Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Activity 19.2.4 – Protein structure

Proteins are essential to the structure and function of all living cells.  Some proteins are enzymes or antibodies, while others serve structural, mechanical, or storage roles.  Biological and medical researchers are extremely interested in the shapes of proteins because structure determines function.   The Protein Data Bank is a repository for the processing and distribution of the three-dimensional structure of proteins [,, or search protein data bank].  Search the Protein Data Bank for the following proteins using the PDB code listed in capital letters.  Each is viewable in 3D and can be rotated and enlarged within a web browser.  Print pictures of the three dimensional structure of each of the following.

(1) insulin 3INS (hormone used in sugar regulation),
(2) hemoglobin 1GZX (oxygen carrying molecule in the blood)
(3) ferritin 1AEW (iron reservoir in spleen)
(4) manganese peroxidase 1MNP (an enzyme for breaking down peroxides)
(5) NS1-protein  1AIL (a protein from flu virus)

Brookhaven National Laboratory. (2007). Protein Data Bank. Retrieved June 11, 2007 from