Professor Fyodor Urnov
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N O T
C O P Y
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Your sections will begin today and continue for the
rest of the semester. Remember that attendance is
mandatory and will count toward your final grade.
I decided to start today a highly important and
extremely boring list: what proteins do.
As enzymes, they catalyze reactions in order to
convert A to B. They do this to either produce
more A or get rid of A.
They catalyze a chemical reaction degradation
for the purpose of releasing energy (such as
with ATP or GTP).
They form a structure that can be used for
various purposes such as DNA binding with
They create channels which allow for
communication between different areas of the
body (such as the
nuclear pore complex
They bind to other things (like sugars or other
proteins) to make something else happen.
Protein regulation is one example of this.
I will send a YouTube version of a
video that illustrates many different biochemical
processes, nearly all of which use proteins for one
purpose or another. Make sure you watch it because
it actually gives a really good overview of nearly
everything you need to learn.
Now I know many of you have are worried about
learning the amino acids and I’ve had many
students e-mail me about what exactly they should
know regarding them. For this class, you will have
the structure, the single-letter code, and
the three-letter code for every amino acid
. I will
test it on the final by presenting one of the amino
acid’s qualities, such as its three-letter code, which
you will use to answer the question I give. Yes, the
test will be open book, but you won’t have time, so
you need to memorize it. And I advise starting
early, because even though you won’t be tested on
it until the final, it is useful to understand for
everything else we go over.
Over the next four lectures, we will take a
considerable look at proteins, especially their roles
as enzymes. To start off, let’s first look at the
different levels that make up proteins. At its heart,
proteins are a linear chain of amino acids (as
opposed to some glucose polymers, which have
branched chains). The first level is the
, which is the sequence of amino acids
that form the protein. After that are the
, which are made up of common
formations seen in many proteins. These structures,
pleated sheets, are
folds in the DNA structure. Hydrogen bonds formed
from the amino acid backbone, rather than the side