Proteins and Carbohydrates

A Protein

A Protein

What are proteins? Proteins are strings of amino acids called polypeptides. They make up tissue and muscle, causing things to move. They are enzymes; they are the main “workers” inside cells. Their basic structure is a polypeptide. When this polypeptide forms hydrogen bonds with more polypeptides the protein becomes twisted and “zig-zagged”. When this goes to a further level the protein folds, and so on and so forth.


A Polysaccharide (carbohydrate)

A Polysaccharide (carbohydrate)

Carbohydrates are our source of energy. When the primary producer of energy (an autotroph) takes the light of the sun and transforms it into carbohydrates, through photosynthesis, they are breaking down the energy of the sun into “bite-size” amounts for us.

They are made up of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. There are different types of carbohydrates: monosaccharides, glucose, fructose and galactose (sugars), disaccharides, sucrose, maltose and lactose, and polysaccharides, starch, glycogen and cellulose.

So what do proteins and carbohydrates do inside a cell?

Inside a cell, proteins are the main workers. There are transport proteins, motor proteins, defense proteins and so many more. Proteins are in the membrane of a cell. They allow organisms in and out of the cell. They also control the shape of a cell and regulate the several processes performed by the cell.

Carbohydrates, in the form of sugars and such, are stored in the cells of your muscles so that they can be quickly called upon when you need more energy. They also help to regulate the processes in a cell. However, the most important function of carbohydrates is that they give us our energy.

Both proteins and carbohydrates are vital to a cell’s perfect functioning.


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