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Threonine is an essential amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks the body uses to make proteins. The "essential" amino acids are those that cannot be made by the body and must be obtained from the diet. People use threonine for conditions such as a muscle control disorder marked by involuntary movements and muscle tightness (spasticity), multiple sclerosis (MS), inherited disorders marked by weakness and stiffness in the legs (familial spastic paraparesis or FSP), and Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS), but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Threonine (symbol Thr or T)is an amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It contains an α-amino group (which is in the protonated −NH+3 form under biological conditions), a carboxyl group (which is in the deprotonated −COO− form under biological conditions), and a side chain containing a hydroxyl group, making it a polar, uncharged amino acid. It is essential in humans, meaning the body cannot synthesize it: it must be obtained from the diet. Threonine is synthesized from aspartate in bacteria such as E. coli.It is encoded by all the codons starting AC (ACU, ACC, ACA, and ACG).

Threonine sidechains are often hydrogen bonded; the most common small motifs formed are based on interactions with serine: ST turns, ST motifs (often at the beginning of alpha helices) and ST staples (usually at the middle of alpha helices).