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Definition of Proteins

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.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=15380
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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