AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between glutamine and glutamate?

Posted April 8, 2022


Glutamine and glutamate are two important amino acids present in living organisms.  There are several differences between the two: 


  • Is a conditionally essential amino acid – the demand increases with elevated levels of stress or in case of diseases 
  • Is used in the biosynthesis of proteins
  • Does not have a charge
  • Functions – maintains ionic balance inside the kidney, is an energy source and acts as carbon and nitrogen donor for various biochemical processes. 


  • Is a non-essential amino acid synthesized by alpha ketoglutaric acid
  •  Is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain
  • Is vital to brain health, specifically learning, memory, and synaptic maintenance 
  • Has a negative charge 
  • Functions – plays an integral role in normal braining functioning and the formation of cytoskeleton and acts an vital metabolic intermediate that builds proteins 
Additional resources

Glutamine and glutamate

Amplite™ Fluorimetric Glutamic Acid Assay Kit *Red Fluorescence*