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Structure and Functions of Collagen and Insulin.

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Structure and Functions of Collagen and Insulin Insulin is a polypeptide hormone produced by cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Insulin decreases the levels of glucose in the blood and regulates the metabolism of glucose, fats and proteins. In order to meet the demand for insulin needed by diabetics, the hormone is mass-produced with the aid of genetically engineered bacteria, but can also be taken from pigs and cattles. The structures of insulin and proinsulin are given below. Proinsulin is a single polypeptide chain of 86 amino acids that permits correct alignment of three pairs of disulfide bonds. The C-peptide of proinsulin is depicted as open circles. ...read more.


An insulin-specific protease and glutathione-insulin transdehydrogenase are involved. The latter reduces the disulfide bonds with separation of A and B chains, which are subjected to rapid proteolysis. About one quarter of all of the protein in your body is collagen. Collagen is a major structural protein, forming molecular cables that strengthen the tendons and vast, resilient sheets that support the skin and internal organs. Bones and teeth are made by adding mineral crystals to collagen. Collagen provides structure to our bodies, protecting and supporting the softer tissues and connecting them with the skeleton. But, in spite of its critical function in the body, collagen is a relatively simple protein. ...read more.


The reaction requires vitamin C to assist in the addition of oxygen. Unfortunately, we cannot make vitamin C within our bodies, and if we don't get enough in our diet, the results can be disastrous. Vitamin C deficiency slows the production of hydroxyproline and stops the construction of new collagen, ultimately causing scurvy. The symptoms of scurvy--loss of teeth and easy bruising-- are caused by the lack of collagen to repair the wear-and-tear caused by everyday activities. Collagen from livestock animals is a familiar ingredient for cooking. Like most proteins, when collagen is heated, it loses all of its structure. The triple helix unwinds and the chains separate. Then, when this denatured mass of tangled chains cools down, it soaks up all of the surrounding water like a sponge, forming gelatine. ...read more.

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