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An Account of the Function of Proteins in Living Organisms

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An Account of the Function of Proteins in Living Organisms The structural properties and some differences of proteins have been elucidated within lessons, and so in this essay it is the intension to give the functions of some of the key proteins within humans and other species. Proteins are hugely diverse and numerous, their significance can be seen from the functions the described below. They can be grouped into not only fibrous and globular, but further into their function areas which are abundant in themselves. The first of these groups is Mechanical Support . This is the main group of fibrous proteins which have a very high tensile strength essential for the support that these proteins give. More specifically collagen gives in the constituent of tendon and cartilage due to properties of strength with flexibility. ...read more.


Some of the more common enzymes occur in digestion and excretion: Trypsin, amylase and lipase are all catalysts to hydrolysis reactions. In the case of Trypsin, catalysing the hydrolysis of proteins to polypeptides. Amylase allows the break down of starch to maltose, and the hydrolysis of fats to fatty acids and glycerol is catalysed by lipase. Urease also helps the formation of urea. Other than these few nutritional enzymes, there are many others that catalyse every reaction within every cell of every organism. Transport and Storage is another function of proteins. Proteins such as Haemoglobin which transports oxygen, allow the transport of many molecular and ionic substances around the body as well as being a medium for the movement of oxygen in the case of myoglobin between individual muscle cells. ...read more.


More directly, proteins are key in the generation and transmission of nerve impulses. Receptor proteins such as rhodopsin which is the photoreceptor protein within rod cells. Rhodopsin is a pigment sensitive to light which in turn stimulates the receptor cells to generate an impulse. Finally, proteins can act to Control Growth, the most common example of this is thyroxin which controls the growth in young mammals. These proteins control the order of genetic information which is shown within the genome at anyone time, creating a sequential pattern of growth from mitosis. This essay describes the very generalised functions of different protein of which there are many hundreds resulting from the structures, the combinations of the 20 amino acids alone give a hugely diverse scope for proteins without taking into account the shapes formed. Each has a vary specific function and so can only be loosely grouped into the above. ...read more.

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