[Biology] Proteins

INTRODUCTION

Proteins are polymers of amino acids and are the most abundant organic molecules of the living system constituting about 50% of the cellular dry weight.

AMINO ACIDS:

Amino acids are organic compounds containing two functional groups i.e. amino (-NH2) group and carboxyl (-COOH) group along with a side chain specific to each amino acid.

STRUCTURE OF AMINO ACIDS:

Chemically, an amino acid consists of four components
  1. Carboxylic group (-COOH), which is basic in nature.
  2. Amino group (-NH2), which is acidic in nature.
  3. R side chain which is specific for each amino acid and accounts for the different types of amino acids.
  4. Hydrogen atom linked to the central carbon atom.
If both the carboxyl group and amino groups are attached to the same carbon, the amino acid is termed as α amino acid.
  • There are almost 400 identified amino acids occurring in nature however, only 20 are involved in protein formation in living organisms.
  • These 20 proteins arrange in various combinations to produce different types of proteins in living organism.

PEPTIDE LINKAGE:

The adjacent amino acids in a polypeptide protein chain are linked together via peptide bonds.

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