Different Types of Proteins

Different Types of Proteins

It is without a doubt that proteins are vital to the regular operations of the body. To make this statement a little bit more clear, I will give you a list of the types of proteins while also discussing their particular functions. Here are some of the examples of proteins we have in our bodies.

  • Hormones

Our bodies utilize the different types of hormones since they are chemical signals and can travel over long distances. These chemical signals are typically released by the endocrine glands to ensure your body is at a state of homeostasis.

That means that hormones are able to control certain physiological features which include development, growth, reproduction and metabolism. What’s more, hormones can either be steroid based while others are simply just proteins. The hormones that are based on steroids are commonly identified as peptide hormones.

To be more specific, insulin, for example, is a vital peptide hormone that is able to control and regulate the blood glucose levels. When you have taken foods with high levels of glucose, the pancreas releases insulin. Afterwards, the insulin then binds with the cells of the liver and also other parts of your body.

The cells that have insulin will be able to take up the excess glucose hence returning the glucose levels to normal.

  • Enzymes

Generally, enzymes are considered to be a catalyst in any type of reaction in the body. That means that they are necessary for a certain type of chemical reaction but they don’t change their chemical composition in the process. More importantly, enzymes are only able to fasten the reaction but not get involved in it.

Furthermore, enzymes are only able to speed up the chemical reaction in the body. Each enzyme is able to recognize certain substrates or the molecule that will start the chemical reaction it catalyses.

An example of a type of enzyme includes the salivary amylase found in your saliva. Yes. Your saliva also has an enzyme that’s useful in your digestion process. The amylase helps in the breakdown of amylose which is a type of starch into small sugars.

The amylose doesn’t have a sweet taste. However, the small sugars that come out of the amylose have a sweet taste. That is why starchy foods typically have a sweet taste after you chew them for a longer period of time. You are giving the amylase enzyme enough time to do its work.

  • Antibodies

Antibodies are more or less protein-based and they are produced in the immune system. On top of that, antibodies have the ability to bind to foreign materials and eliminating them from the body. That helps to protect your body from any attacks by antigens (foreign substances).

There’s a wide range of substances that are considered as foreign to the body including disease-causing organisms and any other toxic substance such as snake venom. When any alien substance enters the body, the immune system is able to recognize it using the receptors on the surface of the antigen.

The immune system then responds by evoking a number of tactics to counter the effects of the antigen and also eliminate it from the body completely. One of the most important tactics the immune system uses is by producing high levels of antibodies to the affected area.

These antibodies come from specific white blood cells known as B-cells (B lymphocytes). Sounds like taking a nose dive into Biology 101 class? I’m sure it does. Well, all this information is important for you to actually understand why your body really needs proteins. So, let’s get on with it.

The antibodies then multiply and surround then neutralize the antigen. These antibodies will also neutralize any antigen that resembles the one that evoked the immune response. That will, in the end, render them harmless to your body. But the mechanism behind this immune response is more complex than what’ve I’ve just let on. However, the basic concept that you need to understand is that the antibodies will, in the end, be able to eliminate the antigens completely.

  • Haemoglobin

This is also another type of protein that actually makes up the red blood cells found in your blood. Have you ever wondered why your blood appears blue especially under your skin but when you are cut it has a bright red colour? Let be break it down for you.

Your blood acts as a transport mechanism sort of like a bus where different materials are transported from one terminal to the next. They can either be transported to your cells or away from your cells to the excretory organs where they are eliminated from your body.

One of the substances your body transported materials includes the oxygenated blood. Blood that has oxygen in it has a bright red colour. The blood that oozes out of your body when you bleed is usually oxygenated blood. On the other hand, when your blood doesn’t have any oxygen, it will have a dark purple colour. This blood will appear blue under your skin especially for people with a fair skin tone.

Haemoglobin is a protein found in the red blood cells and it’s capable of binding with oxygen hence helping in its transportation to your muscles or other cells. Your body needs oxygen for metabolisms and other cellular functions. And through your blood, the oxygen that you inhale gets the chance to travel to all the necessary places in your body.

Other types of proteins include but not limited to:

  • Glucagon

  • Myosin

  • Keratin, actin and tubulin

  • Albumin

What are Proteins

The name ‘Protein’ comes from a Greek word known as ‘proteios’ which means ‘very important’. Hence, proteins are arguably one of the most important food nutrients for your body.

That said, it is important to fully understand proteins and how they operate. If you’ve been looking for the right information on proteins, then this article is at your best interest. Here, I will discuss all the different burning questions you might have concerning proteins. What’s more, I will break down my knowledge of proteins into segments that will be easy for you to understand.

If you’ve ever had the chance to work in a molecular lab you are likely to see proteins differently. That’s because proteins are not just single substances. They contain complex structures and can come in different forms. More importantly, each of these protein types has an important role to play in a single cell.

Some of the proteins act as structural parts while others help the cell to move. On the other hand, other protein structures act as signals hence they send a message from one cell to the next. There are a number of functions that proteins play on your body.

What are proteins made of?

Simply put, proteins are typically made of nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. However, the bonds that these elements make to form a protein compound will defer in several ways hence creating different types of proteins.

The nitrogen element is what makes proteins different from fats and carbohydrates. Additionally, the signature name amino acids also differentiate proteins from other compounds.

Just like simple sugars when forming carbohydrates, they link together, amino acids are considered the building blocks of complex proteins. But before we get to explaining what amino acids are, do you even understand what are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are fibres, sugars and starches that are found in grains, fruits, milk products and veggies. They are quite important in the body and are usually incorporated into many healthy diet plans. Now, let’s get back to proteins.

The Building Blocks of Proteins: Amino Acids

Generally, there are about 20 amino acids depending on the sequence of their appearance and the specific task they perform in the body. When the elements in the amino acids are arranged in a certain way, then that shows that that particular amino acid is meant to perform a certain function.

Therefore, proteins that will, in the end, make up your enzyme will have the same sequence. on the other hand, proteins that perform other functions such as forming your muscles will be completely different from the ones that form enzymes.

Your body is able to get the required amount of amino acids it needs from your diet hence meeting your daily amino acid needs. After you’ve taken your meal, then proteins then start its function by breaking down into various amino acids. More to that, different types of foods will generally yield different amino acids.

When the entire process is complete, your body will then absorb the amino acids in a process known as digestion. The body then re-arranges the amino acids into certain sequences that will be specific to the body. Therefore, your body sort of like acts as a recycling bin.