Protein Functions

Proteins Become Amino Acids

Protein, once it is consumed, is digested. That is, it is broken down into amino acids. This creates an amino acid pool. Tissues then take the particular aa's that are needed to synthesize specific proteins that the body needs. The aa's in the pool are also available to be used as energy along with carbohydrates and lipids.

Amino Acid Typical Structure

Consists of CH3 bonded to CH. The C in the CH has two other bonds. First, it is bonded to NH2, which is typically bonded to an amino group. Second, it is bonded to a C atom which is also bonded to OH and O, the whole group then being bonded to a carboxylic acid group.

Protein Functions

Proteins are classed into two groups, those that are "working proteins" that perform a function; and those that are "structural" and serve to build components of the body.

  1. Provide a Source of Carbon for making ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). Some amino acids are converted to glucose and metabolized to produce ATP. Others are stored as fat and then converted to ATP.
  2. Acts to control osmolarity and fluid volume in the blood and tissues. This maintains the body's water balance.
  3. Proteins are a buffer to control blood pH.
  4. Proteins form antibodies
  5. Form enzymes needed in cellular processes such as digestion
  6. Makeup of body tissues, such as the muscles and organs. Serve to repair and maintain tissues.
  7. Transport substances in the bloodstream
  8. Synthesized into hormones and neurotransmitters that control bodily function.

Source by Emily Raizell

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