The Structural Organization of Proteins

Structure of Proteins

Proteins, the basic building blocks of life, are vital for cell function. Proteins’ structure and biological functions are closely linked. Understanding the structure of proteins is crucial to understanding how they work. The amino acids in proteins are connected together in a particular order (Blaber 2015). This sequence of amino acids is called the primary structure. This structure is responsible for the overall function and shape of the protein. Blaber (2015) refers to the secondary structure that describes how the peptide bond between the amino acids is organized. These structures are typically made up of alpha sheets and beta helices, which are linked by hydrogen bonds. Tertiary structures of proteins describe the three-dimensional overall structure of a protein. They are stabilized using a range of interactions including hydrogen bonds, disulfide and salt bonds as well van der Waals forces (Blaber (2015)). Quaternary structures are formed when two or more of the polypeptide chain chains form one functional unit. They are essential for many biological processes and their functions.

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