Author(s): Kajava AV, Squire JM, Parry DA
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Abstract The beta-form of protein folding, one of the earliest protein structures to be defined, was originally observed in studies of silks. It was then seen in early studies of synthetic polypeptides and, of course, is now known to be present in a variety of guises as an essential component of globular protein structures. However, in the last decade or so it has become clear that the beta-conformation of chains is present not only in many of the amyloid structures associated with, for example, Alzheimer's Disease, but also in the prion structures associated with the spongiform encephalopathies. Furthermore, X-ray crystallography studies have revealed the high incidence of the beta-fibrous proteins among virulence factors of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Here we describe the basic forms of the beta-fold, summarize the many different new forms of beta-structural fibrous arrangements that have been discovered, and review advances in structural studies of amyloid and prion fibrils. These and other issues are described in detail in later chapters.
This article was published in Adv Protein Chem
and referenced in Biochemistry & Pharmacology: Open Access