Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-11-38a

To appear in Chemistry.


Protein structure is invariably connected to protein function. There are two important secondary structure elements: alpha helices and beta-sheets (which sometimes come in a shape of beta-barrels). The actual shapes of these structures can be complicated, but in the first approximation, they are usually approximated by, correspondingly, cylindrical spirals and planes (and cylinders, for beta-barrels). In this paper, following the ideas pioneered by a renowned mathematician M. Gromov, we use natural symmetries to show that, under reasonable assumptions, these geometric shapes are indeed the best approximating families for secondary structures.

tr11-38.pdf (160 kB)
Original file: CS-UTEP-11-38