Question #75ec3

1 Answer
Nov 4, 2017

The interaction in tertiary structure is not van der Waals force.


Tertiary stuructures of protein molecules are formed by interaction between two amino acid side chains, including:

(a) disulfide bonds (-S-S-) between cysteine residues
(b) hydrophobic interaction between hydrophobic groups.
(c) hydrogen bonds (H・・・O)
(d) ionic bonds

A hydrophobic interaction(lower right), hydorogen bonds (upper right and lower left)and an ionic bond(upper left) are shown in the figure below.

In general, these interactions are not considered to be van der Waals forces. The most important interaction in tertiary structure is hydrophobic interaction, but it is not an electrostatic effect(=van der Waals force) but an entropic effect.

Here is a previous question on Socratic:
How would you explain the difference between van der Waals interactions and hydrophobic interactions?