Protein Structures

Primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures of proteins.

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Primary Structure


 The sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide chain.


The linear shape of a polypetide chain caused by peptide bonds, disulfide bridges and Hydrogen bonds.

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Secondary Structure

The coiling of an amino acid chain into a spiral structure.


e.g. alpha helices, beta pleated sheets.


Held together by hydrogen bonds and disulfide bridges

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Tertiary Structure

The irregular folding of a polypeptide chain into a globular (3 dimensional) shape.


Held together by hydrogen bonds and disulfide bridges.

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Quaternary Structure

The association of several poylpeptide chains.


e.g. Haemoglobin- two alpha helices and two beta pleated sheets.

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