Alpha beta structures
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Alpha/Beta Structures. Beta strands. 3 type of Alpha/Beta structure exists Barrels Open sheets Horseshoe (I don’t believe we covered this)

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Alpha/Beta Structures

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Alpha beta structures

Alpha/Beta Structures

Beta strands

Beta strands

  • 3 type of Alpha/Beta structure exists

    • Barrels

    • Open sheets

    • Horseshoe (I don’t believe we covered this)

  • They are all built up from beta-alpha-beta motif and are all virtually right handed (this is an empirical rule that almost always applies, although no convincing explanation has been found)

Alpha beta barrels

Alpha/Beta Barrels

  • In alpha/beta barrels the side chains of the alpha helices are packed against the h-phobic side chains of the B-sheet and this packing interaction between the alpha and beta are dominated by branched h-phobic residues (V, I, L)

  • The alpha helices are anti-parallel to the adjacent B-strands

A b barrels cont

A/B Barrels Cont…

  • In a given sequence of beta strand, it is known that h-phobic residues and h-philic residues alternate, thus the h-phobic residues face inward of the barrel forming the h-phobic core

  • Also, the formation of the interior of the barrel is not limited to h-phobic residues, because the top and bottom surface can comprise of polar/charged group as the polar end will be in contact with the solvent whereas the h-phobic parts of the side chain will interact with the core of the protein

Alpha beta barrel cont

Alpha/Beta Barrel Cont…

  • In these barrels the active site is commonly found in very similar positions, usually situated at the bottom of the funnel-shaped pocket created by eight loops that connect the carboxy end of the beta-strand to the amino end of the alpha helices.

Alpha beta twisted open sheet

Alpha/Beta twisted Open-Sheet

  • Open twisted parallel or mixed B-sheet with alpha helices on both sides of the B-sheet.

  • For an active site in the alpha/beta open-sheet, the active site is present at the carboxy edge of the B-sheet



  • Functional residues are provided by the loop regions that connect the carboxy end of the B-strands with the amino end of the alpha helices

  • These active sites are a result of the formation of crevices which occur when there are two adjacent connections that are on opposite sides of the Beta-Sheet

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