What are the chemical characteristics of amino acids? How does this affect protein structure?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Amino acids will contain specific atoms arranged into various patterns.  There are 20 different amino acids in the human body and they are determined by the arrangement of what makes up an amino acid.  All amino acids contain an amino group consisting of nitrogen and hydrogen (NH2) and a carboxylic acid group consisting of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen (COOH).  The arrangement of those two groups is slightly different for each amino acid, which is important for protein formation.  

In simple terms, a protein is a long chain of amino acids.  It's more accurate to say that the chain of amino acids is folded up into a three dimensional shape of some kind.  The different amino acids cause the chain to fold differently.  The order of the amino acids determines where and in which direction the fold occurs.  Different amino acid sequences fold differently; consequently, a different protein is built.  

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mrinalinisrm89 | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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amino acids comprises of both amine (-NH2) and carboxylic group (-COOH) along with hydrogen on one end and a side chain(R- group ) specific for each amino acids.  they are linked to each other by peptide bond. all 20 types of amino acids are alpha type ( due to the presence of alpha carbon). they vary from each other in size , structure, polarity , solubility.  

 proteins are polymers of amino acids . the 3-D  structure of protein is formed because of amino acids. and depending upon the type of amino acid this structure changes . 

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