What are the Building Blocks of Protein?


Protein is indeed an essential nutrient, gaining so much attention by scholars, in that light we have decided to throw more light on the question ” what are the building blocks of protein“.

Proteins are the building blocks of living organisms and these molecules are made up of long chains that form various shapes. Proteins play a significant role in the functioning of our bodies, such as blood clotting, immune system responses and signaling between cells.

Protein is a massive nutrient that is essential for building muscle mass. It is usually found in animal products, which are made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur a combination known as ‘Amino acids’ these are the building blocks of protein.


Building Blocks of Protein

buliding block of protein

Protein is a complex structure formed by the fusion of other micro molecules.

The building blocks of proteins are amino acids, which are small organic molecules consisting of Alpha (central) carbon atoms attached to amino groups, carboxyl groups, hydrogen atoms and variable components called side chains.

In proteins, multiple amino acids are joined together by peptide bonds to form long chains. Peptide bonds are formed by a biochemical reaction in which water molecules are extracted when they connect an amino group of an amino acid to a carboxyl group of adjacent amino acids.

Linear sequences of amino acids within proteins are considered to be the main structure of proteins. Proteins are constructed from a group of only twenty amino acids, each with a unique side chain. The side chains of amino acids have different chemical composition. The largest amino acid group has a non-polar side chain.

Some other amino acids have positively charged or negatively charged side chains,while others have polar but uncharged side chains.

The chemistry of amino acid side chains is essential for protein structure, as these side chains can be bonded to each other to maintain a certain shape or conformational protein length. Due to side chain interactions, the sequence and position of amino acids in a particular protein are guided,where bending and folds occur in that protein.

The final shape adopted by the newly synthesized protein is usually one of the most positive and favorable. With the folding of proteins, they test various conformations before reaching their final form,which is unique and compact.

Folded proteins are stabilized by non-covalent bonds between thousands of amino acids. In addition, the chemical forces between the protein and its immediate environment contribute to the shape and stability of the protein.

For example, proteins dissolved in the cytoplasm have hydrophilic (water-loving) chemical groups on their surfaces, while their hydrophobic (water-repellent) elements are often sandwiched inside. In contrast, the protein inserted into the cell membrane shows some hydrophobic chemical groups on its surface, especially in those areas of the protein surface is exposed to membrane lipids.


Functions of Protein


Enzymes are a vital part of all living organisms, and the building blocks for them are proteins. Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids that fold into a specific 3-D structure, while enzymes have a specific shape that allows them to catalyze chemical reactions. Enzymes work by breaking down proteins into smaller molecules.

Proteins usually contain 20 different amino acids, which can be broken down into their molecular components through the help of enzymes. In general, there are 10 different types of protein enzymes that break down proteins under various conditions.

A protein only lasts about 20 seconds in a cell before it is broken down by an enzyme and used as a source for energy or something else.

Protein synthesis is the process by which cells are able to create thousands of different proteins for various purposes.

Some essential functions of protein are;

  1. For growth and maintenance: protein is necessary for tissue growth and maintenance. Your body’s protein needs depend on your health and activity levels.
  2. Causes biochemical reactions: enzymes are proteins that allow critical chemical reactions to occur within your body.
  3. As a messenger: chains of amino acids of various lengths form proteins and peptides that make up several of your body’s hormones and transmit information between your cells, tissues and organs.
  4. Providing structure: a class of proteins called fibrin proteins provide structure, strength, and elasticity to all parts of the body.
  5. Maintain proper pH: protein acts as a buffer system to help your body maintain proper pH of blood and other body fluids.
  6. Balance fluid: proteins in the blood maintain fluid balance between the blood and surrounding tissue.
  7. Enhance immune health: proteins form antibodies to protect your body from foreign invaders,such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
  8. Transport and storage of nutrients: some proteins transport nutrients throughout the body, while others store them.
  9. Provide energy: protein can serve as a valuable source of energy, but only in cases of fasting, exhaustive exercise or insufficient calorie intake.

How Do We Get Protein Into Our Body?

There are a lot of foods that contain a high amount of protein like meat, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products. But the problem with these food is that they are not accessible to people who cannot eat these items due to religious or dietary reasons.

There is an upcoming company called Impossible Foods that offers plant-based foods with meat-like texture and taste. They use protein sequencing technology which helps them develop their product.

The company creates food at the molecular level by creating flavors through flavor molecules and then constructing textures via protein sequencing technology.

Proteins are the essential components of living cells. They are the building blocks that construct cells, muscles, tissues, and organs. Proteins play an important role in supporting our body with energy and maintaining homeostasis.

The process of digesting food molecules into amino acids begins after the food leaves our mouth and ends when all of the nutrients have been absorbed by our body’s cells. Our body is complex with many biological processes taking place inside it. Our body also has a digestive system which helps us to process food molecules into amino acids efficiently.

Protein synthesis is a complex process in which proteins are created from amino acids via a series of reactions involving enzymes and cellular structures called ribosomes.


Sources:  https://www.livescience.com/53044-protein.html



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