Peptides are compounds that are made up of a variety of amino acids linked together by a covalent bond. Since they usually bind together in long chains, these compounds are classified as polymers. Peptides are among the building blocks of life, and they are found within the bodies of all creatures on the planet. When a peptide chain becomes too long, it becomes a protein. Many molecular biologists spend years looking for the properties of basic peptides and proteins in order to learn more about how the body functions. Click this link to learn more.
When talking about peptides, a lot of scientific jargon gets tossed around. Knowing what different words mean helps in several ways. As atoms exchange electrons, they form a covalent bond, which is a type of chemical bond. A peptide bond, also known as an amide bond, is a type of covalent bond formed in peptides when the carboxyl group of one amino acid attaches to the carboxyl group of another. If you’re interested, carboxyl groups are a set of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen molecules.
People who are unfamiliar with the word “polymer” can find the classification of a peptide as a polymer to be confusing. Although many people think of polymers as “plastics,” a polymer is any type of repeating chain linked by covalent bonds in chemistry. As one would expect, polymers can become extremely complex.
Depending on the amino acids involved, a peptide may perform a wide variety of functions in the body. Several, such as antibiotic function, can control hormones. When you eat meat, for example, the enzymes in your intestines break down the protein at its amide bonds to produce a variety of peptides that can be digested or excreted depending on your body’s preferences.