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Protein was the name given by Mulder, in 1838, to a substance which he considered as of

primary importance to all living organisms (proteios in Greek means 'of the first quality'). Today the
immense variety of protein molecules is recognized.
Proteins are the most abundant macromolecules found within cells and perform a wide variety
of functions. protein can be considered as a unique polymer of amino acids. which determine its
chemical and structural properties.
Amino acids have a central role in all cellular metabolism.

In 1953, Miller and Urey attempted to recreate the prehistoric Earth

conditions. In a flask, they combined ammonia, hydrogen, methane, and water
vapor plus electrical sparks (Miller, 1953). They found that new molecules were
formed, and they identified these molecules as 11 standard amino acids. This is one
possible explanation for the presence of amino acids and for the start of life,
lightning acting on an atmosphere of ammonia, hydrogen, methane, and water
vapor. Many other scientists have suggested that amino acids may have arrived on
earth in the comets and meteorites that invaded earth at this time. This and other
amino acid origin theories are all possible.

Here we consider the basic 20 amino acids that make up human beings, the
20 that are coded for by DNA codons, the 9 that are regularly made in humans,
and the 11 others made in other animals and plants. A diet of meat and milk is a
diet of protein. Proteins are broken down by the acid and digestive enzyme in the
stomach and abdomen releasing the 20 amino acids. These are all absorbed into the
blood. Digestive and degradative pathways are examined, most of which involve
NADH and ATP and lead to the citric acid cycle, or generate ATP energy
- Proteins are the main structural components of the cytoskeleton. They are the
sole source to replace Nitrogen of the body.
- Biochemical catalysts known as enzymes are proteins.
- Proteins known as immunoglobulins serve as the first line of defence against
bacterial and viral infections.
- Several hormones are protein in nature.
- Structural proteins furnish mechanical support and some of them like actin and
myosin are contractile proteins and help in the movement of muscle fibre,
microvilli, etc.
- Some proteins present in cell membrane, cytoplasm and nucleus of the cell act
as receptors
- The transport proteins carry out the function of transporting specific substances
either across the membrane or in the body fluids.
- Storage proteins bind with specific substances and store them, e.g. iron is
stored as ferritin.
- Few proteins are constituents of respiratory pigments and occur in electron
transport chain or respiratory chain, e.g. Cytochromes, haemoglobin,
- Under certain conditions proteins can be catabolised to supply energy.
- Proteins by means of exerting osmotic pressure help in maintenance of
electrolyte and water balance in body.