Proteins and Enzymes

ID #1035

What exactly do you mean by a polypeptide backbone: referring to when you said that R groups can interact with the peptide backbone?

The polypeptide backbone is the covalent linkages from one amino acid to the next, which will include the amino nitrogen, alpha carbon, and carboxyl carbon of each amino acid (N-C-C) linked to the same atoms of the next amino acid, and so forth in a repeating pattern of N-C-C-N-C-C-... Remember, the peptide linkage is a polar one, because the hydrogen attached to that amino nitrogen is partially positive, and the oxygen attached to that carboxyl carbon is partially negative. So the oxygens and hydrogens can participate in hydrogen bonding with other hydrogens and oxygens elsewhere in the peptide backbone (secondary structure) OR with amino acid side chains (tertiary structure).

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