Proteins are large biomolecules and macromolecules made up of one or more than one long amino acid chains. They play a range of roles in an organism’s body. Including catalysing metabolic reactions, DNA replication, responding to stimuli, providing structure to cells and animals, and transporting resources. Proteins differ primarily in accordance to their amino acid sequence, which is determined by the nucleotide sequence of their genes and usually results in the protein folding into a certain 3D structure that determines its activity.

A polypeptide is a chain of amino acid residues that runs in a straight line. A protein must have at least one long polypeptide. Short polypeptides (less than 20–30 residues) are called peptides or oligopeptides and are rarely referred to as proteins. Individual amino acid residues are linked together via peptide bonds and neighbouring amino acid residues. The amino acid residue sequence in a protein is determined by the sequence of a gene, which is encoded in the genetic code. The genetic code in most species specifies 20 conventional amino acids; nevertheless, the genetic code in some archaea may include selenocysteine and pyrrolysine.


Post-translational modification of protein residues occurs regularly shortly after or even during synthesis.

It modifies the physical and chemical properties, folding, stability, activity, and, ultimately, the function of the proteins. Some of them have non-peptide groups, often known as prosthetic groups or cofactors. Proteins can also work together to complete a task, and they often form stable protein complexes. They are only present for a brief time after they are generated before being degraded and recycled by the cell’s machinery. A protein’s half-life, which can vary substantially, is used to determine its longevity. They can exist for minutes or years in mammalian cells, with a typical lifespan of 1–2 days. Abnormal or misfolded proteins breakdown more quickly, either because they are targeted for destruction or because they are unstable.

Proteins, like other biological macromolecules such as polysaccharides and nucleic acids, are essential components of living organisms that play a part in practically every cell activity. Enzymes are vital for metabolism because they catalyse biological events.

Proteins with structural or mechanical activity include muscle actin and myosin, as well as proteins in the cytoskeleton, which form a scaffolding framework that keeps cells in shape. Other proteins are required for cell signalling, immunological responses, cell adhesion, and the cell cycle. Animals require proteins in their diets to provide essential amino acids that they cannot generate. Proteins are broken down for metabolic use during digestion. They can be separated from other cellular components using a variety of techniques, such as ultracentrifugation, precipitation, electrophoresis, and chromatography. The advent of genetic engineering has opened up a slew of new purification options. Protein structure and function can be studied using immunohistochemistry, site-directed mutagenesis, X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, and mass spectrometry, among other techniques.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *