Protein Evolution

Friday 30th January 2009

Molecular Biotechnology Center [MBC], Torino, Italy

ELLS LearningLAB: Molecular evolution: modern evidence for Darwin's theory

Aidan Budd and Francesca Diella

Activity 2: Exploring Protein Structure and Function

In many cases, one can infer general characteristics of the function of a protein just by examining its structure.

Below is a list of PyMOL files describing the structure of proteins, each of which has a rather different function - represented are
  1. an enzyme
  2. a DNA-binding transcription factor
  3. a protein forming a rigid, rod-like support structure (collagen)
  4. a signaling molecule that binds to calcium (calmodulin)
Struct1 Struct2 Struct3 Struct4

By examining the structures of these proteins, try and decide which structure corresponds to which of these four functions.

If there is time, you might want to explore more information about the structures of these proteins as provided by the PDBsum database. For example, you might want to identify, for some of these structures:
Follow the links below to the UniProt and PDBsum records for these entries:

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