If an alpha helix is discontinued for a short while and then continues in a different direction, I prefer to call in "kinked". If the helix is simply uniformly following one direction, I prefer to call it "straight", but I have been corrected, and been told that it is called "linear". Which is right?

Thank you!

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to SE Biology. Please read the Tour and the Help on asking questions. There you will see that you should demonstrate that you have tried to research a question yourself before asking, especially apposite in this case as this sort of terminology is merely a question of convention. In fact there is no right or wrong, just clarity of expression. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 29 '19 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ OK, let me put you out of your misery. You have a basic misconception. The first image is not of an alpha-helix, but two. It could be a helix-turn-helix. And so the terms straight and linear are superfluous. Anyway, I’d avoid “straight” for the lower one, unless you wish to consider changing “kinked” to… $\endgroup$ – David Aug 29 '19 at 21:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Okay.. Thanks, but I guess my question is unclear. Yes - it is two helices, it it is not really the helix the is kinked, that is true. It is the conformation I want to describe, a "kinked conformation" vs a "straight conformation" of a protein segment. $\endgroup$ – twoid Aug 30 '19 at 7:57
  • $\begingroup$ Read about protein secondary structure to learn how it is described. You are trying to reinvent the wheel and getting it square. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 30 '19 at 8:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.