Short chains of between two and fifty amino acids, linked by peptide bonds / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Peptides (from Ancient Greek πεπτός (peptós) 'digested', from πέσσειν (péssein) 'to digest') are short chains of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. A polypeptide is a longer, continuous, unbranched peptide chain. Polypeptides which have a molecular mass of 10,000 Da or more are called proteins. Chains of fewer than twenty amino acids are called oligopeptides, and include dipeptides, tripeptides, and tetrapeptides.
Peptides fall under the broad chemical classes of biological polymers and oligomers, alongside nucleic acids, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, and others.
Proteins consist of one or more polypeptides arranged in a biologically functional way, often bound to ligands such as coenzymes and cofactors, to another protein or other macromolecule such as DNA or RNA, or to complex macromolecular assemblies.
Amino acids that have been incorporated into peptides are termed residues. A water molecule is released during formation of each amide bond. All peptides except cyclic peptides have an N-terminal (amine group) and C-terminal (carboxyl group) residue at the end of the peptide (as shown for the tetrapeptide in the image).