Protein Portraits






         The aesthetic alchemy of life

May 13, 2009

Ferritin Info.

Filed under: Student posts @ 10:29 am

So basically, ferritin is composed of mostly alpha helices (4 lonand 1 short) with beta strands connecting them. Like we talked about the other day, some of the beta strands wrap around (because the helices go in the same direction twice) and are therefore longer than other beta strands. From what I can tell, ferritin is classified in the “Up-Down Bundle” domain.

Since this protein functions to bind calcium and iron, I want to represent that creatively in the structure that I build. This is why I am interested in doing a little metal working when I go home next weekend. My basic plan is to build the alpha helices on a scale of approximately 1 angstrum = 3 inches. This should give me a dramatic molecule slightly over 2 feet in length. For the iron and calcium ions, I’m thinking of attatching different colored lightbulbs and a battery to make a circut with the metal in the molecule that causes the bulbs to light up.

I also would like to show the ferritin protein in its functional structure (24 subunits put together) but don’t think I’m capable of such complicated metal work. So for this, I might just draw a sketch of the whole molecule or use a metal that can be easily bent.



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