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How does a protein get its shape? Students work with a dynamic model of a folding polymer, which allows them to explore the role of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic amino acids in protein folding. They expand their mental model of protein folding from that of a simple interaction between charges to the more complex interactions between all amino acids (charged, polar, and non-polar) with each other and with the surrounding water molecules or lipids. Based on this model, students construct differently shaped proteins, and learn to reason about their shapes, considering the property of specific amino acids and their position in the chain.
An attached concept map provides examples of water-dissolving and oil-dissolving molecules
Students will be able to:
See questions 1a and 1b from the following pre/post-test:
In addition to the interaction between charged amino acids, the three-dimensional shape of a protein is the result of the interaction of amino acids with their surrounding water molecules.
Additional Related Concepts
See teachers guide.
Last Update: 12/07/2015
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9980620, ESI-0242701 and EIA-0219345
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