r-newsProtein Chemistry

Between the Sheets: Why Do Protein Strands Line Up?

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  04 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5284, pp. 34-35
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5284.34


To understand how protein chains fold into their complex structures and mimic them in new drugs and materials, protein chemists want to know how their basic structural elements--coils, bends, and sheets--take shape. The toughest to understand are the so-called beta sheets, in which two or more segments of the protein chain lie parallel to each other, like pencils placed side by side. But by making their own small beta sheets or disrupting natural ones, biochemists are learning the key factors that hold them together.