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Definition of keratin: Their meanings, concepts and importance
Definition: keratin and its importance[Biochemistry] Albuminoidea substance rich in sulfur, which constitutes the main part of the hairs, feathers, nails, horns and hooves.
[Biochemistry] Protein rich in sulfur, which constitutes the main part of the hairs, feathers, nails, horns and hooves, and corresponds to the outermost layer of the epidermis of the skin. This substance provides strength and hardness.
Keratins are a group of fibrous proteins that are basically structured into helix . The basic structural unit of these proteins is a structure formed by four strands, called protofibrilla, in which two double-stranded helices are wound together, forming a superhelice rolled left, and both propellers are composed of two propellers dextrorotatory , i.e., rolled to the right, with some non-helical regions. This structure is maintained by Van der Waals interactions and disulfide bridges.
The Association of eight protofibrils arranged in the shape of circle or square hollow originates an upper structure, the microfibrilla, joining each other by disulfide bridges. The number of these links determines the rigidity of the substance; Therefore, products such as wool, with few intersections, are flexible and soft, while the keratins of hair and nails are very rigid.
Concept: keratin and what isKeratin is a type of protein that contributes to hardening of the surface layer of the skin and hair, feathers, hooves, horns and other derivatives. It has a high amount of sulphur and a structure that is described as secondary, since this bioproteina takes a spiral shape when folded on itself.
According to the components, it is possible to differentiate between different kinds of keratin. Alpha keratin includes monomers of cysteine that form disulfide bonds. These bridges provides an: thanks to the presence of keratin alpha, the nails and the horns of animals are so hard.
Beta keratin, on the other hand, does not have these links since it lacks cysteine. It is a protein that can not be extended, which appears in structures such as the weaving spiders fabrics.
It is important to highlight that the alpha keratin can become beta keratin. This should apply certain treatments which modify the chains and bridges of the protein, at least on a temporary basis.
Thanks to these properties, keratin hair treatments are very popular. They are used to smooth and hydrate the hair, taking the advantage of not causing damage to the scalp unlike other treatments. The application of keratin in the hair also get strengthen and repair it, avoiding breakage.
There is food, finally, that are rich in keratin, as certain yogurts and jellies. Thus benefits for skin, nails and hair can be incorporated through the diet.