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Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins:

Amino acids and chains of amino acids connected by peptide linkages.

Amino Acids:

Organic compounds that generally contain an amino (-NH2) and a carboxyl (-COOH) group. Twenty alpha-amino acids are the subunits, which are polymerized to form proteins.

Peptides:

Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.

Proteins:

Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, cross-linked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.