The Building Blocks Of Proteins Are

The Building Blocks Of Proteins Are

Proteins are made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of life. The amino acids combine to form chains called polypeptides, and these chains fold up into proteins. In nature, there are 20 different types of amino acids that can combine in millions of different arrangements to create an endless variety of proteins. Scientists have determined the structure of these proteins by breaking them apart into individual pieces and putting them back together again like a puzzle piece until it fits perfectly into another protein molecule.

amino acids

In this lesson, we’ll talk about the building blocks of proteins: amino acids. These molecules are essential to your body, and they’re made from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorous. There are 20 different types of amino acids in nature—only eight are considered essential for humans because they can’t be made by the body and must be consumed through food.

The genetic code of DNA tells cells how to put together proteins with these specific combinations of amino acids. Each protein is a chain with hundreds or thousands of linked amino acids that form a specific shape that helps perform some function in your body (like forming bones).


Nucleotides: Nucleotides are the building blocks of nucleic acids, which are the genetic material found in DNA and RNA. Nucleotides contain a sugar (deoxyribose or ribose), a phosphate group, and one of four nitrogenous bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). The order in which these different bases appear determines an amino acid sequence.

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The sugar component of each nucleotide contains two carbon atoms that can bond to each other without losing their chemical identities as carbon atoms. In fact, these bonds are so stable that they’re often called “sugar-phosphate bonds.”


Hydrogen is the smallest atom in the universe. It’s a gas at room temperature, but you can make it liquid if you cool it down to -423 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Kelvin). Hydrogen only has one electron orbiting its nucleus, while most other atoms have several electrons orbiting their nuclei. In fact, hydrogen is the most common element in the universe!

Hydrogen is used to make ammonia and water—two things you may have heard of before.


You may be wondering why carbon is so important. It’s the fourth most common element in the universe. Carbon atoms form bonds with other atoms and molecules to form compounds and make up all of life on Earth—meaning, it’s the building block for proteins, sugars, fats and DNA! If you have ever wondered how proteins are made or what sugars are or why we need fats in our daily diet – congratulations! You just got your answer!


Oxygen is a component of water, carbon dioxide and ozone. Carbon monoxide contains oxygen but not in its natural state. Methane is composed of one carbon atom bonded with four hydrogen atoms, which makes it an organic compound. Nitrous oxide has two atoms of nitrogen and one atom of oxygen that are bonded together to make N 2 O (one molecule).


The most common element in proteins, nitrogen is found in the amino acids and makes up about 16% of a protein’s mass. Nitrogen is also an important part of nucleic acids like DNA and RNA.

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Nitrogen is a non-polar molecule, which means that its electrons are evenly distributed throughout its structure. This makes it harder for water molecules to attach themselves to nitrogen than they would be able to with other types of atoms like hydrogen or oxygen (both of which have a partial positive charge).


Phosphorous is an essential element for life. It is a component of DNA, RNA, ATP and other molecules.

The building blocks of proteins are amino acids.

While carbohydrates and fats are the major components of food, proteins are the building blocks of life. There are 20 different amino acids that can be linked together to form proteins. Amino acids are organized into a chain by peptide bonds. These chains of amino acids form what we call proteins, which perform many functions in our bodies.

The building blocks of proteins are amino acids.

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