What are Peptides?
Peptides are molecules, consisting of chains of between 2 to 40 amino acids, which are connected through peptides bonds. The bonds are formed between the carboxyl group in one of the amino acids, and the amine group of another in a covalent bond. They are naturally occurring and vital to control functions inside our bodies, as well as other living organisms. They can also be created in a laboratory using a number of different methods, and are used in many scientific research projects. They are vital for human life, as they are used in a number of different biochemical functions. They can act as enzymes, hormones, antibiotics, and more. They are considered one of the building blocks for life and are needed for our survival.
Peptides are similar to proteins and have the same kind of bonds. In fact, for a peptide chain to be considered a protein it just needs to have more than 50 amino acids in its chain. The shortest peptide chains that exist consist of just two amino acids; these combined amino acids are called di-peptides.
What are amino acids?
There are twenty different amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins and peptides. There are around nine essential amino acids your body needs, but can’t create. This means you have to get them through the foods you eat. The other amino acids, called nonessential, are synthesized within your body and not an essential part of your diet.
Our bodies are made out of amino acids, which come together to create our cells, muscles and tissue. They are important in helping us carry out functions need to live. This includes transportation, storage of nutrients, creating cell structure, creating organs, tendons, and arteries, and repairing tissue.
Functions of Peptides
Peptides have a number of different functions, and these functions are determined by which amino acids are involved in the creation of the chain. They are constantly being broken down and created in the body. Here are some of the functions peptides are involved in:
- Hormones – When a peptide functions as a hormone, it carries signals from cell to cell, or gland to gland. Made in a number of locations, including the liver, kidneys, and intestines, they are required to regulate a number of functions of the human body. Such functions include our sleep cycle and the regulation of our blood sugar.
- Antibiotics – When functioning as an antibiotic, peptides help prevent the growth of microorganism inside our bodies. These peptides are commonly used in medicine, for their antibiotical properties.
- Structural Support – Once a peptide has a chain of 50 amino acids or more, they form proteins. Proteins are the building blocks used to create the human body. Keratin, a protein found in our body, makes up our hair and nails. Another protein, collagen, is what our bones and tendons are created with.
- Neuropeptides – When functioning as a neuropeptides, they act as signals and regulators in the brain. They are found in a number of different locations in the neural tissue. Examples of a neuropeptide are endorphins.
- Alkaloids – This type of peptide is often found in small animals, plants, and fungi. It is used in the creation of defense mechanisms inside these organisms.
Synthesis of Peptides
Peptides can be created in the laboratory and are used for a number of different things in scientific research. To synthesize them, the carboxyl group of one amino acid, also known as the C-terminus, is coupled with the amino group, also known as the N-terminus of another amino acid. During synthesis, there is a possibility of getting unwanted reactions; because of this protecting groups are used. Unlike biosynthesis of peptides, which stars at the N-terminus, chemical synthesis starts at the c-terminal and stops at the N-terminus.
Since amino acids will have different reactive groups, during synthesis steps are taken to avoid these other reactions from occurring. To do this chemical groups have been created that will bind to certain amino acid reactive groups to block/ protect them from the unwanted reactions to occur.
The amino acids N-terminus are protected by temporary protecting groups, commonly used are Boc or Fmoc. These are pretty easy to remove from the peptide. For the C-terminal, it depends on the type of peptide synthesis that will be used to create the chain.
At Rasa Research, we offer a number of different liquid peptides for your research needs. Whether you are a student studying amino acids, or working on a scientific research project, there are peptides for your needs. Peptides offered include but are not limited to GHRP-6, Ipamorelin, and GHRP-2.
All products purchased from Rasa Research are for laboratory and in vitro usage only.
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