Exploring protein structure

Students will learn about protein structure by viewing protein molecules in Cn3D, a free web-based tool for viewing the 3-dimensional structures of proteins. Students will explore the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins and relate structure to function.

Link to VCE Biology

Unit 3: Outcome 1 • The chemical nature of the cell The structure and functional diversity of proteins • The nature of biochemical processes: Enzymes as organic catalysts • Applications of molecular biology in medicine - Design of drugs


Explore protein structure and function using the PowerPoint Presentation prior to beginning this task. Suggested time is 80 minutes, 30 minutes for the exploring concepts in the PowerPoint and 50 minutes for the student task. Download Cn3D onto computers prior to working through the Protein Structure worksheet.


GTAC bioinformatics task 4 presentation (save this to your desktop before viewing)

GTAC bioinformatics task 4 student worksheet 1 - for PowerPoint presentation

GTAC bioinformatics task 4 student worksheet 2 - for Cn3D activity. If being run in a class, different groups can work on different proteins and then present their results to the class.

AmylaseCollagen and Haemoglobin - Total of 3 files for Cn3D. Download these and open them within Cn3D.

Link to download Cn3D - this will need to be installed on the computers being used


Resource developer - Jacinta Duncan