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The primary structure is also known as the sequence of a protein. It is the order in which the amino acids are assembled in order to make up a specific protein. This is the level at which the information is hard coded by DNA. DNA is translated through intermediate RNA to the primary protein sequence. Proteins can be anywhere from ten to thousands of amino acids in length. A protein can be uniquely characterized by its primary sequence. How it gets from an elongated chain of specific sequence to a specific shape or fold is the issue of intense research in protein folding. The Human Genome Project and other sequencing efforts give us information about the primary structure. Since function is really determined by the fold, prediciting structure from sequence is a large priority in the biological community.

See also:

secondary structure

tertiary structure

quaternary structure

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