Activity Number
236
Editable
Overview and Learning Objectives
Assessment
Classroom Practice
Central Concepts
Textbook References
Benchmarks and Standards
Extensions and Connections
Activity Credits
Requirements

Structure of Proteins: Insulin (a 7-page activity)

Interactive, scaffolded model

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This Activity Requires:

  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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Overview and Learning Objectives

Students explore both 2D and 3D models of proteins in order to discern the structure of a small protein, the hormone insulin. They connect the structure to its triggering function at a receptor site for the hormone.

Students will be able to:

  • describe the four levels of protein structure;
  • manipulate both 2D and 3D models and describe significant features of the insulin molecules.

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Assessment

The insulin protein molecule is characterized by its folding, which is the result of several types of attractions. Write a short paragraph explaining why three different types of attractions are important to the structure and function of the molecule.

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Classroom Practice

There are tens of thousands of different kinds of proteins. Each one has a unique shape and its 3D structure corresponds to its function. The sequence of amino acids, their interactions, and the interactions with the surrounding environment are explored in this activity. Students can explore the four levels of protein structure using 2D and 3D models.

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Central Concepts

Key Concept:

The three or four-tiered structure of proteins is related to their function.

Additional Related Concepts

Concept Map Available

Biology

  • Cell Growth and Regulation
  • Hormone

Molecular Biology

  • Primary structure
  • Protein Folding
  • Protein Function
  • Protein structure
  • Self-assembly

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Textbook References

  • Biology: Concepts and Connections (Pearson) 5th Edition - Chapter 26: Chemical Regulation
  • Biology: Concepts and Connections (Pearson) 5th Edition - Chapter 5: The Working Cell
  • Biology: Exploring Life - Chapter 32: Regulation of the Internal Environment
  • BSCS Blue (8th Edition) - Chapter 12: Reproduction
  • BSCS Human - Chapter 4: The Internal Environment of Organisms

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Benchmarks and Standards

AAAS

  • THE LIVING ENVIRONMENT: CELLS - The work of the cell is carried out by the many different types of molecules it assembles, mostly proteins (Full Text of Standard)

  • THE LIVING ENVIRONMENT: CELLS - Within every cell are specialized parts for the transport of materials, energy transfer, protein building, waste disposal, information feedback, and even movement (Full Text of Standard)

NSES

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Extensions and Connections

This activity is closely connected to the Stepping Stone Protein Folding http://molo.concord.org/database/activities/225.html

This in turn is related to a larger (but from an earlier project) set of three activities Protein Shaping http://molo.concord.org/database/activities/159.html.

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Activity Credits

Created by CC Project: Molecular Workbench using Molecular Workbench

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Requirements

  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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NSF Logo
These materials are based upon work supported
by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers
9980620, ESI-0242701, EIA-0219345, DUE-0402553, and 0628181.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this
material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the National Science Foundation.