Proteins and Enzymes

ID #2383

Why are R-groups important? Why does it matter that R groups have charge? If they're not participating at all in the peptide bond there is no need whatsoever to be charged correct?

The properties of an R group do not affect peptide bond formation (ie. primary structure). They begin to cause an effect in the protein when R groups interact or R groups and the mainchain atoms interact to create the overall fold of a protein (ie. tertiary structure). At that tertiary level, you can get ionic interactions between two oppositely charged amino acid R groups. You can also have hydrophobic clustering based off of the hydrophobicity of the R groups. You can have other properties of interaction that Prof Mehrtens discussed during lecture 5. So, even though the R groups of the amino acid are not participating in a peptide bond, they are still important to the overall fold of the protein and they need to have the properties they were intended to have for the protein to be folded correctly. 

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