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Chemistry LibreTexts

9: Amino Acids and Proteins

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    • 9.1: Prelude to Amino Acids, Proteins, and Enzymes
      Insulin is a hormone that is synthesized in the pancreas. Insulin stimulates the transport of glucose into cells throughout the body and the storage of glucose as glycogen. People with diabetes do not produce insulin or use it properly. The isolation of insulin in 1921 led to the first effective treatment for these individuals.
    • 9.2: Properties of Amino Acids
      Amino acids can be classified based on the characteristics of their distinctive side chains as nonpolar, polar but uncharged, negatively charged, or positively charged. The amino acids found in proteins are L-amino acids.
    • 9.3: Reactions of Amino Acids
      Amino acids can act as both an acid and a base due to the presence of the amino and carboxyl functional groups. The pH at which a given amino acid exists in solution as a zwitterion is called the isoelectric point (pI).
    • 9.4: Peptides
      The amino group of one amino acid can react with the carboxyl group on another amino acid to form a peptide bond that links the two amino acids together. Additional amino acids can be added on through the formation of addition peptide (amide) bonds. A sequence of amino acids in a peptide or protein is written with the N-terminal amino acid first and the C-terminal amino acid at the end (writing left to right).
    • 9.5: Proteins
      Proteins can be divided into two categories: fibrous, which tend to be insoluble in water, and globular, which are more soluble in water. A protein may have up to four levels of structure. The primary structure consists of the specific amino acid sequence. The peptide chain can form an α-helix or β-pleated sheet, which is known as secondary structure and are incorporated into the tertiary structure of the folded polypeptide. The quaternary structure describes the arrangements of subunits.

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