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Secondary and tertiary levels of protein structure Animation

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HWC

Amino acid sequence dictates a protein's final shape. The presence of certain amino acids favors a pattern of hydrogen bonding that causes part of the polypeptide chain to coil and twist into an alpha helix. The presence of other amino acids enables hydrogen bonding between strand like regions of a chain. This results in a beta sheet. The alpha helix and the beta sheet are the two most important types of secondary structure. Interactions among R groups cause adjacent coils or strands to fold up into one to dozens of compact domains. We call domain formation the protein's tertiary structure.

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