Protein Structure and Function *

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Areas of Science Biotechnology
Difficulty
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Advanced biology course, or willingness to read up on such topics extensively.
Material Availability A computer with Internet access is necessary for this project.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.

Abstract

How a biological system functions is a consequence of the 3-D structures of biological macromolecules like proteins and protein complexes. Proteins can be categorized into different protein families based upon sequence, structure, and function. Typically, proteins in the same family have similar biochemical functions. You can investigate the structure of a protein by using protein databases (Entrez Protein, SwissProt, PDB) and 3-D computational models. You can compare the structures of different proteins with similar function to see if they have similar geometries, like molecules that bind ATP or DNA. You can compare homologous proteins from different species to see how the structure varies by searching the PDB taxonomic database. You can also search for proteins that are linked to a particular disease in PDB, and compare the normal and abnormal structures. Many proteins in the PDB database have structural data for different mutations, so you can compare the mutant structures to identify structurally important residues. When choosing a protein of interest from the structure database, consider the following questions. Does the protein occur in different conformations or isoforms? Is there a model of the active site, substrate or ligand? Is the protein part of a larger protein complex? Is there a structure that has been solved with a mutation, ion or ligand? Is the protein part of a larger family of proteins with similar structures? Are there structures available of homologous proteins from different species? Are there portions of the protein which are conserved between different species? Are there any mutations which may cause a change in 3-D structure? Are there any post-translational modifications that may affect structure, like phosphorylation or ubiquitination? (PDB, 2006)

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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Protein Structure and Function." Science Buddies, 28 July 2017, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/BioChem_p021/biotechnology-techniques/protein-structure-and-function?class=AQUQnM6uxVQo63LMu6Qpqauxk-muxPekccaGMePN9lFeduvi2rPyyJB_UFLlV263n6Fm9HGW3TY8AlDrmp1KOm_TE6ea1PfPik6_iT1E_AmMGQ. Accessed 12 Dec. 2019.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2017, July 28). Protein Structure and Function. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/BioChem_p021/biotechnology-techniques/protein-structure-and-function?class=AQUQnM6uxVQo63LMu6Qpqauxk-muxPekccaGMePN9lFeduvi2rPyyJB_UFLlV263n6Fm9HGW3TY8AlDrmp1KOm_TE6ea1PfPik6_iT1E_AmMGQ


Last edit date: 2017-07-28

Bibliography

PDB, 2006. "Structural Genomics Information Portal," The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB) [accessed 3/25/06] http://sg.pdb.org/.

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Experimental Procedure

For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.

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Ask an Expert

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