Compare the Structure and Function of Collagen and Haemoglobin

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Topics: Protein, Amino acid
Haemoglobin is a transport protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and carries carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs. In order to function most efficiently, haemoglobin needs to bind to oxygen tightly when the oxygen concentration is high in the lungs and be able to release oxygen rapidly in the relatively low partial pressure in the tissues. I will be comparing the structure and function of haemoglobin with the structure and function of collagen, which is a structural protein. Collagen’s functions are quite different from those of globular proteins such as enzymes; tough bundles of collagen called collagen fibers are a major component of the extracellular matrix that supports most tissues and gives cells structure from the outside. Collagen is also present in certain cells as it has great tensile strength, and is the main component of fascia, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bone and teeth.

Primary Structure; the number, type and sequence of amino acids The primary level of structure in a protein is the linear sequence of amino acids, formed by a condensation reaction. The primary structure of these proteins are very different. The haemoglobin molecule consists of four polypeptide (globin) chains, where as collagen is made up of three polypeptide chains wound round each other. In Haemoglobin there are a wide range of amino acid constituents in the primary structure, in contrast 35% of collagen’s primary structure is glycine. This difference in primary structure causes the proteins themselves to be different; due to the original different primary structure the haemoglobin protein is soluble in water whereas the collagen protein is not.

Secondary structure; Formed when the chain of amino acid coils or folds to form an alpha helix or beta pleated sheet. Haemoglobin is comprised of four polypeptide subunits, two with alpha helix secondary structure and two with beta pleated sheet form. All four components carry a heme group that

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