Fibrous protein

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Tropocollagen triple helix.

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Overview

Fibrous proteins, also called scleroproteins, are long filamentous protein molecules that form one of the two main classes of tertiary structure protein (the other being globular proteins). Fibrous proteins are only found in animals.

Fibrous proteins form 'rod' or 'wire' -like shapes and are usually inert structural or storage proteins. They are generally water-insoluble and are found as an aggregate due to hydrophobic R-groups that stick out of the molecule. The amino acid sequences they are made from often have limited residues with repeats. These can form unusual secondary structures, e.g. collagen triple helix. The structures often contain 'cross-links' between chains, for example cys-cys disulphide bonds between keratin chains.

Globular proteins tend to denature more easily than fibrous proteins.

Fibrous proteins are usually used to construct connective tissues, tendons, bone matrix and muscle fiber.

Examples of fibrous proteins include keratins, collagens and elastins.

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