Introduction to Beta Peptides - Primary Structure

Proteins and peptides are made of building blocks called amino acids. Peptides can be thought of as "small" proteins, generally made up of thirty five or less amino acids, while proteins are larger molecules made up of many amino acids. The sequence in which these amino acids are hooked together is called the primary structure of the peptide or protein.

The proteins that are found in the body are made up of alpha amino acids . The body breaks down these proteins and uses the pieces to rebuild new molecules that the body needs. Beta amino acids have one extra carbon atom. This extra carbon atom keeps the body from recognizing the protein to break it down.

Below is a chemical representation of an alpha and beta amino acid. The extra carbon of the beta amino acid is seen in red

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