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Biology LibreTexts

3.8: View 3D Animated Images of Proteins in the NCBI Database

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  • We can’t see them with our own eyes, but viewed by X-Ray diffraction, proteins exhibit exquisite diversity. You can get an X-Ray eye’s view of protein structures at National Center for Biological Information’s Cn3D database. Here’s how to access three- dimensional animated images of proteins from the database:

    Click to download the Cn3D-4.3.1_setup file (for Windows or Mac). The software will reside on your computer and will activate when you go to a macromolecule database search site.

    Click to enter the protein structure database (below):


    The search example shown above for human insulin takes you to this link:

    .x=12&submit.y=12 The website is shown below:


    Click View in Cn3D for the desired protein. For human insulin see this:


    To rotate the molecule, click View then Animation, then Spin… and enjoy!