Search databaseBooksAll DatabasesAssemblyBiocollectionsBioProjectBioSampleBioSystemsBooksClinVarConserved DomainsdbGaPdbVarGeneGenomeGEO DataSetsGEO ProfilesGTRHomoloGeneIdentical Protein web CatalogNucleotideOMIMPMCPopSetProteinProtein ClustersProtein household ModelsPubChem BioAssayPubChem CompoundPubChem SubstancePubMedSNPSRAStructureTaxonomyToolKitToolKitAllToolKitBookgh Bookshelf. A business of the nationwide Library the Medicine, national Institutes of Health.

You are watching: In an alpha helix, the coiling is stabilized by

StatPearls . Sweetheart Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-.


Biochemistry, second Protein Structure

Ibraheem Rehman; Mustafa Farooq; Salome Botelho.

Author Information


Nearly every role in living beings counts on proteins. They account for 50% of the dried mass that cells and play a function in every little thing an biology does. Over there are countless different species of proteins. Different proteins deserve to play a role in increasing chemical reactions, storage, defense, cell communication, movement, and structural support. Humans have tens of thousands of proteins in your bodies at any type of given minute in time. Every of these proteins has actually its own structure and also function. They are well-known as the most structurally facility biological molecules. As diverse as they have the right to be, they space all made up of the very same 20 amino acids. By forming peptide bonds in between the amino and carboxyl teams on two various amino acids, big polypeptide chains deserve to be created.<1>

Every protein deserve to be defined according to its primary structure, second structure, tertiary structure, and also quaternary structure. In brief, main structure is the linear chain of amino acids. Second structure is made up of areas stabilized by hydrogen bonds between atoms in the polypeptide backbone. Tertiary structure is the three-dimensional form of the protein figured out by regions stabilized through interactions in between the next chains. Quaternary structure is the association in between two or much more polypeptides, however not every protein has a quaternary structure.<2><3>


The second structure occurs from the hydrogen bond formed between atoms of the polypeptide backbone. The hydrogen bonds form between the partially an unfavorable oxygen atom and the partially optimistic nitrogen atom. The is far-reaching to point out the the just hydrogen bonds connected in secondary structure carry out not include any involving amino mountain side chains. Many proteins have actually segments of your polypeptide chain that space either coiled or urgently in trends that add to the protein’s shape. Numerous of this coils and also folds repeat so regularly that they have been provided names. 2 folds that room extremely usual in biochemistry space the alpha-helix and the beta-pleated sheet.

The alpha-helix is a right-handed helical coil that is organized together by hydrogen bonding in between every 4th amino acid. Countless globular proteins have actually multiple alpha-helical portions separated by lengthy stretches that non-helical regions. Part fibrous proteins, including alpha-keratin, room almost completely comprised that alpha-helices. Fingernails and also toenails are likewise made up of alpha-helices. Transmembrane proteins contain alpha-helices with details hydrophobic properties allowing them come traverse membranes and also be secure within the cell membrane. Exterior the membrane, the transmembrane proteins adopt a non-helical structure and also many time the alpha-helix is damaged by a proline residue.

The various other common secondary structure is the beta-pleated sheet. In this structure, two different regions that a polypeptide chain lie next by side and also are bound by hydrogen bonds. They comprise the main point of plenty of globular proteins. The two varieties of beta-pleated sheets space parallel beta-pleated sheets and antiparallel beta-pleated sheets. The finish of a polypeptide chain have the right to either be the N-terminus or the C-terminus. The N-terminus is the end that has the free amino group, and the C-terminus is the end that contains the complimentary carboxyl group. If two beta-strands operation in the very same direction, climate it is a parallel beta-pleated sheet, and also if they run in the contrary directions, then it is one antiparallel beta-pleated sheet.

Another less frequently known an additional structure is the beta-barrel. This framework is created of antiparallel beta-strands, and also it is twisted and also coiled right into a barrel so that the first strand hydrogen bonds to the last strand. Plenty of times, beta-barrels can be found in protein that span the membrane. One common example is aquaporins, i m sorry selectively enable water molecules in and out the a cabinet while preventing the passage of other solutes and ions. Also, that is crucial to note that the hydrogen bonds in between the binding atoms room weak, however the summation of every the hydrogen bonds allows the framework to keep its shape.

Clinical Significance

Changes in protein structure can lead come a range of diseases. The second structure that a protein deserve to be altered by one of two people a mutation in the major sequence the amino mountain that consist of the protein or through extreme conditions that force the proteins to denature or shed their shape. Prion diseases, also known as spongiform encephalopathies, and also Amyloidosis room two great of condition involving alters in the an additional structure of proteins. Both show off the misfolding of proteins right into Beta sheets, and the visibility of these proteins resulting in tissue damage. If also one amino mountain is readjusted in the primary sequence the a protein, the an additional structure the a protein have the right to be dramatically affected. Many genetic diseases can it is in linked back to a protein that does not have the framework it should. One together genetic condition is a sickle-cell disease, in which one glutamic acid amino acid is replaced with a valine amino acid. <4>

Spongiform Encephalopathies

Four spongiform encephalopathies to be conscious of are: Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease, variant Creutzfeldt- Jakob condition due come bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Kuru, and also fatal familial insomnia. The pathophysiology that prion illness involves the counter of regular cellular Prion protein (PrPc) indigenous a greatly alpha-helical structure into a disease-causing form, through a beta pleated an additional structure, known as PrP scrapies (PrPsc). The Beta- pleated type is nondegradable and also engages in a cycle bring about the conversion of usually folded prion protein in the pathologic misfolded form. The pathologic type causes damages to neurons and also glial cells, resulting in the formation of intracellular vacuoles. The switch itself deserve to be sporadic, inherited, ortransfer . <5>

The most typical prion disease is Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease. The disease itself is generally sporadic yet can occur as result of exposure to human tissue infected v prions. Variant Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease is connected to intake of meat from cattle having a prion disease known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease. Fatal familial insomnia is due to an inheritance that a mutated type of prion protein and also leads to sever insomnia and an exaggerated startle response. Kuru is atransfer kind of prion an illness noted in tribal populaces that practice cannibalism.<6><7><8>


Amyloidosis deserve to be classified together systemic, involving plenty of organ systems, or localized to a single organ.

Systemic amyloidosis can further be classified as major or second amyloidosis. Primary amyloidosis specifically requires deposition that AL amyloid, acquired from misfolded immunoglobulin irradiate chains.  Secondary amyloidosis involves deposition that AA amyloid, i beg your pardon is derived from misfolded serum amyloid-associated protein (SAA). Serum amyloid- associated protein is classified as an acute-phase reactant and is increased in chronic inflammatory states, such together those in neoplastic states, and in Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). Enhanced levels that the protein have the right to lead to its deposition as AA amyloid systemically. The clinical snapshot of systemic amyloidosis is widespread because of the systemic nature of the disease. <9><10>

A range of forms of localized amyloidosis exist. One come be mindful of is Alzheimer"s disease. 

Alzheimer"s condition involves the deposition the Beta-amyloid in the brain, resulting in the formation of amyloid plaques. This misfolded protein is obtained from Beta-amyloid precursor protein, the gene for which have the right to be uncovered on chromosome 21. A huge proportion that patients through Down Syndrome, or trisomy 21, construct early-onset Alzheimer"s disease. <11><12>

Sickle cabinet Disease 

As stated, a slight readjust in the main structure of a protein can lead to alters in the protein’s shape and also function. Sickle-cell disease is one inherited blood disorder that is brought about by the substitution the one amino acid for another. A nonpolar valine is substituted because that a charged glutamic mountain at the 6th amino acid place in the framework of hemoglobin- frequently referred to as an E6V mutation. Hemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen carry protein in red blood cells, whose role is to transport oxygen native the lungs to the tissues. This protein is composed of 4 polypeptide chains, two of which are alpha-subunits and also two of which room beta-subunits. Sickle-cell hemoglobin has actually normal alpha-subunits, however their beta-subunits space abnormally folded. This abnormal form leads come hydrophobic reactions that bring about aggregation right into a fiber and greatly mitigate the volume for oxygen transport. Furthermore, the fibers of sickle-cell hemoglobin deform red blood cells into a sickle shape.

See more: 4/16 As A Percent Value? What Is 4/16 As A Percentage


Pain is the most common symptom the sickle cell an illness because the angular cells deserve to clog tiny blood vessels, impeding blood flow. These symptoms have the right to be reduced and sometimes avoided by drink plenty that water, staying clear of places v high altitude, and avoiding places with short oxygen levels. Unfortunately, the symptom of the sickle-cell disease usually worsen v time. In the most extreme cases, even blindness have the right to be caused because of a lack of oxygen in the eye. This example is a dramatic explanation of how a adjust in one amino acid deserve to lead come a change in protein shape and also have a devastating effect ~ above the stays of certain individuals.<14>