This collection is designed to introduce students to the concepts of protein structure and biochemistry. Different activities guide students from the basic building blocks of proteins, amino acids, through the different levels of protein structure. Using the MolyMod models, students learn the different atomic components of an amino acid and how a peptide bond is formed through the loss of a water molecule. The Water Cup provides an overview of how water is essential for influencing protein folding. With this model collection, students can assemble an α-helix or anti-parallel β-sheet, compare the phi/psi angles of the two secondary structures, and explore the contribution of hydrogen bonding to the stability of secondary structure. Sidechains allow students to explore the different chemical properties of each group and how these properties help determine protein folding. Models of the α-helix and β-sheet, with and without side chains, allow comparison of the features of the two secondary structures. Two protein models display tertiary protein structure. The β-globin protein consists predominantly of α-helices while the green fluorescent protein (GFP) consists predominantly of a β-sheets. A flexible foam Toober (made with wire in the center and 48" long) allows students to create their own protein structures while exploring basic protein-folding principles. The Amino Acid Starter Kit© incorporates foam amino acid residues on a mini-toober, providing a more advanced protein folding activity. This collection also includes a protein modeling kit that enables students to fold a mini-toober to create a model of a zinc finger.
α-helix backbone without sidechains
Teaching Points and Inventory
Identifying Components of the Suitcase
Quick Reference Card
Amino Acids are the Building Blocks of Proteins
Proteins Fold Aqueous Environment
Linear Amino Acid Sequence Folds into Secondary Structures
The Structure of Amino Acid Backbones in an α-Helix and a β-Sheet
Building Secondary Structures
Amino Acid Sidechains have Different Chemical Characteristics
Modeling Helix A of β-Globin
Modeling a β-Sheet of Green Fluorescent Protein
Protein Tertiary and Quaternary Structure
Zinc Finger Folding Activity
15 Tacks and a 4 Foot Toober Protein Folding Activity
Models must be returned on or before the due date. Borrowers are responsible for return shipping costs.
Ship models to:
Milwaukee School of Engineering
1000 N. Market Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3113
Please insure the models for the amount indicated in each suitcase. Any damage incurred in return shipping due to improper packing will be charged to the borrower. We recommend using FedEx or UPS with "two-day ground" transportation. Make sure to get a tracking number for the shipment.