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Acetylcholinesterase Model Demonstration Model

Lending Library Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MSOE Model Lending Library has suspended operations. Before reopening, we need to identify safe ways of disinfecting library materials between uses. We hope to have decisions made by mid-July about which materials will be available for loan in the fall.


Teaching Points

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


Requesting this Model

Loan Time Frame: 3 weeks


  • Use the calendar below to select a three week loan. Available times are shown in green. Select a date one week prior to the date you want the model to arrive. After selecting your time period, select checkout and complete the booking details.
  • This loan includes both delivery and return shipping time. Please make sure to plan time (approximately one week) for us to deliver the model to you. You can expect the model to arrive approximately one week following the first day of the requested loan period.


  • Use the calendar below to select a three week loan. Available times are shown in green. Select the date you want to pick up the model. After selecting your time period, select checkout and complete the booking details.

Requesting Other Models

You may schedule one copy of a model for three weeks. Due to limited resources, we are unable to loan multiple copies or additional materials.

If you would like to request a loan of a different model for the same time frame you may add this to your cart. Up to three different types of models may be checked out at one time. You will need to fill out a separate request for model loans with a different time frame.


Please contact us at with any questions about the lending process or the availability of models.

Contact Margaret Franzen at or (414) 277-2824 with questions about the models, teaching resources or educational content.



Model Documentation and Instructions

Teaching Points and Inventory
Evolution in Action: Modeling Insecticide Resistance in Mosquitos


Returning Models

Models must be returned on or before the due date.

Borrowers are responsible for return shipping costs. We recommend using FedEx or UPS with "two-day ground" transportation. Please make sure to get a tracking number for the shipment.

Please take care when returning models. Any damage incurred in return shipping due to improper packing will be charged to the borrower.

Ship models to:
Milwaukee School of Engineering
1000 N. Market Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3113
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