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A list of highly toxic proteins or peptides would also include the venoms of many snakes, and ricin, the toxic protein found in castor beans.Despite the variety of their physiological function and differences in physical properties--silk is a flexible fiber, horn a tough rigid solid, and the enzyme pepsin water soluble crystals--proteins are sufficiently similar in molecular structure to warrant treating them as a single chemical family.In the form of skin, hair, callus, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments, proteins hold together, protect, and provide structure to the body of a multi-celled organism.
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In the form of hemoglobin, myoglobin and various lipoproteins, they effect the transport of oxygen and other substances within an organism. Protein based antibiotics and vaccines help to fight disease, and we warm and protect our bodies with clothing and shoes that are often protein in nature (e.g. The deadly properties of protein toxins and venoms is less widely appreciated.
Botulinum toxin A, from , is regarded as the most powerful poison known.
We start in the nucleus, the control centre of the cell, before zooming in to find the chromosomes made of DNA and containing the protein-coding genes.
We then begin making a protein by exploring the genes being switched on and off.
The distinction between proteins and peptides is their size.
Peptides are in a sense small proteins, having molecular weights less than 10,000.
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