Polypeptide chain

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Polypeptide chains are polymers of amino acids joined together with peptide bonds. These peptide bonds are formed through condensation reactions whilst the amino acids are being coded for during translation[1].

Whilst in polypeptide chains, amino acids are known as residues. It is conventional to list residues in polypeptide chains starting from the N-terminal: the end with a free amino group as opposed to the C-terminal, which is the end with the free carboxyl group[2].

Polypeptide chains are the primary structure of proteins - most natural polypeptide chains contain between 50 and 2000 amino acid residues[3].


  1. University of New Mexico. (2002). Available: http://biology.unm.edu/ccouncil/Biology_124/Summaries/T&T.html Last accessed: 27/11/14
  2. William Reusch. (2013). Available: http://www2.chemistry.msu.edu/faculty/reusch/VirtTxtJml/protein2.htm Last accessed: 27/11/14
  3. J. Berg, J. Tymoczko and L. Stryer. (2012). Biochemistry 7th Ed. Freeman.
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