Peptide: Types and functions

Peptide: Types and functions

  • Peptide (peptide bond) is amide linkage formed by the reaction between α-carboxyl group of one amino acid and α-amino group of another amino acid with the elimination of water molecule.
  • Peptide bond has partial double bond character so it is shorter than single bond and longer than double bond.
  • Peptide bond is rigid and planner.
  • The partial double bond character of peptide bond, prevent free rotation of polypeptide chain.
  • The peptide bond is ‘trans’ It never occurs in ‘cis’ configuration due to steric hindrance.
  • -COO and -NH group of peptide bond does not ionize but is polar, so it can form hydrogen bond during formation of secondary structure of proteins.

Types of peptides

1. Dipeptides:

  • Compound formed when two amino acids linked by 1 peptide bond.
  • Examples:
  • Carnosine ( β-alanyl-L-histidine)
  • Anserine (β-alanyl-N-methylhistidine)
  • Aspartame (Asparagine-phenylalanine)

2. Tripeptides

  • Compound formed when three amino acids linked by 2 peptide bond.
  • Examples;
  • Glutathione ( Glutamyl-cystinyl-glycine)
  • Opthalmic acid (L-γ-Glutamyl-α-L-amino butyrl-glycine)

3. Oligopeptides

  • Compound formed when more than 2 and less than 20 amino acids are linked by peptide bonds.
  • Examples;
  • Tetrapeptide; Tulfsin ( thrionine-lysine-proline-Arginine)
  • Endomorphin-1 ( Tyrosine-proline-tryptophan-phenylalanine)
  • Amanitin ( Decapeptide)
  • Netropsin

4. Polypeptides

  • Compound formed when more than 20 amino acids are linked by peptide bond.
  • Examples:
  • Insulin
  • Growth hormone


Functions of peptides:

i. Precursor of protein: Peptides are precursor of protein.

ii. As alkaloids: Peptides are also the constituents of alkaloids (Alkaloids are group of secondary metabolites such as Nicotin, Caffeine, Terpentine, Ergotamine etc).

iii. As Antimicrobial agent: Peptides possess antibacterial properties. Secondary metabolites of bacteria and fungi have antimicrobial activity. Eg. Penicillin G ( valine-cystein-phenylacetic acid)

iv. As Hormones: Peptides acts as hormones eg. Insulin, Somatostatin, vasopressin etc

v. Peptides also acts as growth factors. Eg. Ascorbic acid (vit. C)

vi. As anti-oxidant: Peptide functions as anti-oxidant. They scavenge free radicals. Eg. Carnosine

vii. Clinical diagnosis: hyper secretion of peptide in urine is indicator for mental state of disturbance like depression, schizophrenia etc.

viii. As structural component: peptides form long chains creating structural protein which provides support to body. Eg. Keratin, collagen

Peptide: Types and functions