necessary energy source, thus serving dual functions in the central nervous system.

Q2: Why are glutamine and glutamate necessary?


In addition to being substrates for protein synthesis and anabolic precursors for muscle growth, glutamine and glutamate also govern acid-base balance in the kidney, act as substrates for ureagenesis in the liver, and are involved in both hepatic and renal gluconeogenesis.

Q3: How basic or acidic is glutamine?


Glutamine molecule develops as a neutrally charged amino acid with polar characteristics.

Similar Reads

Difference Between Monophyletic and vs Paraphyletic and vs Polyphyletic
In phylogeny, a taxon is a collection of organisms. Defining taxa makes it simpler to classify and identify creatures while also helping us to understand how they relate to one another. Based on these traits, taxa are developed. While some taxa are made up of unrelated creatures, others contain related species. Taxa classify descendants and ancesto
7 min read
Difference Between Correlational and Experimental-Research
Non-experimental research methods like correlational research are used to look at correlations between two or more variables. Positive or negative correlations suggest that as one measure rises, the other either rises or falls. To study the cause-and-effect relationship between various variables, experimental research manages one or more of them. R
5 min read
Difference Between Carbohydrates and Lipids
Carbohydrates and lipids are essential elements in all living things. These are organic molecules that are important sources of energy. As a result, we consume carbs and lipids in our diet because they are necessary for a healthy body. Carbohydrates and lipids are both made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Carbohydrates are polymers that come in
4 min read
Difference Between Bryophytes And Pteridophytes
The plant is classified into four major parts root, stem, leaf & flower. However, plants are also classified according to their flowering plants are called Angiosperm and others are called non-flowering plants Gymnosperm. Plants are all non-motile and autotrophic in nature. What are Bryophytes? Bryophytes are non-vascular plants which means the
5 min read
Difference Between Broca's and Wernicke's Area
Broca's and Wernicke's areas are two specific regions of the brain that play important roles in language processing. They are named after the researchers who first identified them, Paul Broca and Carl Wernicke, respectively. So many areas worked together for the creation of speech and articulation. Both Broca's and Wernicke's areas are associated w
6 min read
Difference Between Lysosomes and Ribosomes
Although both lysosomes and ribosomes are essential parts of cells, their responsibilities and activities are different. Ribosomes are tiny, intricate molecular factories that are in charge of producing proteins inside cells. They are made up of two subunits, each of which has several proteins and ribosomal RNA (rRNA) molecules. On the other hand,
5 min read
Difference Between Nervous System And Endocrine System
The human body has two primary systems that work together to regulate and coordinate body functions, the nervous system and the endocrine system. The nervous system is responsible for quick responses to stimuli, while the endocrine system controls slower, long-lasting changes in the body. In this article, we will discuss the differences between the
3 min read
Difference Between Endoskeleton And Exoskeleton
Exoskeletons and endoskeletons are two different categories of support systems that can be found in the animal kingdom. An exoskeleton is an external hard covering that encases the body and serves as support and protection, whereas an endoskeleton is an internal framework made of bones or cartilage that offers support, protection, and anchorage for
6 min read
Difference Between Spermatogenesis And Oogenesis
Spermatogenesis and Oogenesis are the processes in which male and female gametes are formed. Sperm formation is the process of spermatogenesis, whereas oogenesis is the process by which ova is formed. Mainly spermatogenesis and oogenesis differ in their occurrence, procedure, number, and size of gametes produced after gametogenesis. The difference
5 min read
Difference Between Prokaryotic And Eukaryotic DNA
Living things include two different forms of DNA: prokaryotic and eukaryotic. All living things have a complicated molecule called DNA that holds the instructions for their growth, operation, and reproduction. Eukaryotes, which are more complex organisms, have a membrane-bound nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles, as opposed to prokaryotes,
5 min read
Article Tags :