The Biochemistry of Movement > 9.7.4. Proteins are used as both structural molecules and enzymes to catalyse metabolic reactions > The Process of Protein Denaturation >
Account for the process of protein denaturation
- Denaturation of proteins occurs when some or all of the forces holding the protein together are disrupted.
- Denaturation reactions are not strong enough to disrupt peptide bonds, so the primary structure will remain intact. They only affect secondary and tertiary structures.
- Many different environments and reagents can cause denaturation. This can be through the application of heat, adding acids or bases, adding another alcohol, and other methods.
- Adding heat: an example for this is sterilising medical equipment. Medical supplies and equipment used in surgeries or procedures are exposed to extreme heat in order to denature the proteins in bacteria, killing them.