A Research Study On Protein Structure, Function And Biochemical Adaptation

A Research Study On Protein Structure, Function And Biochemical Adaptation

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The primary goal of this research-inspired laboratory experience is to integrate genuine research into the biochemistry laboratory course for undergraduate students. This course introduces students to resources available to them via the Internet as well as standard experimental approaches and techniques used in modern biochemical research, through hands-on experimentation, discussion and application. Techniques will include bioinformatics tool, DNA purification and analysis, protein purification and quantification, enzymatic characterization, chromatography, electrophoresis, and spectroscopic analysis. One model protein LDH (widely used in undergraduate laboratory courses) will be used in this semester-long research project where students will investigate on protein structure, function and biochemical adaptation (at first, we will be examining temperature adaptation), while providing students an opportunity to be involved in authentic research aimed at improving the tools for predicting the outcomes of amino acid substitutions. Furthermore future research project may include examination of the amino acid substitution consistent with other biochemical adaptation such as depth, location, pressure, salt concentrations etc. and investigate the effect on both catalytic and thermostability of the enzymes. This hands-on research experience will give students critical skills which are driven by inquiry rather than achieve expected outcomes.
Prior to the laboratory, instructor and students will read and discuss a paper on LDH which includes thermal stability, sequence, and kinetic data from the three barracuda LDHs (1,2). Students will be also reading and discussing on papers which includes increase in protein flexibility and solubility a...

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...on experiment they had finished by writing a formal report. In addition, students will present a power point presentation at the end of semester.
This research based project is anticipated to not only to learn how to physically perform techniques, but also help students to think critically and independently like biochemist, or more generally, a scientist. This research project will be an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to learn crucial biochemical skills which will make their transition to graduate school easier and a more desirable applicant as one require less training. According to Dr. Beck, her informal, attitudinal assessments indicated that this new module increased student interest in attending graduate school and pursuing careers in biochemical research as well as student confidence in their ability to conduct independent research.

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