What bonds stabilize the secondary structure of the protein molecule? Why is the secondary structure of peptides strong enough, although the bonds supporting it are much weaker than covalent
The secondary structure of the protein is a certain arrangement of the polypeptide chain due to hydrogen bonds arising between CO and NH groups. There are two types of secondary structure: a-helix and (3-structure a-helix is a polypeptide chain twisted helically and held by hydrogen bonds arising between -CO- and -NH- groups in the turns of the helix.
Another kind of secondary structure is the p-structure. This is a layered, folded structure formed in parallel by adjacent neighboring sections of polypeptide chains. The layers in this structure are also bonded to each other by hydrogen bonds. (3-structure is found in globular proteins, where it alternates with a-helical regions.
Although hydrogen bonds are weaker than covalent bonds, their presence in a significant amount makes structures such as a-helix or b-folded layer sufficiently strong.
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