Structures of Proteins Essay

722 Words Nov 10th, 2008 3 Pages
Proteins are polymeric chains that are built from monomers called amino acids. All structural and functional properties of proteins derive from the chemical properties of the polypeptide chain. There are four levels of protein structural organization: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary. Primary structure is defined as the linear sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide chain. The secondary structure refers to certain regular geometric figures of the chain. Tertiary structure results from long-range contacts within the chain. The quaternary structure is the organization of protein subunits, or two or more independent polypeptide chains. The primary structure of a protein is simply the sequence of amino acids. The structure or …show more content…
There may also be sections where the secondary structure is neither helix nor sheet. Then the structure is called a random structure, indicating that it folds in random directions. The amino acids in an alpha helix are arranged in a right-handed helical structure resembling a spring. The alpha helix is the most common form of regular secondary structure in proteins. The beta-sheet is the second form of regular secondary structure in proteins consisting of beta strands connected laterally by three or more hydrogen bonds, forming a generally twisted, pleated sheet. The beta-sheet is sometimes called the beta pleated sheet since sequential neighboring atoms are alternately above and below the plane of the sheet giving a pleated appearance. Turns are the third of the three "classical" secondary structures that serve to reverse the direction of the polypeptide chain. They are located primarily on the protein surface and accordingly contain polar and charged residues. However, they are not very common in discussions of protein structure today.
The tertiary structure of a protein molecule, or of a subunit of a protein molecule, is the arrangement of all its atoms in space, without regard to its relationship with neighboring molecules or subunits. Tertiary structure is simply the grouping of different separate secondary structures, such as multiple helices or multiple sheets or a combination of helices and sheets.
The final structure of the protein is the quaternary
Open Document