beta structure


noun Biochemistry.

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.

Nearby words

  1. beta ray,
  2. beta receptor,
  3. beta rhythm,
  4. beta sheet,
  5. beta stock,
  6. beta test,
  7. beta version,
  8. beta wave,
  9. beta waves,
  10. beta-adrenergic

Also called beta sheet, pleated sheet.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Science definitions for beta sheet

beta sheet

A secondary 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.