Different Types of Proteins

Different Types of Proteins

Proteins are the building blocks of life. They are macromolecules consist of long chains of amino acids which are organic compounds that make up a large portion of the cells. Proteins have a lot of function in a living organism’s cell. Aside from being the “workhouse” molecules, they carry oxygen, they build tissue, they replicate DNA, they speed up metabolic reactions, they transport molecules from one place to another, etc.

Hormonal Proteins


Protein hormones are type of chemical compound produced by endocrine cells that help in controlling or regulating physiological processes. They are “messengers” that help communication between organs to coordinate certain bodily activities. Some examples of hormonal proteins are insulin, oxytocin, and somatotropin. Insulin controls blood-sugar concentration for glucose regulation. During childbirth, oxytocin stimulates contractions. The chemical is also known as the “trust” hormone. Another example is a growth hormone that fuels protein creation in cells, which is somatotropin.

Enzymatic Proteins


It is also called simply enzymes. They are often called catalysts because they accelerate chemical reactions that synthesize biological molecules. Enzymes are also called biotransformation because all chemical reactions that take place in a living organism depend on their catalytic actions. Lactase is one example that breaks down lactose or the sugar found in milk. Another example is pepsin that breaks down proteins in food in the stomach for digestion.

Structural Proteins


These are fibrous and stringy proteins that provide support. It is said to be the most plentiful kind of protein in nature. Its function is providing scaffolding and/or shape to the organelles of the cell. Keratin, which is probably the example which most people are familiar with, are found in the protective covering of hair, nails, skin, scales, beaks, hooves, and other protective covering of land vertebrates. Tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues are supported by collagens, which is the most abundant mammalian protein, and elastin.

Storage Proteins


Organisms, especially growing ones, use this as their biological reserve of metal ions and amino acids. Storage proteins are present in plant seeds, egg whites, and milk. The proteins found in egg whites are called ovalbumin. Casein is the ones which are found in milks. Another example is ferritin which is found in hemoglobin and stores iron.

Transport Proteins


One type is carrier proteins which transport ions, small molecules, and macromolecules to another place around the body. They have fundamental roles in the functioning of nerve cells. Another type of transport protein is channel proteins which is where solute pass through to get across a membrane. Hemoglobin is an example of carrier protein which transports oxygen via red blood cells. Another is cytochromes which are electron carrier proteins which operate in electron transport chain.

Receptor Proteins


Receptor proteins are molecules in the cell or on its surface that bind ligands that receive signals from the outside. They participate in signal transduction, cellular signaling, gene regulation, and regulation of metabolic process of cell. Receptor proteins can be located in cytoplasm, cell membrane, or nuclear membrane.



These are the proteins responsible for muscular movements. They generate force for muscle contraction. Examples are actin and myosin, which are part of thin filament and thick filament respectively, both of them are involved in muscle contraction and movement.



Immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, are specialized proteins produced by plasma cells or white blood cells. They are glycoprotein molecules responsible for defending the body from foreign invaders or antigens. They are a critical part of the immune system that travels through the bloodstream. They recognize or identify antigens, such as bacteria and viruses, and counteract them. One way is by immobilizing them, and then white blood cells will destroy them.

Animal Protein


Animal proteins are the most similar to the ones found in human body. They contain all or almost all the necessary amino acids that the body needs to produce proteins. They are considered to be complete since they have the essential amino acids while plant proteins do not. Sources of this kind of protein are chicken, beef, or pork meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy.

Vegetable Protein


Unlike animal proteins, these kinds of proteins are said to be incomplete. If animal proteins contain all of the needed amino acids of human, proteins from plants lack one or two.

Meat Protein


These are proteins are found in animal flesh that is known to help in building muscles.

Poultry Protein


Proteins found in poultry animals that are good for diet of younger people.

Fish Protein


Fish is one of the most important sources of protein. Every 100 grams of it contains 22g of protein.

Pork Protein


This is one of the best sources of protein. Every 100g of meat of domestic pig contains 27g of protein.

Milk Protein

Milk is a liquid dairy product that comes from mammary glands of animals. It is a good source of protein, different types of milk contains 3-5g of protein for every 100g on average. However, powdered milk contains more at 26g of protein for every 100g.

Whey Protein



Whey protein comes from cow milk. It consists 20% of cow milk and the other 80% is casein protein. During cheese production, the casein protein makes up the cheese and the whey protein is the liquid part that is left.

Egg Protein


100g of egg contains approximately 13g of protein. More than 50% of it is found in the egg white.

Soy Protein


As said earlier, proteins from vegetable lack one or two essential amino acids. But some sources claim that soy protein is complete but only contains small amount of what the other vegetable protein is lacking.

Chlorella Protein


Chlorella is a single-celled algae that is found in fresh water. Like spirulina, it is now used as a food supplement because of its various health benefits. It contains higher amount of protein compared to spirulina.

Hemp Seed Protein


The hemp plant comes from the cannabis family, its seed is grinded and that is where the protein comes from. It contains all of the 21 known amino acids, 9 of which the human body cannot produce on its own.

Cyanobacterial Protein, Spirulina


Cyanobacteria, also called ‘cyanophyta’, are photosynthetic bacteria that live in water, and can produce their own food. The name comes from the color of the bacteria which is blue-green. Spirulina is one type of cyanobacteria that is now used as a dietary supplement because of its health benefits. Spirulina contains high amount of many nutrients and has many proven health benefits: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, lower bad cholesterol, anti-cancer, and lower blood pressure just to name a few.

Rice Protein


It is taken from brown rice by treating in with enzymes to separate protein from carbohydrates. Some vegetarians use this as an alternative to whey or soy protein.

Pea Protein


Pea protein is extracted from yellow pea, it is tasteless and used as a food additive.


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