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PROTEINS AND ENZYMES

Plant foods are rich in carbohydrates. Animal foods are rich in


proteins and fats. Proteins are polymers made from monomers
called amino acids. When foods containing proteins are eaten, the
body breaks down the proteins into amino acids. These amino acids
can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Cells then reassemble these
amino acids to form new proteins. These proteins may be fibrous or
globular

Primary Structure
Amino acids can be joined in different sequences. Each protein has
its own unique sequence of amino acids. This linear sequence of
amino acids is called a polypeptide and forms the primary structure
of the protein.

Secondary Structure
The secondary structure of a protein consists of alpha helices, beta
sheets and random coils. The random coils usually form the active
site of the protein

Tertiary Structure
The polypeptide chains form weak chemical bonds called disulphide
bridges which give the protein a more complex 3D shape known as
a tertiary structure. This process involves the way random coils,
alpha helices and beta sheets fold in respect to each other. After
folding, amino acids which were distant can become close. At this
stage, the protein is a functional unit.

Quaternary Structure
The quaternary structure describes complex proteins that are made
up of more than one polypeptide chain. The polypeptide chains may
be the same type or different types.

Enzymes
Enzymes are globular proteins. Weak chemical bonds in the tertiary
structure help maintain the shape of enzymes. Different enzymes
have different structures. Enzymes are used for speeding up
reactions, they are natural catalysts. Because each enzyme is
unique, they will only work with specific substrates