Protein Structure
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Protein structure is the biomolecular structure of a protein molecule. Each protein is a polymer – specifically a polypeptide – that is a sequence formed from 20 possible L-α-amino acids (also referred to as residues). By convention, a chain under 40 residues is often identified as a peptide, rather than a protein. To be able to perform their biological function, proteins fold into one or more specific spatial conformations, driven by a number of non-covalent interactions such as hydrogen bonding, ionic interactions, Van der Waals forces, and hydrophobic packing. To understand the functions of proteins at a molecular level, it is often necessary to determine their three-dimensional structure. This is the topic of the scientific field of structural biology, which employs techniques such as X-ray crystallography, protein NMR|NMR spectroscopy, and dual polarisation interferometry to determine the structure of proteins. Protein structures range in size from tens to several thousand resi...
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