Proteins and Amino Acids

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ã Proteins are complex, organic compounds composed of many amino acids linked together through peptide bonds and cross-linked between chains by sulfhydryl bonds, hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces ã Proteins, from the Greek proteios, meaning first, are a class of organic compounds which are present in and vital to every living cell ã In the form of skin, hair, callus, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments, proteins hold together, protect, and provide structure to the body of a multi-c
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  ã Proteins are complex, organic compounds composed of many amino acids linked together through peptide bonds andcross-linked between chains by sulfhydryl bonds, hydrogen bondsand van der Waals forces ã Proteins , from the Greek proteios  , meaning first, are a classof organic compounds which are present in and vital to every livingcell ã In the form of skin, hair, callus, cartilage, muscles, tendonsand ligaments, proteins hold together, protect, and providestructure to the body of a multi-celled organism. In the form of enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and globulins, they catalyze,regulate, and protect the body chemistry. In the form of hemoglobin, myoglobin and various lipoproteins, they effect thetransport of oxygen and other substances within an organism    Properties ã Proteins can also be characterized by their chemicalreactions. Most proteins are soluble in water, in alcohol, in dilutebase or in various concentrations of salt solutions ã Proteins have the characteristic coiled structure which isdetermined by the sequence of amino acids in the primarypolypeptide chain and the stereo configuration of the radicalgroups attached to the alpha carbon of each amino acid ã Proteins are heat labile exhibiting various degrees of labilitydepending upon type of protein, solution and temperature profile ã Proteins can be reversible or irreversible, denatured by heating,by salt concentration, by freezing, by ultrasonic stress or by aging.Proteins undergo characteristic bonding with other proteins in the so-called plastein reaction and will combine with free aldyhyde andhydroxy groups of carbohydrates to form Maillard type compounds.  Classification Proteins can be classified as:(a) Simple proteins. On hydrolysis they yield only the amino acidsand occasional small carbohydrate compounds. Examples are:albumins, globulins, glutelins, albuminoids, histones andprotamines.b) Conjugated proteins. These are simple proteins combined withsome non-protein material in the body. Examples are:nucleoproteins, glycoproteins, phosphoproteins, haemoglobinsand lecithoproteins.(c) Derived proteins. These are proteins derived from simple orconjugated proteins by physical or chemical means. Examplesare: denatured proteins and peptides.
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