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It is potentially useful for proteomics studies and solid phase peptide synthesis techniques. Alanine is one of the simplest amino acids - a methyl group as the side chain. This small side chain confers a high degree of flexibility (second only to glycine) when incorporated into a polypeptide chain. The Fmoc group is typically removed with a base such as pyridine - an orthogonal de-protection strategy to the acid labilie Boc group.