motif

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motif

(mō-tēf′)
n.
1.
a. A recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work.
b. A dominant theme or central idea.
2. Music A short rhythmic or melodic passage that is repeated or evoked in various parts of a composition.
3. A repeated figure or design in architecture or decoration.
4. A recurrent pattern either of molecular sequence, usually of nucleotides or amino acids in proteins, or of molecular structure that usually corresponds to specific biological activity.

motif

A short, conserved cluster of amino acids or nucleotides which share structural and usually functional similarity on a macromolecule; a 3-dimensional structure of gene product/protein with known or implied functions, often inferred from the cDNA sequence.

Protein motifs
DNA binding, leucine zipper, membrane spanning, zinc finger.

motif

(of a PROTEIN) a specific combination of SECONDARY STRUCTURES exhibiting a characteristic three-dimensional structure and often associated with a particular function. For example, the coiled-coil motif, comprising of two or more helices wound around each other. This is found in the GLYCOPROTEIN of EBOLA VIRUS and has a role in entry of the virus into host cells. Also the ZINC FINGER which comprises of an α helix and two β strands forming a finger-like structure held together by a zinc ion.

motif

for proteins a three-dimensional structural unit formed by a particular sequence of amino acids, found in proteins and which is often linked with a particular function. For nucleic acids a particular, usually short, nucleotide sequence that forms a recognition site usually to which other proteins bind.

structural m's
in proteins, certain specific orderings of secondary structure that may have a functional role and include β-α-β helix-turn-helix, leucine zippers, calcium binding EF hands, zinc fingers and longer orderings that take on a structural domain such as the β-barrel and the immunoglobulin fold.

Patient discussion about motif

Q. What other illnesses are similar to asthma? I am 45 years old. My doctor suspects I might have adult asthma but there has yet been a final diagnosis made. What other problems might this be?

A. Before diagnosing someone as asthmatic, alternative possibilities should be considered. A clinician taking a history should check whether the patient is using any known bronchoconstrictors (substances that cause narrowing of the airways, e.g., certain anti-inflammatory agents or beta-blockers). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which closely resembles asthma, is correlated with more exposure to cigarette smoke, an older patient, and decreased likelihood of family history of atopy. Your physician should examine these possibilities as well before diagnosing.

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