The Secondary Structure

  • Hans Frauenfelder
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)


In principle we could expect that X-ray diffraction provides a complete picture of any protein that can be crystallized, with the exact position of each atom. Indeed, models displayed in showcases give the impression that the protein structure is fully known and has been found ab initio. In reality, however, stereochemical information is used in the elucidation of the structure of a protein. The knowledge of the structure of the building elements is consequently essential. Moreover, X-rays do not “see” hydrogen atoms well; the charge density of these is often determined by using the well-known structure of the amino acids. We give here a brief discussion of the secondary structure; a beautiful and clear treatment is given by Dickerson and Geis [1].


Secondary Structure Polypeptide Chain Secondary Structure Prediction Building Element Hydrogen Bond Pattern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Frauenfelder
    • 1
  1. 1.Theory DivisionLos Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA

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