Notes From Reading
CHAPTER 23: P ROTEIN STRUCTURE AND F UNCTION (PGS .45-70)
- Proteins are made of amino acids. Amino acids vary in structure and function.
- The structure of a protein can be analyzed at four levels:
- (1) Amino acid sequence
- (2) Substructures called -helices and -pleated sheets
- (3) Interactions between amino acids that dictate a protein’s overall shape
- (4) Combinations of individual proteins that make up larger, multiunit molecules
- In cells, most proteins are enzymes that function as catalysts.
3.1 What Do Proteins Do?
- The diverse functions of proteins include: defense, movement, catalysis, signaling, structure,
Protein Type Role in Cell or Organism
Antibodies and complement proteins Defense – destruction of disease –causing viruses
Contractile proteins Movement
Enzymes Catalyze chemical reactions
Hormones Act as signals that help coordinate the activities of
Receptor proteins Receive chemical signals from outside cell and
Structural proteins Provide support for cells and tissues; form
structures such as hair, feathers, cocoons, and
Transport proteins Move substances across cell membrane;
substances throughout body
3.2 Early Origin of Life Experiments
- Could the first steps of chemical evolution have occurred on ancient Earth?
- To find out, Stanley Miller combined methane (CH ), a4monia (NH ), and3hydrogen (H ) in a 2
closed system with water, and applied heat and electricity as an energy source.
- The products included hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and formaldehyde (H CO), important
precursors for more-complex organic molecules and amino acids.
- In more recent experiments, amino acids and other organic molecules have been found to
form easily under these conditions.
3.3 Amino Acids and Polymerization
The Structure of Amino Acids
- All proteins are made from just 21 amino acids. Notes From Reading
CHAPTER 23: P ROTEIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION (PGS.45-70)
- All amino acids have a central carbon atom that bonds to NH , COO2, H, and a variable side
- In water (pH7), the amino and carboxyl groups ionize to NH and COO , respectively—this
helps amino acids stay in solution and makes them more reactive.
The Nature of Side Chains
- The 21 amino acids differ only in the variable side chain or R-group attached to the central
- R-groups differ in their size, shape, reactivity, and interactions with water.
(1) Nonpolar R-groups: Do not form hydrogen bonds; coalesce in water
(2) Polar R-groups: Form hydrogen bonds; readily dissolve in water
- Amino acids with hydroxyl, amino, carboxyl, or sulfhydryl functional groups in their side
chains are more chemically reactive than those with side chains composed of only carbon
and hydrogen atoms.
What are Isomers?
- Isomers are molecules with the same molecular formula but different structures. Isomers
include the following:
- Structural isomers: Differ in the order which their atoms are attached
- Geometric isomers: Differ in the arrangement of atoms around a double bond
- Optical isomers: Differ in the arrangement of atoms, or groups, around a carbon atom that
has four different groups attached
Condensation and Hydrolysis Reactions
- Amino acids polymerize to form proteins. Polymerization reactions require energy and are
- Monomers polymerize through condensation reactions, which release a water molecule. In
the reverse reaction, hydrolysis, water reacts with a polymer to release a monomer.
- In the prebiotic soup, hydrolysis would predominate over condensation because it is
energetically favorable. However, polymers on mineral particles such as clay or mud are
protected from hydrolysis.
The Peptide Bond
- Condensation reactions bond the carboxyl group of one amino acid to the amino group of
another to form a peptide bond.
- A polypeptide is flexible and has directionality (the N-terminus has a free amino group and
the C-terminus has a free carboxyl group), and its side chains extend out from the backbone.
3.4 What Do Proteins Look Like? Notes From Reading
CHAPTER 23: P ROTEIN S TRUCTURE AND FUNCTION (PGS .45-70)
- Proteins are diverse in size and shape, as well as in the chemical properties of their amino
- Proteins have four basic levels of structure: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary.
- A protein’s primary structure is its unique sequence of amino acids.
- Because the amino acid R-groups affect a polypeptide’s properties and function, just a single
amino acid change can radically alter protein function.
- Secondary structure results in part from hydrogen bonding between the carboxyl oxygen of
one amino acid residue and the amino hydrogen of another. A polypeptide must bend to
allow this hydrogen bonding—thus, -helices or-pleated sheets are formed.
- Secondary structure depends on the primary structure—some amino acids are more likely
to be involved in α-helices; while others, in β-pleated sheets.