UNIT 17.1 Overview of Protein Structural and Functional Folds

  1. Peter D. Sun1,
  2. Christine E. Foster1,
  3. Jeffrey C. Boyington2

Published Online: 1 MAY 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471140864.ps1701s35

Current Protocols in Protein Science

Current Protocols in Protein Science

How to Cite

Sun, P. D., Foster, C. E. and Boyington, J. C. 2004. Overview of Protein Structural and Functional Folds. Current Protocols in Protein Science. 35:17.1:17.1.1–17.1.189.

Author Information

  1. 1

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland

  2. 2

    National Institute of Environmental Health Science, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2004
  2. Published Print: FEB 2004


This overview provides an illustrated, comprehensive survey of some commonly observed protein-fold families and structural motifs, chosen for their functional significance. It opens with descriptions and definitions of the various elements of protein structure and associated terminology. Following is an introduction into web-based structural bioinformatics that includes surveys of interactive web servers for protein fold or domain annotation, protein-structure databases, protein-structure-classification databases, structural alignments of proteins, and molecular graphics programs available for personal computers. The rest of the overview describes selected families of protein folds in terms of their secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structural arrangements, including ribbon-diagram examples, tables of representative structures with references, and brief explanations pointing out their respective biological and functional significance.