Balwant Flora 12SU 24/10/03
The Role of Protein in Biology
Proteins are an important molecule that plays a vital role in living organisms. More than 50% of dry mass of most cells is protein. Proteins have many different functions and some of them are:
- They are essential components of cell membranes.
- The oxygen carrying pigment (haemoglobin) is a protein.
- Antibodies are proteins.
- Most, if not all, enzymes are proteins.
- Collagen which adds strength to many parts of the body is a structural protein.
Despite having an enormous range of functions, proteins are made up from the same basic components. These are Amino acids.
Proteins are involved in a wide range of jobs in biology, some of which have been mentioned in the above list. Using amino acids bonds can be made such as a peptide bond. Also structures can be made by different types of bonds to make primary/secondary/tertiary/quaternary structures. Each of which have their own shape but they can be made up in so many different ways by changing the amino acids or replacing one amino acid with another and so on.
Collagen is probably the most important building block of the animal world as more than a third of the body's protein is collagen; it makes up 75% of our skin. Collagen acts as a sort of scaffolding for our bodies as it is a structural protein. Collagen controls cell shape and differentiation and is the reason why bones regenerate and wounds heal.