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CHEM 326 - Biochemistry: Home

Completing the Inspired by Enzymes Project

Step 1: Understanding the Assignment

Before beginning, make sure you understand the parameters of the assignment. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What steps do you need to take to complete the project?
  • What do you need to know or learn to complete each step? 
  • Where do you find the information you need?
  • Where will you start?

Step 2: Choosing an Enzyme

Choosing a topic, or enzyme in this case, can often be the hardest step. If you don't know where to start, sometimes just browsing or exploring recent news or articles can help. While you look, remember the specific parameters that you need: 1) enzyme structure published post-2010 that has 2) a published structure paper, and 3) a PDB number. See tips below on how to choose an appropriate enzyme.

Method 1: Browse the Protein Data Bank (PDB)

By starting your exploration in PDB, you can hit all 3 parameters at once. If an enzyme is found within this database, it likely meets 2) and 3). See below to learn how to find the most recent enzymes.

By Molecule of the Month
  1. Click on the current molecule of the month, displayed on the right. OR, click on the page under the Learn menu. 
  2. Use the By Date option, and look for -ases to identify enzymes
  3. Use the By Category option => molecules of life => enzymes. NOTE:  You will have to see if these are more recent later.
By Searching and Limiting by Date
  1. Perform a search for anything you might be interested in.
  2. Use the options on the left to Refine By date and Polymer Entity Type: Protein. 

Method 2: Search the Internet

  1. Try searching Google News (or similar search engine) for enzymes you may be interested in, like: new enzymes plants
  2. Once you find something, go back to the PDB and search for a matching enzyme.

Step 3: Finding Structure Info in the Protein Data Bank (PDB)

Once you have selected your enzyme, you will need to find the following in the PDB:

  1. Structure
  2. PDB number
  3. Original Paper/Article in which the structure was published

All of these are easily found within the results after a search. Or, you can click on a Result to get more information, especially about the Original Paper/Article in the Literature section. 

To get the paper, see the next step.

Step 4: Searching the Literature for Enzyme Properties

To find literature/articles that give you information about your enzyme, you'll need to search a literature database. The library has many with relevant information, but for this assignment MEDLINE should serve most of your needs.

You should be able to find the original article that published your enzyme structure within MEDLINE by searching the title. Additionally, you can search for articles that include more information about your enzyme's properties.

Search Tips
  • Be specific
  • Refine your search
  • Use Limiters
  • Use subject headings

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Melissa Gold

Phone: 717-871-7124

Office: McNairy Library 205

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