Peptides are known as short chains that are made of amino acids. On the other hand, amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins alongside several different varying types of organic chemicals. Typically, peptides are created when proteins get digested in the body. This means that they are usually readily available for absorption by the bloodstream. Peptides can, however, be manufactured outside the body like hormones, neurotransmitters as well as pain relievers. Companies like vulcanchem have succeeded in the manufacture of high-quality peptides. In this post, we discuss the different classes of peptides and their functions in the body at length.
Classes of Peptides
It is scientifically challenging to classify different peptides into various classifications because a single peptide can belong to more than one group simultaneously. However, with great difficulty, scientists have come up with the following classes of peptides according to functions;
- Peptides that work as hormones
This is the most common group of peptides. These types of peptides act as messenger molecules that are used to aid in cellular communication. Hormone peptides are secreted and synthesized by unique groups of cells. These cells are known as endocrine glands. After their production, the hormone peptides are transported to the specific organs where they perform their function.
- Peptides that work as neurotransmitters
This type of peptides is known as neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are found in the central and peripheral nervous systems in the body. This type of peptides has unique functions. Two of the main tasks of neuropeptides is that they work as inhibitors as well as exciters. One primary example of a neuropeptide is endorphin. Endorphin acts as a painkiller as well as an inhibitor of other neuropeptides.
Classes of peptides according to their structure
Dipeptides are peptides that are formed by two amino acids that are linked by a single peptide bond. Examples of dipeptides are carnosine and anserine.
Tripeptides are peptides that are formed by three amino acids that are linked by two peptide bonds. Examples of tripeptides are glutathione and ophthalmic acid.
Polypeptides are peptides that are formed when a peptide bond combines more than twenty amino acids. Examples of such peptides are insulin and growth hormones.
Oligopeptides are compounds that are formed following the combination of more than two and less than twenty amino acids. The amino acids have to be linked by a peptide bond. Examples of oligopeptides are tetrapeptide amanitin.
Functions of Peptides
- Peptides act as transporters as they allow substances to pass through the cell membrane into the cells.
- They also act as enzymes as they speed up the reactions involves in several processes, including the process of food digestion.
- Peptides are also essential structural elements in the body. They contribute to the shape and the strength of bones and muscles hence protecting vital organs in the body.
Peptides also assist in maintaining the health of the skin. They achieve this by relaxing certain types of facial wrinkles, stimulating the deeper layers of the skin and encourages the skin to heal wounds faster.