Proteins: The Construction of Living Beings

You may have heard of proteins, right? Proteins are organic compounds related to building metabolism.. During the growth and development stages of the individual, there is an extraordinary increase in the number of their cells to perform specialized functions, generating tissues and organs.

Proteins play a key role in growth, as many of them play a structural role in cells, that is, they are components of the plasma membrane, membrane-endowed organelles, the chromosome cytoskeleton, and so on. And to make more cells requires more protein. Without them there is no normal growth. Differentiation and performance of various chemical reactions that are components of cellular metabolism depend on the stopping of several chemical reactions that are components of cellular metabolism depend on the participation of enzymes, a category of defense proteins called antibodies. Without them, our body is extremely vulnerable.

Certain hormones, substances that regulate the activities of our bodies, are also protein. This is the case with insulin, which controls the blood glucose rate.

Proteins are macromolecules formed by a succession of smaller molecules known as amino acids. Most living things, including man, use only about twenty different types of amino acids, for building your proteins. With them, every living being is capable of producing hundreds of different proteins of varying size.

How is this possible from a small number of amino acids?

Imagine a toy made up of plastic pieces, nestable together, with twenty different colors. With many pieces of each color, how would you proceed to assemble multiple part sequences so that each sequence is different from the previous one? Probably you would repeat the colors, alternate many of them, in short, certainly countless would be the sequences and all different from each other. The same reasoning is valid for the formation of the different proteins of a living being, from a set of twenty amino acids.

Each amino acid is different from another. However, they all have some common components. Every amino acid has a carbon atom, to which are attached a carboxyl, an amine and a hydrogen. The fourth bond is the variable portion, represented by R, and may be occupied by a hydrogen, methyl or other radical.