13.3b Protein Structure – Fibrous vs Globular

13.3b Protein Structure – Fibrous vs Globular


In this lesson we’re going to distinguish between globular and fibrous proteins. So when we look at proteins, the fibrous vs. globular protein definition is very simply based on its shape. Notice here that the fibrous is long and thinner, although not a single strand. There are still lots of amino acids coming together and we still see these three polypeptide sequences coming together to form a quaternary structure. When we look at a globular protein, we literally see something that looks like a glob. It’s more rounded and almost looks like a ball of yarn wadded up. So what types of proteins are found in hair? Hopefully you said fibrous proteins. And we see those long fibrous proteins that come together to form the strands of hair. Remember that globular proteins exist in a kind of a blob or a glob, and as a result we’re going to see that they do not form these long thin proteins. So what type of protein is hemoglobin, which is shown below? Notice that it’s more spherical in shape. We don’t see the long kind of linear shape to that protein and so this is going to be a globular protein.

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