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Secondary structure

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Definition

noun

A structure of a biological molecule characterized by the local folding within the biopolymer as a result of hydrogen bonding (within the biopolymer).


Supplement

In proteins, there are four recognized levels of protein structure: primary structure, secondary structure, tertiary structure, and quaternary structure.

A secondary structure of a protein pertains to the folding of a polypeptide chain, resulting in an alpha helix, beta sheet or a random coil structure.

Another example of a secondary structure is that of a nucleic acid such as the clover leaf structure of tRNA.


See also: protein structure