Everything which you need to know about what are proteins made of


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Different macromolecules are present in the human body including carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. The importance of macromolecules lies in that they form the basic structural support, source of fuel, and genetic materials. These macromolecules perform varied functions that are essential for the survival and growth of the biological system. Among the four macromolecules, protein is one of the most important ones that are essential for structural growth and development.

Defining Protein

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Proteins are highly complex molecules that provide nutritional value and are essential for all chemical reactions taking place in a living organism. Proteins are large and complex when compared to carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.

Proteins are made up of a large number of amino acids. In other words, Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are required for the structural, functional, and regulatory processes of the body’s tissues and organs.

Amino Acids As Building Blocks

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As we know amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, there are twenty different amino acids available. To define Amino acids, they are organic molecules having basic amino groups and an acidic carboxyl group.

Amino acids are joined together to form protein by polymerization reaction where an amine group of one amino acid reacts with a carboxyl group of other amino acids eventually leading to an amide linkage with the release of water molecules.

The so-called protein is referred to as primary protein which by further modifications form secondary, tertiary, and quaternary protein structures.

The sequence of amino acids is determined by mRNA and tRNA where the entire structure is formed based on the genetic code template.

Functions of Proteins

  • Growth and Maintenance: Proteins are essential for the growth of the individual. Once a tissue gets damaged or repaired the proteins in your body break down quickly to repair and refill the tissues. In case you undergo injury, wound, or surgery, you need proteins for the recovery process.
  • Catalyst: Several chemical reactions take place both inside and outside the cells and protein mediates these reactions in the form of enzymes. All enzymes are proteins, but all proteins are not enzymes. Enzymes react with substrate giving you the product. Examples of enzymes are lactase, kinase, etc. Enzymes help in Digestion, Energy production, Blood clotting, and Muscle contraction.
  • Messengers: Proteins act as chemical messengers called Hormones. They help in cell to cell signaling. Hormones are secreted by endocrine glands, transported by blood, and perform at the target place. Example: Growth hormone, insulin, etc. Hormones are essential for maintaining metabolism in our bodies.
  • Provides Structure: Proteins give stiffness and rigidity to cells and tissues. Example: keratin (hair, skin, and nails) and collagen (bones, ligaments, and joints). 
  • Maintain pH: Proteins are essential in maintaining acid-base concentration in blood and body fluids. Example: hemoglobin. It binds to a small amount of acid maintaining the pH of the blood.
  • Bolsters Immune Health: Proteins improve immune system function in the form of immunoglobulin, and antibodies to fight against infection. Antibodies are proteins that invade bacteria and viruses.
  • Transportation and Storage: Proteins help in transporting various substances throughout the body from one place to another. Example: Hemoglobin carries oxygen to cells. Other substances carried include sugar, vitamins, minerals, etc. 

Conclusion

Thus proteins are very much essential for the normal growth and development of an individual. They perform varied functions to maintain our biological system healthy, and strong.

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