The workhorses of the body are known to be proteins. Proteins are essential biomolecules found in all living beings. They participate in a wide category of vital chemical processes essential for life.
Several different types of proteins exist, and each one of them is uniquely organized for a specific function. They have an important role in a wide range of physiological processes.
Connective tissues, skin, and hair all contain protein. It controls the movement of oxygen, digestion, and cell activity throughout the body.
Long sequences of amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are made up of 20 distinct amino acids.
Proteins with similar structures and compositions perform comparable activities. In this article, we will be looking at some of the many functions of proteins.
Functions Of Proteins
Here are some of the functions associated with proteins:
Controls Body Processes
Proteins control various vital bodily functions. Enzymes say, for instance, are proteins that hasten the body’s chemical reactions.
Without them, basic processes like digesting food would occur too slowly to even sustain your existence.
Enzymes may be compared to proteins that give the body’s operations a boost, much to how your morning tea starts your day going.
Hormones, which are proteins that control the activity of organs or cells, have an impact on a variety of bodily functions.
Hormones act as chemical messengers delivering orders from one part of the body to another.
For instance, the hormone insulin controls sugar by communicating to the body’s cells about how much sugar is present in the blood.
The Expression Of Genes Is Regulated By Proteins
Gene expression is the process used to transcribe a gene’s information into mRNA, which is later utilized by ribosomes to produce the specific protein thatthe gene codes for.
Transcription factors help to manage the gene expression mechanism.
Only the genes for proteins that your body currently needs could be transcribed, well thanks to these amazing transcription factors.
Proteins also exist in nature as gene transcription factors. Therefore, proteins control the gene expression that helps to control their synthesis.
Proteins include some amino acids that couldbe broken down and then converted into energy.
To provide cellular energy, only about ten percent of ingested proteins are catabolized daily.
The citric acid cycle may be fed amino acids that are broken down by the liver into the carbon skeleton. This is comparable to how glucose gets converted into ATP.
A person’s body utilizes more amino acids to produce energy if their diet is deficient in fats and carbohydrates, which breaks down muscle proteins and inhibits the production of new proteins.
Alternatively, additional amino acids could be used up if a person consumes more protein than their body requires.
Maintains A Cell’s Structure And Shape
This is another crucial biological task that is carried out by proteins. The protein filaments that make up the whole cytoskeleton are linked together.
The intermediate filaments, microfilaments, and microtubules thatmake up the cytoskeleton are known as structured proteins.
The cytoskeleton’s arrangement in all these parts keeps a cell in its predetermined shape. Tubulin and actin are significant proteins used to build the cytoskeleton.
These proteins are necessary for the cell to be able to keep its structure. Otherwise, this would never be feasible.
Functions As Cell Membrane Receptors
All organelle membranes and cellular membranes should have proteins to function.
These membrane proteins have several uses, including acting as body receptors.
These receptors bind themselves to neurotransmitters, hormones, and various signaling molecules, which then send essential messages to cells.
This is how proteins contribute to cell signaling, which is very important for the coordinated operation of all the cells in the body.
The hormone insulin regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. It binds to its protein receptor to carry out the intended activity.
After insulin binds to its receptor, then messages are sent to the glucose channels, which allows the muscle cells and liver to absorb glucose from your blood.
Blood glucose levels couldnever be controlled if there are no insulin receptors.
The coordination of cellular operations and the need for proteins in cell signaling is shown by this as well as numerous other instances in the human body.
Helps In the Creation Of Hormones
Some hormones are produced in part by protein. Hormones aid in the regulation of various bodily processes that entail the communication needed between several organs.
Small protein insulin is one such hormone that controls sugar in the blood. It also involves the interplay of various organs, including the pancreas and liver.
Another example of a protein hormone is secretin. By encouraging the intestine and pancreas to produce essential digestive juices, this chemical aids in digestion.
Insulin informs your body’s cells that glucose is there and instructs them to take it up from your blood and either use it to create macromolecules or energy or store it.
Since hormones are responsible for turning enzymes off and on, some proteins mayeven control the behavior of other proteins. Many hormones are made from proteins, albeit not all of them.
Carries Out Chemical Reactions
Although connective tissues like thatbone contain the highest concentrations of proteins, enzymes serve as a protein’s most remarkable function.
Enzymes carry out particular bodily chemical reactions.
The function of an enzyme is to offer a particular site for a chemical reaction and to reduce the time and energy required for the catalysis reaction to occur.
Cells undergo more than a hundred chemical reactions every second on average, most of which are carried out by enzymes.
Over a thousand enzyme systems are found alone in the liver.
Enzymes could be picky and may only use specific substrates that fit well into their active site, much to how a lock is opened only with a particular key.
Helps In Regeneration Of Tissues And Healing Of Wounds
Inflammatory followed by proliferative and finally remodeling phases makes up the three stages of wound healing, all of which require proteins.
For instance, your flesh would swell up and burn red if you accidentally stepped your toe on a nail.
The bleeding wouldstop in a short while. Proteins like bradykinin widen blood vessels at the site of injury and start the healing process.
To halt the bleeding, a blood clot is formed by platelets held together by another protein known as fibrin.
Then, during the proliferative phase, the cells enter the damaged tissue and repair it by putting new collagen fibers at the site.
While your body goes through a distinct process, termed tissue regeneration, which occurs continuously, wound healing only occurs when an injury is suffered.
The process of creating a functional and structural duplicate of the lost tissue during the regeneration process is the primary distinction between tissue regeneration and wound healing.
Consequently, completely functional, brand-new tissue is used to replace dying, old tissue instead of scar tissue in the tissue regeneration process.
- The Central Role of Enzymes as Biological Catalysts Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9921/
- Sandra Ramírez-Clavijo and Gladis Montoya-Ortíz. Chapter 1 Gene expression and regulation Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459456/
- Jay R. Hoffman and Michael J. Falvo Protein – Which is Best? J Sports Sci Med. 2004 Sep; 3(3): 118–130.Published online 2004 Sep 1.
- The Self-Assembly and Dynamic Structure of Cytoskeletal Filaments Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26862/
- Cell Membranes Avaialble from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9928/
- Keith W. Kelley,Douglas A. Weigent,and Ron Kooijmand Protein Hormones and Immunity Brain Behav Immun. 2007 May; 21(4): 384–392.Published online 2007 Jan 2. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2006.11.010
- Protein Function Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26911/
- Sabine A. Eming,Paul Martin and Marjana Tomic-Canic Wound repair and regeneration: Mechanisms, signaling, and translation Sci Transl Med. 2014 Dec 3; 6(265): 265sr6.doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009337
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Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.