Signal transduction mechanisms whereby calcium mobilization (from outside the cell or from intracellular storage pools) to the cytoplasm is triggered by external stimuli. Calcium signals are often seen to propagate as waves, oscillations, spikes, sparks, or puffs. The calcium acts as an intracellular messenger by activating calcium-responsive proteins.
Voltage-dependent cell membrane glycoproteins selectively permeable to calcium ions. They are categorized as L-, T-, N-, P-, Q-, and R-types based on the activation and inactivation kinetics, ion specificity, and sensitivity to drugs and toxins. The L- and T-types are present throughout the cardiovascular and central nervous systems and the N-, P-, Q-, & R-types are located in neuronal tissue.
Calcium compounds used as food supplements or in food to supply the body with calcium. Dietary calcium is needed during growth for bone development and for maintenance of skeletal integrity later in life to prevent osteoporosis.
A salt used to replenish calcium levels, as an acid-producing diuretic, and as an antidote for magnesium poisoning.
Calcium Channels, L-Type
Long-lasting voltage-gated CALCIUM CHANNELS found in both excitable and nonexcitable tissue. They are responsible for normal myocardial and vascular smooth muscle contractility. Five subunits (alpha-1, alpha-2, beta, gamma, and delta) make up the L-type channel. The alpha-1 subunit is the binding site for calcium-based antagonists. Dihydropyridine-based calcium antagonists are used as markers for these binding sites.
The calcium salt of oxalic acid, occurring in the urine as crystals and in certain calculi.
Calcium Channels, N-Type
A chelating agent relatively more specific for calcium and less toxic than EDETIC ACID.
Calcium Channel Agonists
Agents that increase calcium influx into calcium channels of excitable tissues. This causes vasoconstriction in VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE and/or CARDIAC MUSCLE cells as well as stimulation of insulin release from pancreatic islets. Therefore, tissue-selective calcium agonists have the potential to combat cardiac failure and endocrinological disorders. They have been used primarily in experimental studies in cell and tissue culture.
An ionophorous, polyether antibiotic from Streptomyces chartreusensis. It binds and transports CALCIUM and other divalent cations across membranes and uncouples oxidative phosphorylation while inhibiting ATPase of rat liver mitochondria. The substance is used mostly as a biochemical tool to study the role of divalent cations in various biological systems.
A calcium salt that is used for a variety of purposes including: building materials, as a desiccant, in dentistry as an impression material, cast, or die, and in medicine for immobilizing casts and as a tablet excipient. It exists in various forms and states of hydration. Plaster of Paris is a mixture of powdered and heat-treated gypsum.
A polypeptide hormone (84 amino acid residues) secreted by the PARATHYROID GLANDS which performs the essential role of maintaining intracellular CALCIUM levels in the body. Parathyroid hormone increases intracellular calcium by promoting the release of CALCIUM from BONE, increases the intestinal absorption of calcium, increases the renal tubular reabsorption of calcium, and increases the renal excretion of phosphates.
The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).
A metallic element that has the atomic symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and atomic weight 24.31. It is important for the activity of many enzymes, especially those involved in OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION.
S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
A calbindin protein found in many mammalian tissues, including the UTERUS, PLACENTA, BONE, PITUITARY GLAND, and KIDNEYS. In intestinal ENTEROCYTES it mediates intracellular calcium transport from apical to basolateral membranes via calcium binding at two EF-HAND MOTIFS. Expression is regulated in some tissues by VITAMIN D.
Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel
A tetrameric calcium release channel in the SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM membrane of SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS, acting oppositely to SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM CALCIUM-TRANSPORTING ATPASES. It is important in skeletal and cardiac excitation-contraction coupling and studied by using RYANODINE. Abnormalities are implicated in CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS and MUSCULAR DISEASES.
Calcium Metabolism Disorders
Disorders in the processing of calcium in the body: its absorption, transport, storage, and utilization.
Intracellular fluid from the cytoplasm after removal of ORGANELLES and other insoluble cytoplasmic components.
Lanthanum. The prototypical element in the rare earth family of metals. It has the atomic symbol La, atomic number 57, and atomic weight 138.91. Lanthanide ion is used in experimental biology as a calcium antagonist; lanthanum oxide improves the optical properties of glass.
An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.
Calcium Channels, P-Type
CALCIUM CHANNELS located within the PURKINJE CELLS of the cerebellum. They are involved in stimulation-secretion coupling of neurons.
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol K, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39.10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.
A heat-stable, low-molecular-weight activator protein found mainly in the brain and heart. The binding of calcium ions to this protein allows this protein to bind to cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases and to adenyl cyclase with subsequent activation. Thereby this protein modulates cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP levels.
A class of G-protein-coupled receptors that react to varying extracellular CALCIUM levels. Calcium-sensing receptors in the PARATHYROID GLANDS play an important role in the maintenance of calcium HOMEOSTASIS by regulating the release of PARATHYROID HORMONE. They differ from INTRACELLULAR CALCIUM-SENSING PROTEINS which sense intracellular calcium levels.
Calcium Channels, Q-Type
CALCIUM CHANNELS located in the neurons of the brain.
Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors
Chemical agents that increase the permeability of biological or artificial lipid membranes to specific ions. Most ionophores are relatively small organic molecules that act as mobile carriers within membranes or coalesce to form ion permeable channels across membranes. Many are antibiotics, and many act as uncoupling agents by short-circuiting the proton gradient across mitochondrial membranes.
A vitamin that includes both CHOLECALCIFEROLS and ERGOCALCIFEROLS, which have the common effect of preventing or curing RICKETS in animals. It can also be viewed as a hormone since it can be formed in SKIN by action of ULTRAVIOLET RAYS upon the precursors, 7-dehydrocholesterol and ERGOSTEROL, and acts on VITAMIN D RECEPTORS to regulate CALCIUM in opposition to PARATHYROID HORMONE.
Calcium Channels, R-Type
CALCIUM CHANNELS located in the neurons of the brain. They are inhibited by the marine snail toxin, omega conotoxin MVIIC.
Intracellular messenger formed by the action of phospholipase C on phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, which is one of the phospholipids that make up the cell membrane. Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate is released into the cytoplasm where it releases calcium ions from internal stores within the cell's endoplasmic reticulum. These calcium ions stimulate the activity of B kinase or calmodulin.
Bone and Bones
A methylxanthine naturally occurring in some beverages and also used as a pharmacological agent. Caffeine's most notable pharmacological effect is as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing alertness and producing agitation. It also relaxes SMOOTH MUSCLE, stimulates CARDIAC MUSCLE, stimulates DIURESIS, and appears to be useful in the treatment of some types of headache. Several cellular actions of caffeine have been observed, but it is not entirely clear how each contributes to its pharmacological profile. Among the most important are inhibition of cyclic nucleotide PHOSPHODIESTERASES, antagonism of ADENOSINE RECEPTORS, and modulation of intracellular calcium handling.
An adenine nucleotide containing three phosphate groups esterified to the sugar moiety. In addition to its crucial roles in metabolism adenosine triphosphate is a neurotransmitter.
The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.
A calcium channel blocker with marked vasodilator action. It is an effective antihypertensive agent and differs from other calcium channel blockers in that it does not reduce glomerular filtration rate and is mildly natriuretic, rather than sodium retentive.
The normality of a solution with respect to HYDROGEN ions; H+. It is related to acidity measurements in most cases by pH = log 1/2[1/(H+)], where (H+) is the hydrogen ion concentration in gram equivalents per liter of solution. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)
The physiologically active form of vitamin D. It is formed primarily in the kidney by enzymatic hydroxylation of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (CALCIFEDIOL). Its production is stimulated by low blood calcium levels and parathyroid hormone. Calcitriol increases intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and in concert with parathyroid hormone increases bone resorption.
Gated, ion-selective glycoproteins that traverse membranes. The stimulus for ION CHANNEL GATING can be due to a variety of stimuli such as LIGANDS, a TRANSMEMBRANE POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE, mechanical deformation or through INTRACELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS.
A methylpyrrole-carboxylate from RYANIA that disrupts the RYANODINE RECEPTOR CALCIUM RELEASE CHANNEL to modify CALCIUM release from SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM resulting in alteration of MUSCLE CONTRACTION. It was previously used in INSECTICIDES. It is used experimentally in conjunction with THAPSIGARGIN and other inhibitors of CALCIUM ATPASE uptake of calcium into SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM.
Ion Channel Gating
The opening and closing of ion channels due to a stimulus. The stimulus can be a change in membrane potential (voltage-gated), drugs or chemical transmitters (ligand-gated), or a mechanical deformation. Gating is thought to involve conformational changes of the ion channel which alters selective permeability.
Derivatives of OXALIC ACID. Included under this heading are a broad variety of acid forms, salts, esters, and amides that are derived from the ethanedioic acid structure.
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
Native, inorganic or fossilized organic substances having a definite chemical composition and formed by inorganic reactions. They may occur as individual crystals or may be disseminated in some other mineral or rock. (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed; McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases
A process leading to shortening and/or development of tension in muscle tissue. Muscle contraction occurs by a sliding filament mechanism whereby actin filaments slide inward among the myosin filaments.
Biological Transport, Active
A potent calcium channel blockader with marked vasodilator action. It has antihypertensive properties and is effective in the treatment of angina and coronary spasms without showing cardiodepressant effects. It has also been used in the treatment of asthma and enhances the action of specific antineoplastic agents.
Interstitial space between cells, occupied by INTERSTITIAL FLUID as well as amorphous and fibrous substances. For organisms with a CELL WALL, the extracellular space includes everything outside of the CELL MEMBRANE including the PERIPLASM and the cell wall.
Amino Acid Sequence
A white crystal or crystalline powder used in BUFFERS; FERTILIZERS; and EXPLOSIVES. It can be used to replenish ELECTROLYTES and restore WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE in treating HYPOKALEMIA.
Contractile activity of the MYOCARDIUM.
A system of cisternae in the CYTOPLASM of many cells. In places the endoplasmic reticulum is continuous with the plasma membrane (CELL MEMBRANE) or outer membrane of the nuclear envelope. If the outer surfaces of the endoplasmic reticulum membranes are coated with ribosomes, the endoplasmic reticulum is said to be rough-surfaced (ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM, ROUGH); otherwise it is said to be smooth-surfaced (ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM, SMOOTH). (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)
Rats, Inbred Strains
Cell Membrane Permeability
The amount of mineral per square centimeter of BONE. This is the definition used in clinical practice. Actual bone density would be expressed in grams per milliliter. It is most frequently measured by X-RAY ABSORPTIOMETRY or TOMOGRAPHY, X RAY COMPUTED. Bone density is an important predictor for OSTEOPOROSIS.
Plasma Membrane Calcium-Transporting ATPases
Electron Probe Microanalysis
Identification and measurement of ELEMENTS and their location based on the fact that X-RAYS emitted by an element excited by an electron beam have a wavelength characteristic of that element and an intensity related to its concentration. It is performed with an electron microscope fitted with an x-ray spectrometer, in scanning or transmission mode.
A chemical system that functions to control the levels of specific ions in solution. When the level of hydrogen ion in solution is controlled the system is called a pH buffer.
Products in capsule, tablet or liquid form that provide dietary ingredients, and that are intended to be taken by mouth to increase the intake of nutrients. Dietary supplements can include macronutrients, such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; and/or MICRONUTRIENTS, such as VITAMINS; MINERALS; and PHYTOCHEMICALS.
Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.
Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
A multifunctional calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase subtype that occurs as an oligomeric protein comprised of twelve subunits. It differs from other enzyme subtypes in that it lacks a phosphorylatable activation domain that can respond to CALCIUM-CALMODULIN-DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASE KINASE.
An inorganic dye used in microscopy for differential staining and as a diagnostic reagent. In research this compound is used to study changes in cytoplasmic concentrations of calcium. Ruthenium red inhibits calcium transport through membrane channels.
Protein Kinase C
An serine-threonine protein kinase that requires the presence of physiological concentrations of CALCIUM and membrane PHOSPHOLIPIDS. The additional presence of DIACYLGLYCEROLS markedly increases its sensitivity to both calcium and phospholipids. The sensitivity of the enzyme can also be increased by PHORBOL ESTERS and it is believed that protein kinase C is the receptor protein of tumor-promoting phorbol esters.
Skeletal muscle relaxant that acts by interfering with excitation-contraction coupling in the muscle fiber. It is used in spasticity and other neuromuscular abnormalities. Although the mechanism of action is probably not central, dantrolene is usually grouped with the central muscle relaxants.
An electrogenic ion exchange protein that maintains a steady level of calcium by removing an amount of calcium equal to that which enters the cells. It is widely distributed in most excitable membranes, including the brain and heart.
The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.
Type C Phospholipases
A subclass of phospholipases that hydrolyze the phosphoester bond found in the third position of GLYCEROPHOSPHOLIPIDS. Although the singular term phospholipase C specifically refers to an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINE (EC 18.104.22.168), it is commonly used in the literature to refer to broad variety of enzymes that specifically catalyze the hydrolysis of PHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOLS.
Neuronal Calcium-Sensor Proteins
A family of intracellular calcium-sensing proteins found predominately in NEURONS and PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS. They contain EF HAND MOTIFS and undergo conformational changes upon calcium-binding. Neuronal calcium-sensor proteins interact with other regulatory proteins to mediate physiological responses to a change in intracellular calcium concentration.
Low-density crystals or stones in any part of the URINARY TRACT. Their chemical compositions often include CALCIUM OXALATE, magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite), CYSTINE, or URIC ACID.
Coronary vasodilator that is an analog of iproveratril (VERAPAMIL) with one more methoxy group on the benzene ring.
Chemical agents that increase the permeability of CELL MEMBRANES to CALCIUM ions.
Flunarizine is a selective calcium entry blocker with calmodulin binding properties and histamine H1 blocking activity. It is effective in the prophylaxis of migraine, occlusive peripheral vascular disease, vertigo of central and peripheral origin, and as an adjuvant in the therapy of epilepsy.
Conversion of an inactive form of an enzyme to one possessing metabolic activity. It includes 1, activation by ions (activators); 2, activation by cofactors (coenzymes); and 3, conversion of an enzyme precursor (proenzyme or zymogen) to an active enzyme.
A condition of abnormally elevated output of PARATHYROID HORMONE (or PTH) triggering responses that increase blood CALCIUM. It is characterized by HYPERCALCEMIA and BONE RESORPTION, eventually leading to bone diseases. PRIMARY HYPERPARATHYROIDISM is caused by parathyroid HYPERPLASIA or PARATHYROID NEOPLASMS. SECONDARY HYPERPARATHYROIDISM is increased PTH secretion in response to HYPOCALCEMIA, usually caused by chronic KIDNEY DISEASES.
Striated muscle cells found in the heart. They are derived from cardiac myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, CARDIAC).
A condition caused by a deficiency of PARATHYROID HORMONE (or PTH). It is characterized by HYPOCALCEMIA and hyperphosphatemia. Hypocalcemia leads to TETANY. The acquired form is due to removal or injuries to the PARATHYROID GLANDS. The congenital form is due to mutations of genes, such as TBX1; (see DIGEORGE SYNDROME); CASR encoding CALCIUM-SENSING RECEPTOR; or PTH encoding parathyroid hormone.
A curved elevation of GRAY MATTER extending the entire length of the floor of the TEMPORAL HORN of the LATERAL VENTRICLE (see also TEMPORAL LOBE). The hippocampus proper, subiculum, and DENTATE GYRUS constitute the hippocampal formation. Sometimes authors include the ENTORHINAL CORTEX in the hippocampal formation.
The distal terminations of axons which are specialized for the release of neurotransmitters. Also included are varicosities along the course of axons which have similar specializations and also release transmitters. Presynaptic terminals in both the central and peripheral nervous systems are included.
Substances used for their pharmacological actions on any aspect of neurotransmitter systems. Neurotransmitter agents include agonists, antagonists, degradation inhibitors, uptake inhibitors, depleters, precursors, and modulators of receptor function.
The communication from a NEURON to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a SYNAPSE. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a NEUROTRANSMITTER that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES.
Specialized junctions at which a neuron communicates with a target cell. At classical synapses, a neuron's presynaptic terminal releases a chemical transmitter stored in synaptic vesicles which diffuses across a narrow synaptic cleft and activates receptors on the postsynaptic membrane of the target cell. The target may be a dendrite, cell body, or axon of another neuron, or a specialized region of a muscle or secretory cell. Neurons may also communicate via direct electrical coupling with ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES. Several other non-synaptic chemical or electric signal transmitting processes occur via extracellular mediated interactions.
An element with atomic symbol Cd, atomic number 48, and atomic weight 114. It is a metal and ingestion will lead to CADMIUM POISONING.
The mineral component of bones and teeth; it has been used therapeutically as a prosthetic aid and in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
Second Messenger Systems
Systems in which an intracellular signal is generated in response to an intercellular primary messenger such as a hormone or neurotransmitter. They are intermediate signals in cellular processes such as metabolism, secretion, contraction, phototransduction, and cell growth. Examples of second messenger systems are the adenyl cyclase-cyclic AMP system, the phosphatidylinositol diphosphate-inositol triphosphate system, and the cyclic GMP system.
Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive RIBOSOMES, transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER); AMINO ACYL T RNA SYNTHETASES; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs (RNA, MESSENGER). Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)
Phosphorus used in foods or obtained from food. This element is a major intracellular component which plays an important role in many biochemical pathways relating to normal physiological functions. High concentrations of dietary phosphorus can cause nephrocalcinosis which is associated with impaired kidney function. Low concentrations of dietary phosphorus cause an increase in calcitriol in the blood and osteoporosis.
RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.
Formation of stones in the KIDNEY.
EF Hand Motifs
A non-essential amino acid naturally occurring in the L-form. Glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.
A CALCIUM and CALMODULIN-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is composed of the calcineurin A catalytic subunit and the calcineurin B regulatory subunit. Calcineurin has been shown to dephosphorylate a number of phosphoproteins including HISTONES; MYOSIN LIGHT CHAIN; and the regulatory subunits of CAMP-DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASES. It is involved in the regulation of signal transduction and is the target of an important class of immunophilin-immunosuppressive drug complexes.
Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.
Unstriated and unstriped muscle, one of the muscles of the internal organs, blood vessels, hair follicles, etc. Contractile elements are elongated, usually spindle-shaped cells with centrally located nuclei. Smooth muscle fibers are bound together into sheets or bundles by reticular fibers and frequently elastic nets are also abundant. (From Stedman, 25th ed)
The increase in a measurable parameter of a PHYSIOLOGICAL PROCESS, including cellular, microbial, and plant; immunological, cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive, urinary, digestive, neural, musculoskeletal, ocular, and skin physiological processes; or METABOLIC PROCESS, including enzymatic and other pharmacological processes, by a drug or other chemical.
Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.