What are Proteins?

Proteins Video

Hey guys! Welcome to this Mometrix video over proteins.

What are Proteins?

Proteins play a huge role in the body! They perform most of the work involved in cells, and they are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Proteins are large, complex molecules made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called amino acids. These amino acids that make up the protein, are attached to one another to make long chains. There are twenty different types of amino acids, and these can be combined differently to make a protein. The way that these amino acids are sequenced actually determines each protein’s unique three-dimensional structure, as well as its specific function.

Protein Functions

Proteins have a vast variety of functions. They can function as antibodies, enzymes, messengers, structural components, and they can transport and store atoms and molecules.

Proteins that function as antibodies are y-shaped and bind to specific foreign particles, like viruses and bacteria, helping to protect the body.

Proteins that function as enzymes are used to speed up chemical reactions by lowering the activation energy. Enzymes carry out almost all of the thousands of chemical reactions that take place in cells. Some enzymes can also help in the formation of new molecules by reading the genetic information stored inside of DNA.

Messenger proteins, such as certain types of hormones, transmit signals to facilitate biological processes between different cells, tissues, and organs. The hormone insulin, which regulates glucose metabolism in the body, is a common example of a messenger protein.

Proteins that serve as structural components are proteins, as their name suggests, that provide structure and support for cells. Actin and myosin in muscle and the proteins in the cytoskeleton form a system of scaffolding that maintains cell shape.

Transport proteins are involved in the movement of ions, small molecules, or macromolecules (such as another protein), across a biological membrane.

Storage proteins serve as reserves of metal ions, and amino acids, used by organisms. For example, ferritin is a storage protein that stores iron, which is contained in the transport protein hemoglobin.

This is the basic information that you need to know about proteins. I hope this video was helpful.

See you next time!

Frequently Asked Questions


What are proteins made of?


Proteins are made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sometimes phosphorus, sulphur, and/or iron.


What are the monomers of proteins?


The monomers of proteins are amino acids. Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids.


What is the function of proteins?


Proteins provide support and structure for cells. Other functions of proteins include transporting molecules, such as oxygen, throughout our body, communicating messages between cells, and working with our immune system to keep us healthy.


What are some examples of proteins?


Some examples of proteins are actin, tubulin, hemoglobin, insulin, and immunoglobulins.


Return to Biology Videos



by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: January 13, 2023