General Chemistry

Protein Structure

Now we shall use the molecular-modeling tools (representations) described above to zoom in on the ferritin protein and study its structure. We will begin at the smallest level of protein structure, by using 2D-ChemDraw representations to show how atoms are combined to make amino acids. Then we will use all four representations to show how amino acids come together to form the protein subunits known as peptides, and how the sequence of amino acids determines the shape of the peptide. Finally, we will use the ribbon and CPK representations to show how 24 peptide subunits are combined to make the hollow-sphere shape and channels in ferritin. The basic structural features of proteins that you will learn about in this tutorial will provide a foundation for understanding the structure and function of any protein. Because proteins are a tremendously important class of biological molecules, you will study many different proteins in these tutorials and in your other coursework and research.


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This page created by Matt Traverso, Washington University in St Louis.
© 2004, Washington University.
Materials and Information present may be reproduced for educational purposes only.

Revised: 2004-08-08