Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Protein

Any one of the large, complex molecules composed of amino acids that control most biological reactions in the body and receive and transmit most of the chemical signals within and between cells. Most proteins are constructed of smaller fragments called polypeptides that are folded or knotted into 3-dimensional functional shapes (see quaternary structure). Functions of proteins include catalysis (enzymes), regulation (hormones), protection (antibodies), structure, and storage (lipoproteins). Proteins are produced by protein synthesis.

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