The Structural Organization of Proteins
Proteins are the building blocks of life and are essential for cellular functions. Their structure is tightly linked to their biological functions. To understand how proteins work and how they interact with other molecules, it is important to understand their structure. Proteins are composed of amino acids that are linked together in a specific order (Blaber, 2015). This unique amino acid sequence is referred to as the primary structure of a protein. The primary structure determines the overall shape and function of the protein. The secondary structure of a protein describes the arrangement of the peptide bonds that link the amino acids together (Blaber, 2015). This structure is typically composed of alpha helices and beta sheets that are held together by hydrogen bonds. The tertiary structure of a protein describes the overall three-dimensional shape of the molecule and is stabilized by a variety of interactions such as hydrogen bonds, disulfide bonds, salt bridges and van der Waals forces (Blaber, 2015). The quaternary structure describes the association of two or more polypeptide chains that form one functional protein unit. Together, the primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures of proteins determine their function and are vital for a variety of biological processes… Cont…
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