We can define Supersecondary structures as combinations of alpha-helices and beta-structures connected through loops, that form patterns that are present in many different protein structures. These folding patterns are stabilized through the same kind of linkages than the tertiary level. Sometimes the term “motif” is used to describe these supersecondary structures.
These structures can be relatively simples, as alpha-alpha (two alpha helixes linked by a loop), Beta-Beta (two beta-strands linked by a loop), Beta-alpha-Beta (Beta-strand linked to an alpha helix that is also linked to other beta strand, by loops) or more complexes structures, like the Greek key motiv or the beta-barrel.
It is very interesting in these motifs that these repetitive structures can be very different in their primary structure and they can be present in very different proteins. Some proteins have no supersecondary structures.
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