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beta structure

noun, Biochemistry
1.
a secondary structure occurring in many proteins, consisting of several polypeptide chains running in parallel or alternating directions and joined by intermolecular hydrogen bonds, creating a flexible, strong arrangement.
Also called beta sheet, pleated sheet.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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beta sheet in Science
beta sheet  
A structure that occurs in many proteins and consists of two or more parallel adjacent polypeptide chains arranged in such a way that hydrogen bonds can form between the chains. Unlike in an alpha helix where the amino acids form a coil, in beta sheets the amino acids are arranged in a zigzag pattern that forms a straight chain. The proteins in silk have a beta-sheet structure. Compare alpha helix, random coil.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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