Biochemistry / General / Science


Protein rich food

It was recently announced that we have come one step closer to understanding one of the most fascinating aspects of biology- protein folding. In this light,  I thought it is worth mentioning some facts about protein which is such an integral part of our lives. 

Protein 3D model

  1. Amino acids are one of the earliest molecules to appear on earth.
  2. The basic framework of all proteins is down to a total of only 20 amino acids. Apart from these common 20 amino acids, there are additional amino acids selenocysteine and pyrrolysine
  3. Humans can synthesize 10 out of 20 amino acids, the rest needs to be obtained from food.
  4. Amino acids form a long chain together to form polypeptide chains
  5. Ribosomes are responsible for assembling polypeptides to form functional proteins
  6. Once the proteins are released from the ribosomes, they fold to form functional proteins. They will fold and unfold all through their lifetime.
  7. Proteins can live from a few minutes to a few years. On an average proteins can survive for 1-2 days in mammalian cells. 
  8. There are 2 main types of proteins in the human body: enzymes and hormones. They come in various shapes and weights. Examples of enzymes include amylase, lipase etc and insulin, thyroxine are examples of hormones. 
  9. Coronaviruses are RNA viruses which are surrounded by an envelope made of 3 types of  proteins. These are spike (S) protein, envelope (E) protein and membrane (M) protein.
  10. Research suggests that coronavirus lacking E protein form good candidates for vaccines.
  11. Viroids are the smallest known entities which do not contain any protein coat.
  12. Bacterial proteins are the most potent of human poisons which are released from bacteria. Tetanus toxin and Diphtheria toxins are some of the examples.


  13. Thermophiles are special types of microorganisms which need a minimum temperature of 60°C to survive. This is due to the fact that their enzymes have adapted to maintain stability at high temperatures and such proteins are called thermophilic proteins
  14. In 1789, different types of proteins were described for the first time, in 1855 naturally occurring protein crystals were isolated and in 1958, the first description of the 3D structure of a folded protein was described.
  15. We get protein in our diet from meat, dairy products, nuts, certain grains and beans
  16. The most abundant protein in nature is Fraction 1 protein which is involved in photosynthesis.


Royalty free images were used for this article

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