alpha helix and beta conformation in proteins

could some tell me how the alpha helix and the beta conformation in proteins are important in the configuration of proteins. is it a
question of energy of rotation? what's the difference between the helix alpha and the helix beta. why it's so commun to precise it in the structure of proteins
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On 21 Dec 2004 02:55:45 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@bio.titech.ac-dot-jp.no-spam.invalid (eemen) wrote:

They just happen to be two of the most common general backbone structures (and the first two that were clearly worked out).

Should be good pictures, with explanations, in most any modern biology book. Both rely on hydrogen bonding between amide groups of the backbone. In the alpha helix, the hydrogen bonding is along the axis of the coiled chain (the helix). In the beta form, a simple view is that segments of the chain are stretched out and lined up along side each other, with H-bonds between the stretched out segments (i.e, perpendicular to the axis of any particular segment).
bob

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