are proteins' structures important?
how molecules recognize each other. Proteins that fit well with
other molecules, like a hand in a glove, or a key in a lock, can participate in
reactions with those molecules. Whether or not a good fit occurs
depends on the structure of the protein and of the molecules
with which it encounters either inside the cell or on the cell
the illustration of the crumpled sheet of paper?
protein's function is established by its structure.
In membranes, protein
structure affects function in two ways:
coil in the membrane,
acting like an anchor
portions of the protein that
are attracted to water, stick out both sides of the membrane,
available to interact with other molecules
even a small change in structure affect a protein?
Proteins are so precisely
built that a change in only a few amino acids can radically
change the structure of proteins and cause major changes in
the function. Many of the genetic diseases are
caused by miscoding of the sequence of only a few amino acids.
Structure of proteins, particularly those in the cell membrane
that have signaling functions, can be changed by interaction
with molecules in the environment, and their functions become
temporarily altered. This may affect how they bind with
hormones or drugs or with other molecules.
more on neat views of 3-D protein structure, click
here. When you arrive at the Web page, pick a protein
of interest, hit "View Structure", and then
Hit "Quick PDB". Use "Help" to see
all the cool viewing tricks.