Medical Definition of Peptide

  • 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.

Peptide: A molecule consisting of 2 or more amino acids. Peptides are smaller than proteins, which are also chains of amino acids. Molecules small enough to be synthesized from the constituent amino acids are, by convention, called peptides rather than proteins. The dividing line is at about 50 amino acids. Depending on the number of amino acids, peptides are called dipeptides, tripeptides, tetrapeptides, and so on.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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