Difference Between Protein And Amino Acids

There are several important components in the body of animals and humans that are needed for the proper and general development of the body. These include amino acids and proteins. Both occur in humans and animals.

There is confusion as to why they are needed in the body, but many do not know how they are produced. Both are similar in many ways, but that doesn’t make the same thing. There are several differences between both which are mentioned below for better understanding.

Protein Vs Amino Acids  

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. A protein is a chain of amino acids connected together. You can think of this as a beaded necklace. The beads (amino acids) are connected together by a string (bond), which forms a long chain (protein).

Amino acids are essential to life and have numerous functions. A particular major function of amino acids is to serve as the building block of proteins in the body.

As such, they are essential for the formation of structural proteins, which are linear chains of amino acids, enzymes, and some hormones along with neurotransmitters.

Amino acids can be linked together in alternating series to create an immense variety of proteins. They are also involved in various metabolic channels that affect exercise and metabolism.

22 amino acids are, as might be expected, incorporated into polypeptides and are considered proteinogenic or standard amino acids. Of these, 20 are programmed by the general genetic code.

Because they cannot be made by the human body from other compounds, 8 standard amino acids are designated as “essential” for humans and must therefore be ingested from food.

In addition to manufacturing, because of their vital role in biochemistry, amino acids are essential in nourishment and are for the most part used in food expertise.

Chains of amino acids are called proteins. Proteins are made up of one or additional polypeptides that facilitate a biological function and are naturally shaped into a spherical, otherwise cartilaginous appearance.

A polypeptide is a single linear polymeric chain of amino acids. It is linked together by peptide bonds connecting the carboxyl and amino groups of adjacent amino acid residues.

Like other organic macromolecules, polysaccharides, for example, along with nucleic acids and proteins, are an indispensable part of living things and take part in practically every single development within cells.

Countless proteins are both substances and enzymes intended to catalyze biochemical reactions and are essential to the body’s activities and metabolic processes.

Protein also has structural or superficial roles that help in muscle, take myosin and actin for example. Besides the cell phase, the rest of the proteins are important for activities such as the cell’s warning sign, protection, and cell connection.

Animals need and must get essential amino acids from food because proteins are also indispensable in the necessary food for animals since animals cannot produce every single one of the amino acids themselves.

As absorption progresses, animals metabolize used protein and convert it into non-chained amino acids that are used in metabolism and body activities.

Amino acids make up 75% of the human body. They are necessary for practically every bodily function. Every chemical reaction that takes place in your body depends on amino acids and the proteins that produce them.

The essential amino acids must be ingested daily. Protein breakdown occurs when not even one of the 10 essential amino acids is supplied in sufficient quantity.

The human body simply doesn’t store amino acids for later use like it does with fats and starches. You can find amino acids in many places in the environment.

In fact, more than 300 have been found in nature, from sources as diverse as microorganisms and meteorites. Now we see how important it is to get enough amino acids in order to have enough protein to meet the body’s needs.

Comparison Table Between Amino Acid and Protein

Parameters of ComparisonAmino AcidProtein
MeaningBuilding blocks of proteinThe String of amino acids
Synthesize in bodySome can be synthesizedAll can be synthesized
Molecular massSmallerHigher
FunctionsResponsible for protein synthesisProper growth and functioning of the body.
EssentialNot all are essentialAll proteins are essential

What is Amino Acid?

An amino acid refers to a simple organic molecule in the body. In general, 20 different amino acids that serve as building blocks of proteins can be identified. They are called universal amino acids.

All amino acids share a common basic structure in which 4 chemical groups attach to the central carbon atom.

These 4 chemical groups are an amino group (NH2), a carboxylic acid group (COOH), a hydrogen atom (H), and a variable side chain (R). Both carboxyl and amino groups are attached to the same carbon.

Because of the composition of the R group, the physical and chemical properties of the universal amino acid can differ from each other. Each of the universal amino acids is represented by a codon in the genetic code.

The codon sequence of a particular protein is determined by the nucleotide sequence of a gene. Genes are transcribed into mRNA and these mRNAs are decoded using ribosomes to produce a primary protein.

Furthermore, apart from the 20 universal amino acids, 2 amino acids can only be identified as modified variants in certain organisms. They are selenocysteine and pyrrolysine.

In humans, 9 amino acids are considered essential amino acids because they cannot be synthesized by the body. Therefore, these amino acids should be included in the diet.

These 9 essential amino acids are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, and serine. Other amino acids are synthesized in the body through different biochemical pathways.

What is a Protein?

A protein is a large, nitrogenous, organic compound made up of one or two chains of amino acids. A protein consists of an alternative arrangement of universal amino acids. Therefore, a protein is a polymer.

Peptide bonds are formed between amino groups and carboxylic acid groups of adjacent amino acids. Therefore, proteins are also referred to as polypeptides.

Typically, a natural polypeptide can consist of 50-2000 amino acids. However, proteins are very complex and dynamic types of molecules composed of four levels of structure: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structure.

Different combinations of amino acids give proteins different properties. Humans have 20,000 to 25,000 protein-coding genes. About 2 million different protein types can be synthesized from this.

However, the human body is made up of around 50,000 proteins. The study of the structure and function of these proteins is called proteomics.

Proteins are found in food either as complete proteins or as incomplete proteins. A complete protein can consist of all of the essential amino acids, while an incomplete protein can lack some of them. These proteins are broken down into amino acids during digestion.

Therefore, every cell in the body can gather amino acids from the bloodstream to synthesize the different types of proteins it needs.

Proteins serve as a structural component of a cell. They also regulate the body’s functions as hormones and enzymes. They also serve as transport molecules.

For example, hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. Proteins also produce immune-system molecules.

Main Differences Between Amino Acid and Protein

  1. Amino acids are the blocks that are building by proteins, while proteins are chains of amino acids.
  2. Both can be synthesized in our body. While all proteins can be synthesized within the body itself, not all of the amino acids required by the body can be synthesized within it.
  3. Both differ in terms of molecular mass. Proteins are macromolecules and therefore have a higher molecular mass compared to amino acids which have a relatively smaller molecular mass.
  4. Fewer amino acids are needed for the synthesis of proteins, mainly 20 are needed in all organisms, but in the case of amino acids, millions of proteins are produced in different organisms.
  5. The structure of amino acids consists of an amino group (NH2), a hydrogen atom (H) and a carboxylic acid group (COOH) along with a variable side chain (R), while proteins are a chain of amino acids linked with a peptide bond.
  6. Amino acid has only one function of protein synthesis, while proteins have multiple functions in the body, from development to proper growth, and protein deficiency leads to multiple diseases.

Similarities Between Amino Acid and Protein

  1. Amino acids and proteins are two important biomolecules in animals.
  2. Both amino acids and proteins are made up of C, H, O, N and S.
  3. Both amino acids and proteins can be absorbed into the body through food.
  4. Both amino acids and proteins can be synthesized in the body.
  5. The amino acid sequence of a protein is determined from information in genes.

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