alpha helix

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alpha helix

[′al·fə ′hē·liks]
(cell and molecular biology)
A spatial configuration of the polypeptide chains of proteins in which the chain assumes a helical form, 0.54 nanometer in pitch, 3.6 amino acids per turn, presenting the appearance of a hollow cylinder with radiating side groups.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The researchers found that the chains folded into spiral structures resembling alpha helices in proteins, suggesting that hydrogen bonds are not central to the folding of alpha helices.
Previous work had shown that combinations of just three amino acids are sufficient to form bundles of spiral-shaped structures called alpha helices.
Alpha helices were found to be easiest to predict, with various researchers correctly predicting the location of seven, eight or nine of the molecule's 10 helices.