Essay about The Functions of Proteins

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The Functions of Proteins

Introduction

Protein accounts for about three-fourths of the dry matter in human tissues other than fat and bone. It is a major structural component of hair, skin, nails, connective tissues, and body organs. It is required for practically every essential function in the body. Proteins are made from the following elements; carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and often sulphur and phosphorus. Proteins cannot be stored except in eggs and seeds and they form the body's main structural elements and are found in every cell and tissue. The human body uses proteins for growth and to build and repair bones, muscles, tissue, skin, internal organs and blood. Hormones, antibodies
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Catalysis

They serve as enzymatic catalysts that speed up biochemical reactions while remaining unchanged in the process. Without these biological catalysts, chemical reactions would occur so slowly that life as we know it could not exist. With them, chemical reactions can occur at rates as much as 10 billion times faster than would be possible without enzymes. Enzymes are critical to digestion and metabolism, they are required to release nutrients from foods so they can be absorbed and utilized by the body. If enzymes are not present in sufficient quantities, complete digestion cannot take place. Enzymes also keep the body's metabolic "machinery" running smoothly. In turn, vitamins and minerals are essential for proper enzyme functioning.

Transport

Proteins are also used as transport molecules, such protein is haemoglobin which transports oxygen in red blood cells all around the body. The main haemoglobin in adult humans is Haemoglobin A and it contains two alpha and two beta subunits. Haemoglobin also transports carbon dioxide away from the tissues to the lungs where it is exhaled.

Haemoglobins are a chain of polypeptide which is held in position by three types of bonds; disulphide bond, ionic bond and hydrogen bond. Haemoglobins are formed when four Globin molecules link together.

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