Proteins and Nucleic Acids, Biology tutorial

Introduction to protein:

Protein is the main functional and structural constituent of all the cells of the body; for instance, all enzymes, membrane carriers, blood transport molecules, hair, fingernails, the intracellular matrices, serum albumin, keratin and collagen are proteins, as are lots of hormones and a big part of membranes. Furthermore, the component amino acids of protein act as precursors of numerous coenzymes, hormones, nucleic acids and other molecules necessary for life. Therefore a sufficient supply of dietary protein is necessary to maintain the cellular integrity and function, and for health and reproduction.

Proteins in both the diet and body are more complicated and variable than the other energy sources, fats and carbohydrates. The defining feature of protein is its requisite amino nitrogen group. The average substance of nitrogen in dietary protein is around 16 percent by weight, therefore nitrogen metabolism is frequently considered to be synonymous with protein metabolism. Oxygen, carbon and hydrogen are as well plentiful elements in proteins and there is a smaller part of sulphur.

A vital characteristic of proteins is the complexity of their physical structures. Polypeptide chains don't exist as long straight chains and do they curl up into random shapes though instead fold into a definite three-dimensional structure. The chains of amino acids tend to coil to helices (that is, secondary structure) due to hydrogen bonding among side chain residues and parts of the helices might fold on each other due to the hydrophobic interactions among non-polar side chains and in some proteins, to disulphide bonds so that the whole molecule might be globular or rod-like (that is, tertiary structure). Their exact shape based on their function and for some proteins, their interaction having other molecules (that is, quaternary structure).

The most significant feature of a protein from a nutritional view point is its amino acid composition; however the protein's structure might as well affect its digestibility. A few proteins, like keratin are highly insoluble in water and therefore are resistant to digestion, whereas highly glycosylated proteins like the intestinal mucins, are resistant to attack by the proteolytic enzymes of the intestine.

Introduction to Nucleic Acids:

The nucleic acids are informational molecules as their primary structure includes a code or set of directions through which they can duplicate themselves and instruct the synthesis of proteins. The synthesis of proteins - most of which are enzymes - eventually governs the metabolic actions of the cell. In year 1953, Watson, an American biologist and Crick, an English biologist, suggested the double helix structure for DNA. This growth set the phase for a new and continuing period of chemical and biological examination. The two major events in the life of a cell - dividing to make precise copies of them, and manufacturing proteins - both rely on blueprints coded in the genes.

There are two kinds of nucleic acids that are polymers found in all the living cells. Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is found mostly in the nucleus of the cell, while Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is found mostly in the cytoplasm of the cell however it is generally synthesized in the nucleus. DNA includes the genetic codes to make RNA and the RNA in turn then includes the codes for the primary series of amino acids to prepare proteins.

Protein and Nucleic Acid Relationship:

Proteins are big biomolecules which are building up of long chains of building block molecules termed as amino acids. Each and every amino acid folds to make a protein with a precise cellular function.

Nucleic acid is fundamentally DNA and RNA. DNA is the genetic information which includes all the information one requires to live. RNA stands for ribonucleic acid and consists of a variety of roles.

Whenever comparing them, they in reality do not appear at all similar if looking at the big molecules or the building blocks. However, they are both made up of generally nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The elements stated are assembled in many ways for both Proteins and Nucleic acid. The main similarity among them is that with the protein production DNA and RNA includes all the information that a cell employs to prepare protein.

Introduction to Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions:

Proteins interact by DNA and RNA via similar physical forces that comprise electrostatic interactions (that is, salt bridges), dipolar interactions (that is, hydrogen bonding, H-bonds), entropic effects (that is, hydrophobic interactions) and dispersion forces (that is, base stacking). Such forces contribute in varying degrees to proteins binding in the sequence-specific (tight) or non-sequence specific (loose) method. For instance, specific protein-DNA interactions are generally mediated by a α-helix pattern in the protein that inserts itself into the main groove of the DNA, identifying and interacting by a particular base sequence via H-bonds and salt bridges. Moreover, the similarity and specificity of a specific protein-nucleic acid interaction can be raised via protein oligomerization or multi-protein complex formation (example: GCN4, glucocorticoid receptor, mRNA splicing complexes, transcription initiation complexes, RISC and so on). The secondary and tertiary structure made by nucleic acid series (mainly in RNA) gives a significant additional method through which proteins recognize and bind specific nucleic acid sequences.

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