Biochemistry and Oral Biology by A. S. Cole, J. E. Eastoe

By A. S. Cole, J. E. Eastoe

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It plays an important part in metabolic processes as a donor of methyl groups. Acid amides Also belonging to the group of amino acids with non-ionizable side chains are asparagine and glutamine, the acid amides of aspartic acid and glutamic acid respectively. Owing to the amide 38 Chapter 4: The amino acids substitution on the ß or γ group their side chains are no longer ionizable and like all but the basic and acidic amino acids they therefore come in the category of neutral amino acids. The acid amides are also found in the free form.

The maintenance of blood pH within closer limits is therefore essential for health. This close control of hydrogen ion concentration in blood is maintained by three distinct buffer systems. -_ 1)+ + H + In the physiological pH range, changes in the dissociation of proteins are due mainly to the imidazole group of histidine (page 36) which has a pKa value of 7-3. Haemoglobin, which is present at high concentration in the red blood cells, is a particularly effective buffer on account of its special properties (page 375).

The folded shapes of the globular proteins are inherently flexible and are able to undergo subtle changes which relate to their biological function. The normal biologically active form of such proteins is known as the native form and when major changes in its three-dimensional characteristics are induced by some external agent and cause a marked reduction in its biological activity, the protein is said to be denatured (page 63). The ionization of proteins Proteins in aqueous solution behave as giant polyions, with positively and negatively charged groups projecting from the molecule at various points.

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