Proteins are polymers of amino acids. Polymers are large molecules made of similar or identical subunits called monomers.
Proteins are made up of approximately 20 amino acids. Each amino acid, or monomer, combines to create a protein, or the polymer. Specifically, proteins fall into the biopolymer category and make up most living organisms. Amino acids themselves are built from a carbon bonded to four different groups:
- Hydrogen (-H)
- Amino group (-NH2)
- Carboxyl group (-COOH)
- A side chain
Amino acids link via dehydration to form a peptide bond, which is also known as a polypeptide. Some proteins contain only a single polypeptide chain, while others include combinations of polypeptides.