Proteins and Carbohydrates

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Proteins

Proteins are made from polymers of amino acids called polypeptides. Polypeptides can do what a mass of amino acids cannot. Still, proteins aren’t just polypeptides, and they can do almost everything. We have motor proteins; they move the flagella and cilia of microorganisms such as bacteria. There are also transport proteins, these move inside of a cell the materials around from one part of the cell to another. If you ever thought that muscle was the only visible protein, you’re wrong, structural proteins are also visible, such as spider webs and horns of an animal. Enzymes break down polymers apart; they are special proteins that help facilitate chemical reactions. Also, hormones are also specialized proteins that send a message which instructs a cell to do something. Along with them are the receptors, receptors have a space or surface designed to have a special hormone docked to it, and together they form hydrogen bonds. Receptors react to hormones by making a specific action inside the cell, and this process is called protein signaling.

There are four structural levels of protein.

1.  Primary structure: is a sequence of a chain of amino acids

2.  Secondary structure: proteins twist or bend, roll up or fold

3.  Tertiary structure: proteins form hydrogen bonds, and they avoid mixing with water.

4.  Quaternary structure: they form more hydrogen bonds.

In conclusion, proteins perform thousands of jobs that are very important not only to you, but to the environment.

 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are formed of CH2O, which means carbon and water. Even though, the arrangement of atoms in carbohydrates has little to do with water molecules. Starch and cellulose are two common carbohydrates. Their monomers are the same units of the sugar.

Polysaccharides store energy, and in them are glycogen and starch. Starches are polymers of glucose. They are insoluble in water, and can serve as storage depots of glucose. Animals store excess glucose by polymerizing it to form glycogen. Glycogen is broken back into glucose when energy is needed.

Cellulose is the major structural material of which plants are made. It is also a polysaccharide with glucose as its monomer, but there is one thing that differs cellulose from starch and glycogen. Cellulose is undigestible, while starch and glycogen are digestible.

In conclusion, polysaccharides are polymers of sugar that store energy and form structures in plant cells. 

 

Resources: Class videos, and http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/Carbohydrates.html

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