Flexi Says: Proteins play many important roles in living things. Some proteins help cells keep their shape (structural proteins), some, such as connective and motor proteins, make up muscle tissues, and some transport items in and out of cells (transport proteins). Some proteins act as signals, and other proteins receive those signals. Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions in cells. Other proteins are antibodies, which bind to foreign substances such as bacteria and target them for destruction.