Protein denaturation. Protein denaturation

In the text Protein Structures it has been shown that proteins can have primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures. Many of the functions of these proteins are directly linked to their structures. However, they can lose their secondary, tertiary and even quaternary structures, and, consequently, cease to be active.

When these spatial conformations are altered or destroyed, we say that the protein has been denatured or denaturation has occurred. protein, keeping only the primary structure, which is the peptide chain itself, formed by the sequence of amino acids linked between themselves.

Protein denaturation phenomenon

The factors that change the structure of a protein can be diversified, including changes in the temperature and pH of the medium, action of organic solvents, oxidizing and reducing agents and even agitation intense.

A common example is what happens to an egg when it is boiled or fried. When heated, there is agglutination and precipitation of albumin, which is the egg white protein, which is why it turns white.

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Another example occurs when we boil milk, cream is denatured protein.

Cream is denatured protein

When we use alcohol as a disinfectant, it penetrates and permanently dissolves the protein structure of a bacteria.

Alcohol as a disinfectant

By Jennifer Fogaça
Graduated in Chemistry

Source: Brazil School -

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