These materials explore the structure-function relationship of a single protein, acetylcholinesterase. The acetylcholinesterase gene and the protein it encodes can be used to demonstrate a number of biological concepts, including enzyme specificity, competitive inhibition, mutation, characteristics of the genetic code, alternate splice sites, natural selection, bioinformatics, and disease transmission. Many of these materials can be presented either at an introductory or an advanced level. For instance, materials are provided to allow students to compare DNA and protein sequences by hand, or these comparisons can be completed using programs available on the Internet. Furthermore, it is not necessary to incorporate ALL the materials in the classroom at one time. We often use acetylcholinesterase as one of a few 'anchor' proteins that serve as examples to help tie together a number of biological concepts. Our hope is that when students leave our classes, they can provide specific examples of a few proteins that illustrate a number of biological concepts.
Models included in this Collection
- Two acetylcholinesterase active site boxes
- Fold out model of acetylcholinesterase active site gorge in four sections, including substrate (acetylcholinesterase), competitive inhibitor (insecticide), serine 238 cap, and mutant sidechain
- Catalytic site residues (ser238, his480 and glu367) in CPK colors; rest of model in muted Goodsell colors (pink is oxygen, pale blue is nitrogen, white is carbon)
- Magnets join the four sections, as well as the substrate, inhibitor, ser38 cap and mutant sidechain, all of which are in CPK colors
- Mutant sidechain converts a glycine to a serine residue
- Based on PDB file 1QON
- Acetylcholinesterase backbone model
- Catalytic site residues (ser238, his480 and glu367) ball and stick in cpk colors; aromatic residues lining active site gorge in yellow ball and stick
- Embedded box indicates where the model was cut to make the active site box
- Based on PDB file 1QON
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Model Documentation and Instructions
Teaching Points and Inventory
Evolution in Action: Modeling Insecticide Resistance in Mosquitos
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Milwaukee School of Engineering
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Milwaukee, WI 53202-3113