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Amino Acids, Peptides, Proteins

This content provides a comprehensive overview of amino acids, peptides, and proteins, highlighting their significance in the MCAT exam, their basic structures, classifications, and the formation and structure of polypeptides and proteins.
  • Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, with a central carbon atom linked to various functional groups, existing as L or D-isomers, but only L-amino acids are used in protein synthesis.
  • Amino acids can be classified into four major groups based on the characteristics of their R group: hydrophobic, polar uncharged, positively charged, and negatively charged.
  • Polypeptides are chains of amino acids, with peptide bonds forming through a condensation reaction. Proteins are polypeptides that consist of 30 or more amino acids.
  • Protein structure is discussed in terms of four levels: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary, each describing different aspects of the protein's arrangement and folding.
  • Understanding the structure and function of amino acids, peptides, and proteins is crucial for the MCAT, particularly for questions related to physiological processes and reactions.
Introduction to Amino Acids
Classification of Amino Acids
Formation and Structure of Polypeptides
Understanding Protein Structure