Apr 6, 2014
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Chemical compounds that are the basic building-blocks of all proteins. Each molecule consists of nitrogenous amino and acidic carboxyl groups of atoms joined to a group of carbon atoms. Polypeptides are formed by amino-acid molecules linking via peptide bonds. Many polypeptides link up in various configurations to form protein molecules. In humans, proteins are made up from 20 different amino acids: nine of these are labelled ‘essential’ (or, as is now preferred, ‘indispensable’) amino acids because the body cannot manufacture them and is dependent on the diet for their provision. (See also INDISPENSABLE AMINO ACIDS.)

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