Medical Definition of Proteins

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order determined by the base sequence of nucleotides in the DNA coding for the protein.

Proteins are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's cells, tissues, and organs. Each protein has unique functions. Proteins are essential components of muscles, skin, bones and the body as a whole.

Examples of proteins include whole classes of important molecules, among them enzymes, hormones, and antibodies.

Proteins are one of the three types of nutrients used as energy sources by the body, the other two being carbohydrate and fat. Proteins and carbohydrates each provide 4 calories of energy per gram, while fats produce 9 calories per gram.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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