Why do proteins fold

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Why do proteins fold

When talking about proteins, it always leads us to thinking about an important nutrient needed by the body to function normally. But, did you know that proteins can be more than that? In actuality, proteins do play a very important role for the body to perform its specialized tasks and in maintaining a healthy condition. The lack of it and its inability to perform its function” may lead to an illness, or worst it can put one’s life at risk.

Proteins are often described as a string of amino acids, 20 in all wherein 14 of them can be naturally produced by the body. Proteins are known to function in many important ways that includes repairing tissues, building up muscles, keeping the hair, nails, and skin healthy, functions as an enzyme and hormone, a source of energy, aids in muscle contraction, transport of essential nutrients, keeping the body hydrated, helps in digesting food, and the likes.

In order for proteins to perform their essential bodily functions, it is first required to fold” into a very intricate three-dimensional structure, and the process that it undergoes is called folding”. It is believed that proteins fold in order for it to achieve the lowest potential energy it needed to arrive at its targeted shape.

Proteins can fold into different shapes like round, long, strong, or elastic. However, it remains a continuous mystery for scientists on how proteins are able to determine its folding pattern since there is no such thing as a fixed” protein folding blueprint that exists even now.

When proteins are unable to fold properly (or misfold”) they may aggregate” and create a lump. Medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, Huntington’s disease, mad cow disease, and several cancers are believed to have been a result of a protein misfold.

Author: khristine

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