We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Globular Proteins?

By Greer Hed
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Globular proteins, also known as spheroproteins, are proteins formed by compacted amino acid chains, which are folded into intricate shapes that often roughly resemble spheres. This type of protein represents one of the three major protein groups. The two other groups are fibrous proteins, which are primarily structural proteins, and membrane proteins, which are usually found attached to the membranes of cells and their organelles. A key difference between globular and fibrous proteins is that the former type is usually soluble in water, and therefore in blood plasma, while the latter type is not. Globular protein molecules can play many roles: they can be enzymes, biological messengers and transport mechanisms, and they may also be found acting as structural proteins within animal cells.

Almost all enzymes are globular proteins that vary in size, shape, and complexity. The role of enzymes in biochemistry is to act as catalysts, substances that speed or slow the rate of chemical reactions. Some common examples are amylase and lactase. Amylase is found in the saliva of humans, where it aids the digestive process by breaking starches down into simpler sugars. Lactase is the enzyme that allows humans to digest lactose; individuals with insufficient levels of this enzyme are often lactose intolerant.

This type of protein acts as biological messengers in the form of peptide hormones, which play an important role in metabolism, growth and development. Some peptide hormones of note are prolactin and insulin. Prolactin is secreted by the pituitary gland and triggers the production of breast milk in a nursing mother. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and aids in the body's ability to regulate energy and metabolize sugars.

Another important function of globular proteins is to act as biological transport mechanisms, usually in the forms of globulin and serum albumin. These two molecules are serum proteins, also called blood proteins, found within the blood plasma of living animals. A familiar form of globulin is hemoglobin, which is synthesized within red blood cells and transports oxygen throughout the body. Serum albumin, or simply albumin, is produced by the liver and transports fatty acids and hemin, an iron-rich organic compound that gives red blood cells their characteristic color.

Although these proteins are most often messenger or transporter proteins, they can also play a structural role within animal cells. One known as tubulin is responsible for the production of microtubules in cells. Microtubules are vital components of the cytoskeleton, a sort of scaffold within the cytoplasm that allows the cell to maintain its shape and structure. Globular proteins called structure motifs are also found within the cell membrane, where they again contribute to the cell's structure.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.