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Body Chemistry: Role of Peptides


Many people have heard of peptides but they do not really know what they are. Peptides are proteins which contain amino acids. These amino acids come in either short or long chains and as you know, amino acids are the basic elements of protein.

In short, a peptide is a chemical compound consisting of two or more amino acids which are held together by a peptide bond. This bond is what links one amino acid of nitrogen atom to another amino acid of carboxyl carbon atom. The aim of protein bond is to provide stability. Peptides are categorized into two types; they can either be synthetic peptides such as peptides from American Science Labs or natural peptides – those found in foods, and almost anything “alive.” Peptide bond comes into existence when a water molecule is eliminated.

Classes of Peptides

The number of amino acid residues is what is used to classify the peptides. This chemical compound can be classified into dipeptides which are composed of two amino acids linked together by a single bond. Polypeptide is simply a lengthy chain of undividable amino acids which are linked together by peptide bonds that are not referred as proteins due to their not complex enough nature.

Another class of peptide is the tripeptides which consist of three amino acids joined together by two peptide bonds and the list goes on and on. The human body needs all the peptides for it to perform functions efficiently and since amino acids is what produces peptides, production and intake of amino acids is essential.


Peptides play numerous functions in the body such as formation of antibiotics which are crucial for your hormones and immune system that are responsible for controlling everything including sexual and growth development. Peptide also produces enzymes which help the body to destroy foreign substance. Some peptides are known to act as hormones and others as neurotransmitters. Some of the other uses of peptide include:-

  1. a) Controlling and influencing body reactions

This chemical compound is responsible for regulating how your body reacts to physical exercise as well as diet. The body needs sufficient amino acid in order to produce the human growth hormone. Insufficient absorption of amino acid lowers the production of this hormone. Without the human growth hormone it is impossible for a sportsperson to meet athlete target. The hormone is responsible for performing as well as recovering body tissues.

  1. b) Diagnostic purposes

Synthetic peptides designed to change color depending on specific conditions can be used for the purpose of diagnosing. For instance, substrate of chromogenic peptide can be used to readily diagnose the presence or absence of the enzymes that are responsible for controlling blood clotting and blood pressure. The c peptide also detects the level of insulin which is used to decide the cause of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar problem).

Insulin assists the body to use and regulate the level of glucose in the blood. The quantity of c-peptide present in the blood is used of detect the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas. However, the blood sugar in your body is not affected by c-peptide. A high or normal level of c-peptide can cause type II diabetes. Your doctor may recommend a c-peptide examination when diabetes has been detected with no clarity on whether it is type I or type II diabetes. If your body fails to produce insulin due to type I diabetes you will experience a low level of c-peptide.

Role of Synthetic Peptide

Synthetic peptides are used to develop new hormones, such as CJC-1295, IGF1-LR3 and immunogens and vaccines that are peptide-based. They also help to study the connection between activity and structure of peptides and proteins that are biologically active and establish their molecular system. Synthetic peptide also verifies the mechanism of natural peptides as dictated by degradation techniques.

Formation of Peptide Bond

The peptide bond is formed through a process known as condensation reaction. This reaction involves two molecules linking together and releasing a molecule of water. The reverse of this process is termed as hydrolysis reaction. In order to add a water molecule, the original molecule is broken into two. Hydrolysis and formation of peptide bond generally involves addition and loss of molecule water.


Every living thing produces peptide naturally. If there is no peptide in the living cell, then life would be impossible. Peptide is produced naturally but if in other cases due to various factors, you may fail to produce this chemical compound naturally and the peptide can be synthesized.