Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_640-1



Protein is a biomolecule consist of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and a small amount of sulfur with a chain of amino acids forming a complex folded and functional structure. Protein performs several crucial functions in the living entity, such as maintenance and growth of body, transcription factor, chemical messenger, immunogenic substance, energy provider.


Protein is considered as one of the major important biomolecules included in our daily diet because of its nutritional and caloric value. The term protein, derived from the Greek word “Proteois,” means primary. The term protein was coined by Swedish chemist Jacob Berzelius in 1839. The structural and functional unit of protein is an amino acid that was unknown even after its discovery in 1830. The 20 standard amino acids are either nutritionally essential or not depending on its synthesis in our body (McCoy et al. 1935). They are coded either in single letter or in...
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of BurdwanBurdwanIndia
  2. 2.National Institute of Mental Health and NeurosciencesBangaloreIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Suzanne MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada