<biochemistry> Any of a group of complex organic compounds which contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and usually sulphur, the characteristic element being nitrogen and which are widely distributed in plants and animals.

Proteins, the principal constituents of the protoplasm of all cells, are of high molecular weight and consist essentially of combinations of a amino acids in peptide linkages.

Twenty different amino acids are commonly found in proteins and each protein has a unique, genetically defined amino acid sequence which determines its specific shape and function.

They serve as enzymes, structural elements, hormones, immunoglobulins, etc. And are involved in oxygen transport, muscle contraction, electron transport and other activities throughout the body and in photosynthesis.

Origin: Gr. Protos = first

(11 Mar 2008)

proteid, proteidae, proteidea, proteiform < Prev | Next > protein 4.1, protein A, protein A24 lyase

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