Home Page CH106-08

 

Table of Contents
Preliminary Information
Common Amino Acids
Structure
Functions
Proteins for Energy
Protein in the Diet
Wrap-Up

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CH 106 - Lesson 8
Proteins

 

Introduction

In the previous lessons we discussed the first two of the four major classes of biochemicals, the lipids and the carbohydrates. In the next lesson we will take up nucleic acids. In this lesson we will be talking about the proteins, which are perhaps the most versatile of the four.

Our hair and fingernails are made of protein. So are claws, beaks and feathers. Skin, tendons, bones and muscle all contain protein. So you can see that proteins can be tough and durable. But egg whites contain a lot of protein also. In addition, enzymes, antibodies, hemoglobin, and insulin are all proteins. The cytochromes that transport electrons from one chemical to another in both respiration and photosynthesis are also all proteins. How can so many different chemicals, doing so many different things, all be considered the same type of chemical? In this lesson we will look at why that is.

First we will take another look at the common amino acids from which proteins are constructed. We will look at the multifaceted structure of proteins and the variety of functions that result from different structure. We will look at how proteins, like fats and carbohydrates, can be used as sources of energy. Then we will finish up by looking at how we get the amino acids we need from our diet.

 

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Clackamas Community College E-mail instructor: Sue Eggling
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