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In all living organisms
All living organisms need proteins for survival and normal growth. Due to the many functions, proteins are found in various shapes and forms. A specific structure allow for a specific function and a cell can have thousands of different proteins. Proteins are necessary for the structure and function of organs and tissues in the human body.
Protein amount is determined
Proteins are large relative to other molecules in the body but are still very small and not visible to the naked eye or a microscope. However, there are today various methods that can measure the amino acid sequence, the weight and size of the protein and similar features. The mass spectrometry method is especially useful for these purposes and the form intact protein mass analysis is often applied. The user can analyse the specific protein and use the information to check the quality of a new drug, roll out new food products to the market or discover new proteins in a sample.
Most people might know the following molecules but might not know that they are proteins. 1) Antibodies, which detect foreign cells in the body, such as viruses and bacteria, and start the process of battling the threat against normal functioning in the body. 2) Enzymes needed for speeding-up all chemical reactions and thereby degrade, consume or build new molecules. 3) Hormones that coordinate biological processes, such as insulin that control the blood sugar level or oestrogen that develop the female sex organs and control the menstrual cycle. 4) Transport proteins that relocate molecules, e.g. haemoglobin that transport oxygen in the blood. 5) Structural components of cells that define the structure.