Dictionary > Tertiary structure

Tertiary structure

Definition
noun
A structure of a biological molecule (such as proteins and nucleic acids) which is in its three dimensional shape, as defined by the atomic coordinates.
Supplement
In proteins, there are four recognized levels of protein structure: primary structure, secondary structure, tertiary structure, and quaternary structure.
A tertiary structure of a protein refers to the protein’s three-dimensional structure by complete folding of the sheets and helices of a secondary structure held in position by hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions.
See also: protein structure


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