Polyalanine is an amino acid polymer that can be produced as multiple isomers. The repeating sequence found in polyalanine is -NH-CH(CH3)-CO. The L isomer of polyalanine is the one most often studied because it is the isomer that occurs naturally in proteins. Depending on the method used to prepare the L isomer of polyalanine, the substance may take one of two substantially different crystalline forms. These forms consist of a right-handed alpha helix in which the chain is somewhat compressed with intrachain hydrogen bonds and a beta sheet wherein the chain is comparatively long with interchain hydrogen bonds. The structure of the alpha helix of polyalanine and other amino acid polymers were first described in 1951.

© 1995-2022 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Monday, Jan 05, 2004 at 04:59 PM
Access Count Since September 19, 1995: 24155
Microscopes provided by:
Visit the Nikon website. Visit the Olympus Microscopy Resource Center website.