Peptide Bond

Dive into the fascinating world of chemistry as you explore the peptide bond - a key player in the complex orchestra of biological reactions. This critical and special type of covalent bond is the linchpin holding together the amino acids in proteins. Understanding peptide bond formation, structure characteristics, its context in protein synthesis, breakage, and its impact, plus examples, provides a comprehensive picture of these crucial components of life. This article offers an in-depth look into the peptide bond, equipping you with the knowledge to appreciate chemistry in a whole new light.

Get started Sign up for free
Peptide Bond Peptide Bond

Create learning materials about Peptide Bond with our free learning app!

  • Instand access to millions of learning materials
  • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams and more
  • Everything you need to ace your exams
Create a free account

Millions of flashcards designed to help you ace your studies

Sign up for free

Convert documents into flashcards for free with AI!

Table of contents

    Understanding Peptide Bond formation

    You might be wondering what a peptide bond is and how it is formed. Don't worry, you're in the right place to find out. Let's start by understanding what exactly a peptide bond is.

    What is a Peptide Bond?

    A peptide bond, also known as an amide bond, is a covalent chemical bond formed between two molecules when the carboxyl group of one molecule reacts with the amino group of the other molecule, releasing a molecule of water (H2O).

    \[ \text{{This reaction can be summarized as:}} \] \(NH2−CHR−COOH + HOOC−CHR′−NH2 → NH2−CHR−CONH−CHR′−COOH + H2O\)

    It's interesting to note that the peptide bond is an essential component of proteins, which are vital substances found in all living cells. The word "peptide" comes from the Greek word 'peptos', which means 'digested'.

    Just to let you know, proteins are polymers of amino acids, and they are structured in a way that allows them to perform multiple functions that are fundamental to the existence of life.

    Process of formation of a Peptide Bond

    When considering the formation of a peptide bond, it's essential to understand the role of amino acids.

    Role of Amino Acid in Peptide Bond creation

    Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They contain both a carboxyl (-COOH) group and an amino (-NH2) group. When the carboxyl group of one amino acid reacts with the amino group of another, a peptide bond is formed.

    • \(-NH_{2}\) (amino group of second amino acid)
    • \(-COOH\) (carboxyl group of first amino acid)

    For instance, if you take two amino acids, glycine and alanine, the carboxyl group of glycine will react with the amino group of alanine, resulting in a peptide bond formation and a water molecule as a byproduct.

    2 Amino Acids Joined by a Peptide Bond: An Overview

    When two amino acids form a peptide bond, they create a dipeptide.

    First Amino Acid Second Amino Acid Dipeptide
    Glycine Alanine

    A dipeptide is a peptide composed of two linked amino acids. The bond between the amino acids is a peptide bond.

    Peptide Bond Structure and Characteristics

    Moving on to the structure and characteristics of peptide bonds, it's imperative to comprehend that the properties of peptide bonds are influenced by their unique structure. The understanding of this structure sheds light on the functionality of proteins in general.

    Components and Layout of the Peptide Bond Structure

    To grasp the architecture of a peptide bond, it's beneficial to know about its core constituents and their arrangement. The peptide bond is a covalent bond established between the carboxyl group of one amino acid and the amino group of another. This connection results in the release of a water molecule. The remaining structure, constituting the two linked amino acids, forms the peptide bond.

    Have a look at this reaction:

    \[ \text{{R-COOH}} (1^{st} \text{{ amino acid}}) + \text{{H2N-R’}} (2^{nd} \text{{ amino acid}}) \rightarrow \text{{R-CONH-R’}} (\text{{peptide}}) + \text{{H2O}} (\text{{water}}) \]

    The 'R' and 'R’' symbols represent the side chains of the respective amino acids. Observe that the peptide formed is devoid of any free carboxyl or amino group in the peptide bond. It may possess free carboxyl and amino groups contributed by the side chain of the participating amino acids.

    Peptide Bond Length and Geometry

    A significant characteristic of the peptide bond is its length and geometry. The peptide bond's length is about 1.32 Angstrom (\( \text{Å} \)), which is slightly shorter than the average single bond length, but longer than that of a typical double bond.

    In terms of geometry, peptide bonds are planar, with the six atoms involved in the bond \( (C'-N-C_{\alpha}-C'-O) \) lying in the same plane. This implies that rotation around the C-N bond is constrained, which influences the confirmation of the polypeptide chain.

    Double Bond Character of Peptide Bond: A Closer Look

    Here's a fascinating aspect: peptide bonds characteristically exhibit 'double bond' behaviour. This trait is mostly due to the 'resonance' or 'mesomeric' effect, where the bond oscillates between a double bond and a single bond state. This resonance provides the peptide bond with unique features, such as rigidity and planarity.

    This oscillation can be represented as:

    \[ \text{{R-CONH-R’}} (\text{{Double bond character}}) \leftrightarrow \text{{R-COH-NH-R’}} (\text{{Single bond character}}) \]

    The double bond character provides stability to the peptide bond, through a lower energy state. Thus, the peptide bond, instead of being purely single or double-bonded, may be more precisely described as being somewhere in between, having both single as well as double bond characteristics.

    Here are the main points to remember:

    • The peptide bond has a partial double bond character due to resonance.
    • A peptide bond is rigid and does not rotate.
    • The atoms in a peptide bond are arranged in a plane.

    Trans and Cis Isoforms of Peptide Bonds

    Given the double bond character of peptide bonds, they inherently exist in two isomeric forms, namely trans and cis. The trans configuration is more stable and is commonly observed in peptides and proteins. The cis configuration is rare and found only in special cases, such as in proline residues.

    Here's a glance at their occurrence:

    Trans Configuration Majority (>99%) of peptide bonds
    Cis Configuration Rare, usually in PROLINE residues

    Despite being a bit in-depth, understanding the peptide bond's structure and characteristics will undoubtedly enrich your knowledge of protein functionality in biological systems.

    Peptide Bond in the Context of Protein Synthesis

    Peptide bonds hold a special significance when it comes to the process of protein synthesis or translation. They are essentially the linking bridges between amino acids that allow for the creation of polypeptide chains, which later fold into functional proteins.

    How are Peptide Bonds formed in Protein Synthesis?

    Protein synthesis is an intriguing biochemical process facilitated by a cellular machinery known as the ribosome. Ribosomes are like the workplace where the peptide bonds are formed during this process. This happens in a systematic and well-coordinated action of tRNA, mRNA and various enzymes.

    The whole process of protein synthesis starts with the genetic code in the DNA that is transcribed into mRNA (messenger RNA). The mRNA then leaves the nucleus of the cell and travels to the cytoplasm where it interacts with ribosomes.

    Each codon on the mRNA specifies a particular amino acid, and the tRNA (transfer RNA), which carries the corresponding amino acid, pairs with the codon, guided by the anticodon on the tRNA. The action of specific enzymes facilitates the coupling of the mRNA codon and tRNA anticodon at the ribosome.

    The amino acid carried by the tRNA is transferred to the growing protein chain. It's here that the peptide bond comes into play. As a new amino acid is added to the chain, a peptide bond forms between the carboxyl group of the already attached amino acid and the amino group of the incoming amino acid. This bond formation results in a water molecule, which is removed – this is a process called dehydration synthesis. The protein chain continues to grow as more and more amino acids get added, each with the formation of a new peptide bond.

    The key steps can be summarised as follows:

    • DNA is transcribed into mRNA.
    • mRNA leaves the nucleus and goes to the cytoplasm.
    • mRNA associates with ribosomes and tRNA to start the translation process.
    • With the addition of each amino acid, a peptide bond forms and elongates the chain.

    Role of Peptide Bonds in Protein Synthesis: The Mechanism

    The role of peptide bonds in protein synthesis is not just about bridging amino acids together. It goes beyond that, influencing the characteristics and structure of the resulting protein. The sequential coupling of amino acids by peptide bonds ultimately dictates the linear sequence or the primary structure of the protein.

    During the elongation phase of protein synthesis, the peptide bond is formed in a step called peptide bond synthesis or peptide bond formation. The growing peptide chain, which is attached to the tRNA in the P site of the ribosome, moves onto the aminoacyl-tRNA in the A-site. An enzyme called peptidyl transferase, facilitates this reaction inside the ribosome.

    \[ \text{{Peptide chain-tRNA}}_{\text{{Psite}}} + \text{{amino acid-tRNA}}_{\text{{Asite}}} \rightarrow \text{{peptide chain-(amino acid)-tRNA}}_{\text{{Asite}}} \]

    It's interesting to note that the growing peptide chain remains attached to the tRNA at all stages.

    As the translation proceeds, the peptide bond imparts rigidity and planar nature to the protein backbone, which, in turn, influences the three-dimensional architecture of the protein. The unique nature of the peptide bond also contributes to the secondary structure of proteins, allowing for the formation of alpha-helices and beta-sheets.

    Here's a summarised list of the peptide bond's role:

    • Dictates the primary structure of proteins by determining the sequence of amino acids.
    • Contributes to the secondary structure by facilitating the formation of alpha-helices and beta-sheets.
    • Imparts rigidity and planar nature to the protein backbone.

    In essence, the humble peptide bond, through its creation and properties, controls the fundamental process of protein synthesis, ensuring the precise translation of genetic code into functional proteins.

    The Breakage of a Peptide Bond and Its Impacts

    Protein functions and structures are not permanent and can be altered through a mechanism called protein degradation. This involves the breakage of peptide bonds, a process integral to protein catabolism. The disruption of a peptide bond can elicit significant changes, influencing the function and structure of the protein.

    Process of Peptide Bond Breakage

    Peptide bond breakage, technically known as hydrolysis, is the reverse process of peptide bond formation. It involves the cleavage of the peptide bond by reaction with water, hence the term, 'hydrolysis' - 'hydro' for water and 'lysis' for breakage.

    The reaction is catalysed by enzymes called proteases or peptidases, which speed up the breakage process. These enzymes are adept at cleaving peptide bonds due to their ability to provide a conducive environment for the reaction.

    Proteases or peptidases are enzymes that break down proteins by hydrolysing peptide bonds between amino acids. They are essential for protein turnover and homeostasis in biological systems.

    The enzymatic reaction can be generally represented as:

    \[ \text{{Protein (polypeptide)}} + \text{{H2O}} \rightarrow \text{{Small peptides / Amino acids}} \]

    The protease cleaves the peptide bond by incorporating the hydrogen from the water molecule on the amino side of the peptide bond and by attaching the hydroxyl group to the carboxyl side of the bond.

    The process of peptide bond breakage is summarised as follows:

    • Protease recognises the specific sites on the protein substrate.
    • It cleaves the peptide bond through a hydrolysis reaction.
    • The resultant products are smaller peptides or free amino acids.

    The peptide bond breakage can either result in complete degradation of protein to its constituent amino acids or partial breakage resulting in smaller peptides.

    Consequences of Peptide Bond Breakage on Protein Structure

    The breakage of peptide bonds can significantly alter the protein's structural integrity and consequently, its functionality. Since the peptide bond forms the backbone of a protein's primary structure, its disruption inevitably leads to changes in the protein's primary, secondary, tertiary and can even influence quaternary structures.

    The protein structure is based on four different levels of organisation: Primary structure (sequence of amino acids), Secondary structure (alpha-helices and beta-sheets formed by peptide bonds), Tertiary structure (3-D folding pattern of a protein) and Quaternary structure (Aggregation of multiple polypeptide chains).

    When a peptide bond breaks, it directly affects the primary structure of the protein, disrupting the linear sequence of amino acids. This, in turn, can impact the secondary structure, destabilising molecules like alpha-helices and beta-sheets that are held by the peptide bonds.

    The collapse of secondary structures further affects the tertiary structure or the three-dimensional shape of the protein. Since the protein function is highly dependent on its 3D shape (for instance, the binding of substrates or signalling molecules to protein's specific sites), any alteration in the tertiary structure can potentially affect protein function.

    Finally, for proteins with a quaternary structure (those consisting of multiple polypeptide chains), peptide bond breakage in one chain can influence the interaction with other chains, thereby altering the overall protein structure and function.

    Importantly, protein degradation via peptide bond breakage is not necessarily a destructive process. It's a fundamental process in cellular metabolism, contributing to protein turnover, regulation of protein function, and recycling of amino acids. Irregularities in this degradation process, however, can lead to anomalous protein aggregation associated with diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.

    In summary, the critical influences of peptide bond breakage on protein structure are:

    • Directly affects the primary structure
    • Can destabilise secondary structures like alpha-helices and beta-sheets
    • Impacts the tertiary structure or 3D shape of the protein, thereby influencing protein function
    • For proteins with quaternary structure, peptide bond breakage can alter the overall protein structure and interaction between polypeptide chains

    Analysing Peptide Bond Reactions and Examples

    A clear understanding of peptide bond reactions is fundamental to comprehending biochemical processes like protein synthesis and catabolism. By unravelling the inner workings of peptide bond formation and breakage, you gain insights into the complex machinery of life at a molecular level.

    Peptide Bond Reaction Mechanism: An Explanation

    Peptide bond reactions are primarily of two types: Formation of a peptide bond and breakage of a peptide bond. These reactions, although reverse of each other, share intriguing molecular characteristics that confirm the prowess of nature's microscopic machines.

    Formation of a Peptide Bond: The Mechanism

    The formation of a peptide bond between two amino acids follows a biochemical synthesis reaction called a condensation reaction or dehydration synthesis.

    This reaction occurs when two amino acids align such that the carboxyl group (COOH) of one amino acid interacts with the amino group (NH2) of the other. The OH from the carboxyl group and the H from the amino group combine to produce a water molecule (H2O), which gets removed during the reaction. What remains at the junction of these two amino acids is a peptide bond, linking the carboxyl carbon of one amino acid with the nitrogen of the other's amino group.

    \[ \text{{NH2-CHR-COOH}} + \text{{NH2-CHR'-COOH}} \rightarrow \text{{NH2-CHR-CO-NH-CHR'-COOH}} + \text{{H2O}} \]

    Condensation reaction or Dehydration Synthesis: A type of reaction where two molecules combine to form a larger molecule, along with the loss of a smaller molecule, typically water.

    Breakage of a Peptide Bond: The Mechanism

    Breaking of a peptide bond follows a biochemical degradation reaction called hydrolysis. This reaction proceeds in a way opposite to the formation of a peptide bond.

    In this case, a water molecule is incorporated back into the bond, leading to its cleavage. The OH from the water molecule attaches to the carboxyl carbon, and the H goes to the nitrogen of the amino group. The overall process is facilitated by the action of enzymes called proteases or peptidases.

    \[ \text{{NH2-CHR-CO-NH-CHR'-COOH}} + \text{{H2O}} \rightarrow \text{{NH2-CHR-COOH}} + \text{{NH2-CHR'-COOH}} \]

    Hydrolysis: A type of reaction involving the breaking of a molecule using water where the hydrogen and hydroxyl components of water are incorporated in the resultant products.

    Understanding Peptide Bond Example in Depth

    Let's illustrate the peptide bond reaction mechanisms through an example involving the formation and breakage of a dipeptide bond between glycine and alanine, the simplest and smallest amino acids. This will help solidify your understanding of the mentioned processes.

    Formation of a peptide bond between Glycine and Alanine: Suppose we have a glycine molecule [NH2-CH2-COOH] and an alanine molecule [NH2-CH(CH3)-COOH]. The carboxyl group (COOH) of glycine and the amino group (NH2) of alanine interact, leading to the removal of a water molecule [H2O] and formation of a peptide bond between them. \[ \text{{NH2-CH2-COOH}} + \text{{NH2-CH(CH3)-COOH}} \rightarrow \text{{NH2-CH2-CO-NH-CH(CH3)-COOH}} + \text{{H2O}} \] Breakage of the peptide bond between Glycine and Alanine: Considering the dipeptide Glycine-Alanine [NH2-CH2-CO-NH-CH(CH3)-COOH], a water molecule is incorporated at the peptide bond, causing the bond to break down. The OH from water joins the carbon of glycine's carboxyl group, and the H attaches to the nitrogen of alanine's amino group. This leads to the regeneration of individual glycine and alanine amino acids. \[ \text{{NH2-CH2-CO-NH-CH(CH3)-COOH}} + \text{{H2O}} \rightarrow \text{{NH2-CH2-COOH}} + \text{{NH2-CH(CH3)-COOH}} \]

    Such detailed examples provide a more in-depth understanding of peptide bond formation and breakage, leading to a heightened appreciation for the fascinating complexities of life's machinery at a molecular level.

    Peptide Bond - Key takeaways

    • The peptide bond is a covalent bond formed between the carboxyl group of one amino acid and the amino group of another, resulting in the release of a water molecule.
    • The peptide bond is of a length approximately 1.32 Angstrom, positioning it between the typical lengths of a standard single and double bond.
    • Peptide bonds exhibit "double bond" behaviour due to a resonance effect, oscillating between a double bond and a single bond state. This gives the bond rigidity and a planar structure.
    • Peptide bonds play a significant role in protein synthesis, linking amino acids into polypeptide chains, which then fold into functional proteins.
    • Protein degradation, integral to protein catabolism, involves the breakage of peptide bonds. This can significantly alter the structure and functionality of the protein.
    Peptide Bond Peptide Bond
    Learn with 15 Peptide Bond flashcards in the free StudySmarter app

    We have 14,000 flashcards about Dynamic Landscapes.

    Sign up with Email

    Already have an account? Log in

    Frequently Asked Questions about Peptide Bond
    What is a peptide bond?
    A peptide bond is a chemical bond formed when the carboxyl group of one amino acid reacts with the amino group of another. It releases water during this process, making it a condensation reaction. This bond is crucial in biology for the formation of proteins.
    Are peptide bonds covalent?
    Yes, peptide bonds are covalent. They form when the carboxyl group of one amino acid reacts with the amino group of another, releasing a water molecule and creating a covalent bond.
    How are peptide bonds formed?
    Peptide bonds are formed between two amino acids when the carboxyl group of one amino acid interacts with the amino group of the other in a dehydration (condensation) reaction, leading to the release of a water molecule. This process requires energy.
    Where do peptide bonds form?
    Peptide bonds form between amino acids during protein synthesis. Specifically, they form between the carboxyl group of one amino acid and the amino group of another, releasing a molecule of water.
    Which is released during the formation of a peptide bond?
    During the formation of a peptide bond, a molecule of water is released. This occurs as the carboxyl group of one amino acid reacts with the amino group of another in a condensation reaction.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    What is a peptide bond?

    What are the characteristics of a peptide bond's structure and geometry?

    What is a peptide bond reaction and what are the two primary types?


    Discover learning materials with the free StudySmarter app

    Sign up for free
    About StudySmarter

    StudySmarter is a globally recognized educational technology company, offering a holistic learning platform designed for students of all ages and educational levels. Our platform provides learning support for a wide range of subjects, including STEM, Social Sciences, and Languages and also helps students to successfully master various tests and exams worldwide, such as GCSE, A Level, SAT, ACT, Abitur, and more. We offer an extensive library of learning materials, including interactive flashcards, comprehensive textbook solutions, and detailed explanations. The cutting-edge technology and tools we provide help students create their own learning materials. StudySmarter’s content is not only expert-verified but also regularly updated to ensure accuracy and relevance.

    Learn more
    StudySmarter Editorial Team

    Team Chemistry Teachers

    • 17 minutes reading time
    • Checked by StudySmarter Editorial Team
    Save Explanation Save Explanation

    Study anywhere. Anytime.Across all devices.

    Sign-up for free

    Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App

    The first learning app that truly has everything you need to ace your exams in one place

    • Flashcards & Quizzes
    • AI Study Assistant
    • Study Planner
    • Mock-Exams
    • Smart Note-Taking
    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App
    Sign up with Email

    Get unlimited access with a free StudySmarter account.

    • Instant access to millions of learning materials.
    • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams, AI tools and more.
    • Everything you need to ace your exams.
    Second Popup Banner