1.6 Protein shapes and functions
1.6.1 Introduction to shapes and functions
Although a protein may be composed simply of a single long chain of amino acids, it does not remain as an elongated string, but folds up into a very precise shape. The three-dimensional shape of most proteins consists of a mixture of these different arrangements. However, unlike a piece of string, each molecule of the protein is, in fact, folded into precisely the same shape and that shape is crucial to its correct functioning in the body.