Molecules composed of amino acids that determine the structure and function of every living cell.

Proteins are the "building blocks of life". They are responsible for the shape and structure of cells and for all metabolic processes. Their functions are diverse. For example, there are structural proteins (e.g. collagen), enzyme proteins, transport proteins (e.g. haemoglobin), immune proteins and hormone proteins

Every human has a hundred thousand different proteins formed from just 20 amino acids, whose sequence is defined in the genetic code (DNA). The amino acids are linked together in long chains folded into a characteristic three-dimensional structure. Many proteins consist of several of these chains.

The characteristics of an organism essentially depend on the nature, composition and structure of its proteins. Genetic information is read and transmitted to the "protein factories" (ribosomes) in the cells, where the respective proteins are synthesised.

See also:
Amino Acids

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