Proteins: Biology's Workforce

Protein is found in virtually every part of your body. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way. In this biology course you will learn how proteins drive almost all living processes. Proteins manufactured by cells perform a broad range of essential functions — the molecular workforce of living organisms. You will learn how proteins are the cellular manifestation of genetic information. They are assembled into a polymeric structure from monomers derived in part from components in our diet. Proteins catalyze metabolic reactions, replicate DNA, respond to stimuli, provide movement, and much more. Using video lectures, articles, case studies, and molecular models, we will explore how proteins are constructed, how they fold into 3-dimensional shapes, the kinds of bonds that hold these folded structures together, and the immense range of roles that proteins assume ‑ from structural proteins found in muscle to catalysts for cellular chemical reactions. Purification and characterization are essential to understand protein structure and function, and we will identify a variety of methods to uncover how these tiny machines drive almost all living processes.

Created by: Rice University

Level: Intermediate

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