What Are Protein Monomers? 

Ekansh Agarwal

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Protein monomers play a very crucial role in human life because they are associated with protein synthesis. Before going further you should know what a monomer is. Well, the monomer is a building block of the polymer and it is also called a basic unit of polymers. Similarly, protein polymer also has one of such monomers, and that monomer is explained below in detail. While talking about proteins, proteins are complex molecules that do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Proteins are made of hundreds of thousands of small units, which are attached in a long chain. Let’s know protein monomers.    

What Are Protein Monomers? 

Protein monomers are amino acids and each amino acid has the same fundamental structure. Their structure consists of a central carbon atom, also known as the alpha carbon, bonded to an amino group, a carboxyl group, and a hydrogen atom. Like protein, the monomers of lipids are fatty acids and nucleic acid monomers are also amino acids.  Protein monomers are called amino acids and there are 20 standard amino acids found naturally and they all are involved in protein synthesis. 

Protein monomers are derived from amino groups and carboxyl-acid groups in their basic structure. There are 21 amino acids present in proteins, each with a unique R group or side chain. Ten of these are considered essential amino acids in humans because the human body can not produce them and they must be obtained from the diet. 

Protein polymers are made up of monomers which categories of amino acids would you expect to find on the surface of a soluble protein, and which would you expect to find in the interior? The chemical composition of the side chain determined the characteristics of the amino acids. Amino acids such as valine, methionine, and alanine are nonpolar, while amino acids such as serine, threonine, and cysteine are polar. The bond used in the protein polymers is called a peptide bond. 

Now, you have an idea of the monomers that make up a protein are called Amino acids. Also, you know what types of bond is found between protein monomers. Let’s have a look at the properties of protein monomers. 

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Properties Of Protein Monomers 

The properties of protein monomers are, 

  • The melting point of the amino acids is very high.
  • Each amino acid contains a central C atom, an amino group, a carboxyl group, and a specific R group.
  • The R group determined the characteristics like size, polarity, and pH for each type of amino acid.
  • Peptide bonds form between the carboxyl group of one amino acid and the amino group of another through dehydration synthesis.
  • A chain of amino acids is a polypeptide.
  • Not all amino acids are soluble in water.
  • Some amino acids are insoluble in organic solvents.

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Protein Structure And Function 

After knowing protein monomer names, you should know more about proteins. You need to understand their structure and function. Let’s have a look,  

Protein Structure 

There are four types of protein structures and they are primary structure, secondary structure, tertiary structure, and quaternary structure. In the primary structure, proteins are unbranched polymers of amino acids linked head to tail, from carboxyl group to amino group through the formation of covalent peptide bonds, a type of amides linkage. In the secondary structure of the protein, several hydrogen bonds formed between portions of the peptide chain in this manner, two basic types of structure can result in alpha-helices and Beta-pleated sheets.  

In the tertiary structure, the folding of a single polypeptide chain is in three-dimensional space. All of the information needed to fold the protein into its native tertiary structure is contained within the primary structure of the peptide chain itself. In the quaternary structure, many proteins exist in nature as oligomers, complexes composed of noncovalent assemblies of two or more monomer subunits.  

Protein Function 

The protein monomers examples are Asparagine Glutamine Lysine, Valine Isoleucine Phenylalanine, and Glycine Serine. Protein is necessary for building and repairing body tissues. Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in one part of the body that helps coordinate activities and communicate with other areas. Enzymes are proteins that bind to molecules to speed up chemical reactions. They play a role in many activities such as muscle contraction and relaxation, and nerve impulse transmissions. Antibodies are specialized protein configurations that provide a specific immune defense against invaders.  

Facts About Protein 

The facts about protein are, 

  • Proteins are essential to all life
  • Protein exists in every one of the trillions of cells in the human body
  • You could not grow or heal without proteins
  • Proteins have a short lifespan
  • The protein chain is longer than lipids and hence they are very complex to absorb.

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What Are Proteins Monomers And Polymers?

Proteins – polymers are known as polypeptides; monomers are amino acids. Nucleic Acids – polymers are DNA and RNA; monomers are nucleotides, which are in turn consist of a nitrogenous base, pentose sugar, and phosphate group.

How Are The Monomers In Proteins Joined?

A protein molecule is made from a long chain of these amino acids, each linked to its neighbor through a covalent peptide bond (Figure 3-1).

What Is An Example Of A Protein Polymer?

Examples of protein polymers are haemoglobin, gelatin, enzymes and antibodies. Antibodies: Their role is to fight against a foreign invader. Examples of antibodies include immunoglobulins. Enzymes: Enzymes carry out various chemical reactions within a cell.

What Is The Definition Of A Protein Monomer?

Protein monomers are molecules that merge to form numerous-protein complexes. Polymers made up of organic monomers found in living organisms are biopolymers. Monomers are divided into different classes such as alcohols, sugars, acrylics, amines, and epoxides.


By reading this article, you got the types of protein monomers and the protein polymer name also. Proteins are a diverse and abundant class of biomolecules, constituting more than 50% of the dry weight of cells. This diversity and abundance reflect the central role of proteins in virtually all aspects of cell structure and function. An extraordinary diversity of cellular activity is possible only because of the versatility inherent in proteins, each of which is specifically tailored to its biological role. This was all about protein monomers

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