The importance of short structural motifs in protein structure analysis

Ron Unger, Joel L. Sussman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Proteins tend to use recurrent structural motifs on all levels of organization. In this paper we first survey the topics of recurrent motifs on the local secondary structure level and on the global fold level. Then, we focus on the intermediate level which we call the short structural motifs. We were able to identify a set of structural building blocks that are very common in protein structure. We suggest that these building blocks can be used as an important link between the primary sequence and the tertiary structure. In this framework, we present our latest results on the structural variability of the extended strand motifs. We show that extended strands can be divided into three distinct structural classes, each with its own sequence specificity. Other approaches to the study of short structural motifs are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-472
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Building blocks
  • Clustering
  • Protein structure
  • Secondary structure
  • Structural motifs
  • Structure prediction
  • Structure verification


Dive into the research topics of 'The importance of short structural motifs in protein structure analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this