Primary structure

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The primary structure is the first structure of a protein made. It is the underlying basis of how the protein folds up and what conformational shape it takes. It is made of a linear string of amino acids (polypeptide chain) which have been coded for by codons by DNA base sequences in the translation process. Peptide bonds form between amino acids to attach them together[1]. Each amino acid is individually different and the different chemistries of the side chains allow the polypeptide chain to fold up in a unique way allowing a specific function for that protein [2].


  1. Burrows C, Elder E, Hayden C, McCurrie R, Rogers R, Thompson H, Towle J, Tyler M (eds) 2012, AS-Level Biology, the complete course for OCR, Coordination Group Publications, Newcastle Upon Tyne p.108
  2. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition, Bruce Alberts et al, p127, p131.

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