Proteins Were Created to Catalyze the Reactions of Life

Life not only requires information, but the ability to control or catalyze chemical reactions. Proteins known as enzymes do this for all living things. Without enzymes, life would not be possible, even in the presence of DNA.

Proteins are formed from long chains of amino acids. There are approximately 20 different amino acids found in living systems. There are several important characteristics that indicate protein formation from amino acids requires information. Amino acids in living systems are all left-handed, a property called chirality. Amino acids must also be activated in order to be linked together to form proteins. Activation requires more enzymes to form the amino acid chains necessary to make proteins. Proteins must also be folded into the correct shape or they will not be functional, requiring additional information for what is the correct shape for a specific protein.

DNA and proteins work together to make a cell function normally. Changes in the DNA code called mutations can lead to changes in the amino acid sequence in proteins. Just one change in the amino acid sequence in a protein can cause diseases such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia. These mutations do not lead to more advanced organisms but to organisms less fit for survival.

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