What is the primary structure of a protein?
The primary structure of a protein is the specific linear sequence of amino acids forming the protein. The amino acids are joined by covalent peptide bonds. Tertiary structure, producing the unique structure of a protein, is stabilized by interactions among the R groups on each amino acid in the protein. Tertiary structure may be stabilized by covalent bonds, called disulfide bridges, that form between the sulfhydryl groups (SH) of two cysteine monomers. Tertiary structure may also be stabilized by weaker interactions, including hydrogen bonds between polar and/or charged areas, ionic bonds between charged R groups, and hydrophobic interactions and van der Waals interactions among hydrophobic R groups.