Proteins are large biological molecules consisting of one or more chains of amino acids, which are known as polypeptides.
Proteins have different structures based on how many of them are present.
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Let’s look at some of the functions of proteins. We have structural proteins, and these give stiffness and rigidity to biological components that would otherwise be more fluid.
They wouldn’t have a lot of shape to them.
An example is a keratin, keratin is a protein found in our hair, nails, in bird’s feathers, in animal hooves and it gives them a hardness that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Structural proteins are going to make things stiffer and give them a harder shape.
Next, we have enzymes. When the enzyme is present, it catalyzes the chemical reaction and speeds it up and lets it occur.
Next, you’ve got receptors, proteins that functions as receptors, bind a signaling molecule to induce a biochemical response. Next, you have antibodies, which are also known as amino globulins and these bind antigens and target them for destruction. An antigen is a foreign body that comes into the cell, and it’s not welcome.
We also have motor proteins, and motor proteins generate the forces responsible for muscle contraction.
If you’re able to move your arms back and forth if you’re able to close and open your hand, those are happening, because of muscle contractions and those muscle contractions are generated by motor proteins.
Next, we have pump proteins. These are proteins that act as a kind of pump and they transport ions or small molecules across a membrane.
Lastly, we’ve got switch proteins and these act as an on-off switch based on the presence or absence of certain other molecules in the cell.
You can see that proteins are crucial for cell life and lots and lots of cell functions.