Proteins are large molecules that make up cells in the human body. There are two basic types of proteins. Some form the structure of cells – you can think of these proteins as building blocks that are put together to make cells. Others carry out certain functions within the cell – you can think of these proteins as small machines inside your body. The dysferlin protein is one of these machines, and scientists think that its job is to help fix any holes in the membrane (the outer wall) of the cell.
All proteins, both building blocks and machines, are actually long chains that are folded up into three-dimensional shapes. Each protein chain is made up of connected links called amino acids. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids, each with a slightly different shape. The different kinds of amino acids are strung together in a specific sequence to form a protein chain. The exact sequence of these amino acids in the protein is very important for the protein to fold up correctly and to carry out its proper function in the cell.