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Biology LibreTexts

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

  • Page ID
    18799
  • 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 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Structure/CN3D/cn3dinstall.shtml 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 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Structure/MMDB/docs/mmdb_search.html to enter the protein structure database (below):

    clipboard_e7672285d4ed4aa9eae9aa16e942c19b6.png

    The search example shown above for human insulin takes you to this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/structure/?term=human+insulin&SITE=NcbiHome&submit

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

    clipboard_ef0691bb6c0ca30d9a13bdcc3e798b0fe.png

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

    clipboard_e02405b4d08b9a4cb7e70485e3bf5bfb8.png

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