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Module 10: Proteins: From Sequence to Structure


By working their way through a series of models of polymers of increasing complexity, students can recognize forces responsible for protein's 3D shape. They compare folding of the same chain of amino acids in water and lipids, experiment with different sequences of amino acids and learn how charges, polar and non-polar amino acids affect the shape of a protein. Then students apply this knowledge to the case of Sickle Cell Anemia, in which a single point mutation causes the replacement of charged amino acid to a non-polar one, resulting in a misshaped protein.


Objectives and Goals

Students will be able to:

  • construct polymers from monomers;
  • identify and manipulate in models the key forces on protein shaping (charge, lipid or water environment);
  • interpret protein structure in a variety of representations;
  • connect problems in protein structure with disease.



THE LIVING ENVIRONMENT: CELLS - Most cells function best within a narrow range of temperure and acidity.

THE LIVING ENVIRONMENT: CELLS - The genetic information encoded in DNA molecules provides insructions for assemblng protein molecules.

THE PHYSICAL SETTING: THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER - The configuration of toms in a molecule determines the molecule's properties.

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These materials are based upon work supported
by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers
9980620, ESI-0242701 and EIA-0219345

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