Proteins, Tertiary Structure
In biochemistry, the tertiary structure of a protein is its three-dimensional structure, as defined by the atomic coordinates. Tertiary structure is largely determined by the protein’s primary structure. The environment in which a protein is synthesized and allowed to fold is a significant determinant of a polypeptides final folded conformation. In globular proteins, tertiary structure is often stabilized by the sequestration of hydrophobic amino acid residues in the protein’s interior, from which water is excluded, and by the exposure of charged or hydrophilic residues on the protein’s cytosol-exposed surface.