Proteins and Enzymes

ID #1025

It says in the Purves textbook on page 41, under "The Primary structure of a protein is its amino acid sequence" that: The peptide backbone of this primary structure consists of a repeating sequence of three (-N-C-C-): the N from the amino group, the alpha carbon, and the C from the carboxl group of each amino acid. I dont remember you mentioning anything about this carbon in the middle being an "Alpha" carbon. Is this "alpha" title important, or should we just recognize that it is a carbon in the middle of each amino acid.


That repeating unit represents each amino acid, as the book says. And I did in fact note that the first Carbon is the central carbon, and is referred to as the alpha carbon. Notice on your lecture slides with the side chains (from Lecture 4), in the general picture at the top, there is a subscripted alpha next to the central carbon. It's really just a designation, not anything chemically relevant or unusual.

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