Protein Structure

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Proteins are formed by linking the amine nitrogen of one amino acid with a carbon atom on another amino acid, and then repeating this “peptide bond” to make a chain dozens or hundreds of amino acids long. The carbon-nitrogen backbone of the protein molecule forms a sort of zigzag pattern, with the “side groups”—the other atoms on each amino acid—sticking out to the sides.