Many proteins are immense in size and extremely complex

Many proteins are immense in size and extremely complex -...

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Many proteins are immense in size and extremely complex. However, all proteins are composed of  long chains of relatively simple amino acids. There are 20 kinds of amino acids. Each amino acid  (see the left illustration in Figure  3  ) has an amino (—NH 2 ) group, a carboxyl (—COOH) group, and a  group of atoms called an —R group (where R stands for  radical ). The amino acids differ depending  on the nature of the —R group, as shown in the middle illustration of Figure  3  . Examples of amino  acids are alanine, valine, glutamic acid, tryptophan, tyrosine, and histidine.  The removal of water molecules links amino acids to form a protein. The process is called  dehydration synthesis , and a byproduct of the synthesis is water. The links forged between the amino  acids are  peptide bonds , and small proteins are often called  peptides.   All living things depend on proteins for their existence. Proteins are the major molecules from which 
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