Definition of Denaturation

Denaturation is a process in which the molecular structure of a compound i.e. proteins, nucleic acids, etc. is modified. This involves the breaking of all those weak bonds which have otherwise retained the highly ordered structure of those proteins and nucleic acids.


The denaturation takes place due to the action of heat, strong acids or bases, inorganic salts, radiations, etc. In this way, the secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures of the proteins are lost and their basic function is ceased. Denatured proteins do not have a 3D structure instead have a loose random conformation and they become insoluble.

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