CiteWeb id: 19810000064

CiteWeb score: 3575

DOI: 10.1016/S0065-3233(08)60520-3

This chapter investigates the anatomy and taxonomy of protein structures. A protein is a polypeptide chain made up of amino acid residues linked together in a definite sequence. Amino acids are “handed,” and naturally occurring proteins contain only L-amino acids. A simple mnemonic for that purpose is the “corncrib.” The sequence of side chains determines all that is unique about a particular protein, including its biological function and its specific three-dimensional structure. The major possible routes to knowledge of three-dimensional protein structure are prediction from the amino acid sequence and analysis of spectroscopic measurements such as circular dichroism, laser Raman spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance. The analysis and discussion of protein structure is based on the results of three-dimensional X-ray crystallography of globular proteins. The basic elements of protein structures are discussed. The most useful level at which protein structures are to be categorized is the domain, as there are many cases of multiple-domain proteins in which each separate domain resembles other entire smaller proteins. The simplest type of stable protein structure consists of polypeptide backbone wrapped more or less uniformly around the outside of a single hydrophobic core. The outline of the taxonomy is also provided in the chapter.

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