Beta helix

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Monomeric, left-handed b-helix antifreeze protein from the spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana (PDB: 1M8N ). 1m8n Choristoneura fumiferana.png
Monomeric, left-handed β-helix antifreeze protein from the spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana ( PDB: 1M8N ).
Dimeric, right-handed b-helix antifreeze protein from the beetle Tenebrio molitor (PDB: 1EZG ). Face-to-face association of b-helices. 1ezg Tenebrio molitor.png
Dimeric, right-handed β-helix antifreeze protein from the beetle Tenebrio molitor ( PDB: 1EZG ). Face-to-face association of β-helices.

A beta helix is a tandem protein repeat structure formed by the association of parallel beta strands in a helical pattern with either two [1] or three [2] faces. The beta helix is a type of solenoid protein domain. The structure is stabilized by inter-strand hydrogen bonds, protein-protein interactions, and sometimes bound metal ions. Both left- and right-handed beta helices have been identified. Double stranded beta-helices are also very common features of proteins and are generally synonymous with jelly roll folds.

The first beta-helix was observed in the enzyme pectate lyase, which contains a seven-turn helix that reaches 34 Å (3.4 nm) long. The P22 phage tail spike protein, a component of the P22 bacteriophage, has 13 turns and in its assembled homotrimer is 200 Å (20 nm) in length. Its interior is close-packed with no central pore and contains both hydrophobic residues and charged residues neutralized by salt bridges.

Both pectate lyase and P22 tailspike protein contain right-handed helices; left-handed versions have been observed in enzymes such as UDP-N-acetylglucosamine acyltransferase and archaeal carbonic anhydrase. [3] Other proteins that contain beta helices include the antifreeze proteins from the beetle Tenebrio molitor (right-handed) [4] and from the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (left-handed), [5] where regularly spaced threonines on the β-helices bind to the surface of ice crystals and inhibit their growth.

Beta helices can associate with each other effectively, either face-to-face (mating the faces of their triangular prisms) or end-to-end (forming hydrogen bonds). Hence, β-helices can be used as "tags" to induce other proteins to associate, similar to coiled coil segments.

Members of the pentapeptide repeat family have been shown to possess a quadrilateral beta-helix structure. [6]

Related Research Articles

Alpha helix Type of secondary structure of proteins

The alpha helix (α-helix) is a common motif in the secondary structure of proteins and is a right hand-helix conformation in which every backbone N−H group hydrogen bonds to the backbone C=O group of the amino acid located four residues earlier along the protein sequence.

Beta sheet Common motif of regular secondary structure in proteins; stretch of polypeptide chain typically 3 to 10 amino acids long with backbone in an extended conformation

The beta sheet, (β-sheet) is a common motif of the regular protein secondary structure. Beta sheets consist of beta strands (β-strands) connected laterally by at least two or three backbone hydrogen bonds, forming a generally twisted, pleated sheet. A β-strand is a stretch of polypeptide chain typically 3 to 10 amino acids long with backbone in an extended conformation. The supramolecular association of β-sheets has been implicated in the formation of the fibrils and protein aggregates observed in amyloidosis, notably Alzheimer's disease.

Collagen helix A structure in biochemistry

The collagen triple helix or type-2 helix is the primary secondary structure of various types of fibrous collagen, including type I collagen. It consists of a triple helix made of the repetitious amino acid sequence glycine-X-Y, where X and Y are frequently proline or hydroxyproline. Collagen folded into a triple helix is known as tropocollagen. Collagen triple helices are often bundled into fibrils which themselves form larger fibres, as in tendon.

Peptidoglycan or murein is a polymer consisting of sugars and amino acids that forms a mesh-like layer outside the plasma membrane of most bacteria, forming the cell wall. The sugar component consists of alternating residues of β-(1,4) linked N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) and N-acetylmuramic acid (NAM). Attached to the N-acetylmuramic acid is a peptide chain of three to five amino acids. The peptide chain can be cross-linked to the peptide chain of another strand forming the 3D mesh-like layer. Peptidoglycan serves a structural role in the bacterial cell wall, giving structural strength, as well as counteracting the osmotic pressure of the cytoplasm. Peptidoglycan is also involved in binary fission during bacterial cell reproduction.

Protein secondary structure General three-dimensional form of local segments of proteins

Protein secondary structure is the three dimensional form of local segments of proteins. The two most common secondary structural elements are alpha helices and beta sheets, though beta turns and omega loops occur as well. Secondary structure elements typically spontaneously form as an intermediate before the protein folds into its three dimensional tertiary structure.

Protein structure prediction

Protein structure prediction is the inference of the three-dimensional structure of a protein from its amino acid sequence—that is, the prediction of its secondary and tertiary structure from primary structure. Structure prediction is different from the inverse problem of protein design. Protein structure prediction is one of the most important goals pursued by computational biology; and it is important in medicine and biotechnology.

Antifreeze protein

Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) or ice structuring proteins (ISPs) refer to a class of polypeptides produced by certain animals, plants, fungi and bacteria that permit their survival in temperatures below the freezing point of water. AFPs bind to small ice crystals to inhibit the growth and recrystallization of ice that would otherwise be fatal. There is also increasing evidence that AFPs interact with mammalian cell membranes to protect them from cold damage. This work suggests the involvement of AFPs in cold acclimatization.

Structural Classification of Proteins database

The Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP) database is a largely manual classification of protein structural domains based on similarities of their structures and amino acid sequences. A motivation for this classification is to determine the evolutionary relationship between proteins. Proteins with the same shapes but having little sequence or functional similarity are placed in different superfamilies, and are assumed to have only a very distant common ancestor. Proteins having the same shape and some similarity of sequence and/or function are placed in "families", and are assumed to have a closer common ancestor.

A supersecondary structure is a compact three-dimensional protein structure of several adjacent elements of a secondary structure that is smaller than a protein domain or a subunit. Supersecondary structures can act as nucleations in the process of protein folding.

A DNA-binding domain (DBD) is an independently folded protein domain that contains at least one structural motif that recognizes double- or single-stranded DNA. A DBD can recognize a specific DNA sequence or have a general affinity to DNA. Some DNA-binding domains may also include nucleic acids in their folded structure.

A polyproline helix is a type of protein secondary structure which occurs in proteins comprising repeating proline residues. A left-handed polyproline II helix is formed when sequential residues all adopt (φ,ψ) backbone dihedral angles of roughly and have trans isomers of their peptide bonds. This PPII conformation is also common in proteins and polypeptides with other amino acids apart from proline. Similarly, a more compact right-handed polyproline I helix is formed when sequential residues all adopt (φ,ψ) backbone dihedral angles of roughly and have cis isomers of their peptide bonds. Of the twenty common naturally occurring amino acids, only proline is likely to adopt the cis isomer of the peptide bond, specifically the X-Pro peptide bond; steric and electronic factors heavily favor the trans isomer in most other peptide bonds. However, peptide bonds that replace proline with another N-substituted amino acid are also likely to adopt the cis isomer.

3<sub>10</sub> helix Type of secondary structure

A 310 helix is a type of secondary structure found in proteins and polypeptides. Of the numerous protein secondary structures present, the 310-helix is the fourth most common type observed; following α-helices, β-sheets and reverse turns. 310-helices constitute nearly 10–15% of all helices in protein secondary structures, and are typically observed as extensions of α-helices found at either their N- or C- termini. Because of the α-helices tendency to consistently fold and unfold, it has been proposed that the 310-helix serves as an intermediary conformation of sorts, and provides insight into the initiation of α-helix folding.

Ribonuclease inhibitor

Ribonuclease inhibitor (RI) is a large, acidic, leucine-rich repeat protein that forms extremely tight complexes with certain ribonucleases. It is a major cellular protein, comprising ~0.1% of all cellular protein by weight, and appears to play an important role in regulating the lifetime of RNA.

Armadillo repeat

An armadillo repeat is the name of a characteristic, repetitive amino acid sequence of about 40 residues in length that is found in many proteins. Proteins that contain armadillo repeats typically contain several tandemly repeated copies. Each armadillo repeat is composed of a pair of alpha helices that form a hairpin structure. Multiple copies of the repeat form what is known as an alpha solenoid structure.

Alpha solenoid

An alpha solenoid is a protein fold composed of repeating alpha helix subunits, commonly helix-turn-helix motifs, arranged in antiparallel fashion to form a superhelix. Alpha solenoids are known for their flexibility and plasticity. Like beta propellers, alpha solenoids are a form of solenoid protein domain commonly found in the proteins comprising the nuclear pore complex. They are also common in membrane coat proteins known as coatomers, such as clathrin, and in regulatory proteins that form extensive protein-protein interactions with their binding partners. Examples of alpha solenoid structures binding RNA and lipids have also been described.

Leucine-rich repeat

A leucine-rich repeat (LRR) is a protein structural motif that forms an α/β horseshoe fold. It is composed of repeating 20–30 amino acid stretches that are unusually rich in the hydrophobic amino acid leucine. These tandem repeats commonly fold together to form a solenoid protein domain, termed leucine-rich repeat domain. Typically, each repeat unit has beta strand-turn-alpha helix structure, and the assembled domain, composed of many such repeats, has a horseshoe shape with an interior parallel beta sheet and an exterior array of helices. One face of the beta sheet and one side of the helix array are exposed to solvent and are therefore dominated by hydrophilic residues. The region between the helices and sheets is the protein's hydrophobic core and is tightly sterically packed with leucine residues.

Cystathionine beta-lyase

Cystathionine beta-lyase, also commonly referred to as CBL or β-cystathionase, is an enzyme that primarily catalyzes the following α,β-elimination reaction

Pentapeptide repeat

Pentapeptide repeats are a family of sequence motifs found in multiple tandem copies in protein molecules. Pentapeptide repeat proteins are found in all species, but they are found in many copies in cyanobacterial genomes. The repeats were first identified by Black and colleagues in the hglK protein. The later Bateman et al. showed that a large family of related pentapeptide repeat proteins existed. The function of these repeats is uncertain in most proteins. However, in the MfpA protein a DNA gyrase inhibitor it has been suggested that the pentapeptide repeat structure mimics the structure of DNA. The repeats form a regular right handed four sided beta helix structure known as the Rfr-fold.

RiAFP refers to an antifreeze protein (AFP) produced by the Rhagium inquisitor longhorned beetle. It is a type V antifreeze protein with a molecular weight of 12.8 kDa; this type of AFP is noted for its hyperactivity. R. inquisitor is a freeze-avoidant species, meaning that, due to its AFP, R. inquisitor prevents its body fluids from freezing altogether. This contrasts with freeze-tolerant species, whose AFPs simply depress levels of ice crystal formation in low temperatures. Whereas most insect antifreeze proteins contain cysteines at least every sixth residue, as well as varying numbers of 12- or 13-mer repeats of 8.3-12.5kDa, RiAFP is notable for containing only one disulfide bridge. This property of RiAFP makes it particularly attractive for recombinant expression and biotechnological applications.

Protein <i>O</i>-GlcNAc transferase

Protein O-GlcNAc transferase also known as OGT is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the OGT gene. OGT catalyzes the addition of the O-GlcNAc post-translational modification to proteins.


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  2. "CATH database - folds and homologous superfamilies within the beta 3-solenoid architecture". CATH database . Archived from the original on 26 July 2011.
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