CH 106 - Lesson 8
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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