Proteins: It’s the shape that counts!
Mark Field, University of Cambridge
Most people know that we need protein in our diet, to provide amino acids that we use to build our bodies. Much of our own body is made of protein, which is a long chain of amino acids linked together like beads on a necklace.
However, in reality this chain is a three-dimensional object and folded, and can be nearly any shape, such as a small ball or a long rod. It is the shape that is important for the protein to work correctly. We will discuss how proteins are made and how their final shape is arrived at.
Finally, we will consider what happens if this process goes wrong. This type of error is responsible for many diseases, including cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease and BSE (or mad cow disease).
NB: for school or personal use only.
To see a webcast of this presentation (and other presentations), go to http://homepage.mac.com/mfield/lab/Teaching.html
PDB an open access databank of protein structures with animations.
PubMed a repository of scientific literature - much is open access.