Peptides are the mini-versions of proteins
They are the simple, small forms of proteins. Though they are made of amino acids and just like proteins, they are less in number compared to proteins. In peptides, amino acids are less than 50 in a special combination(amide bond). Beyond 5o, they become protein. In formation and structure, peptides are not as well defined as proteins. Proteins can form into various structures as secondary, quaternary and tertiary conformations.
When peptides are made of 2 amino acids, they are classified as dipeptides. When composed of 3-9 amino acids, they are referred to as tripeptides. They are called polypeptides where the amino acids are more than 10 composed together.
A simple trick to help you remember the sequence;
- Bonded amino acids form peptides that
- form polypeptides that
- form proteins.
Peptides are highly involved in the making up of huge chunk of materials manufactured by the human body
They are involved in the neurotransmitters that are saddled with the responsibilities of carrying nerve impulses, they are also involved in the body enzymes which effects chemical reactions. Peptides also have a lot to do with hormones that help control the human body activities and so also in transmitter molecules.
The human body uses peptides to secrete growth hormone (GH) in the body through the pituitary gland. For the peptides to function maximally, the intake and production of amino acids in the human body is crucial.
There are many sources of protein through which the human body can access amino acids. Examples are from vegetable sources of protein, protein supplements, animal meats and other animal protein products, etc. After taking in all these forms of protein, the body gets to work on breaking the ingested protein into peptides and amino acids to be used up by the body.