Protein Structure Animation


Image of a protein structure

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Proteins are composed of chains of amino acids arranged in a specific sequence.  That sequence is referred to as its Primary Structure.  The way it bends, twists, bonds, folds and groups with other chains make up its Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary structures. View a protein structure animation and watch for these four protein structures. There is no assignment but you should be familiar with these structures for future quizzes or tests.

Proteins are made in the process of translation, where RNA is translated on ribosomes to synthesize proteins from amino acids. RNA is synthesized from DNA, and enters the ribosome where protein translation and synthesis occurs. Watch the video below to gain a better understanding of the process.

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You might also want to watch a video about the three-dimensional structure of a protein. Afterward, consider examining an Introduction to Protein Structure which is part of the Rediscovering Biology series also made available from

Screenshot and link to Annenberg video about the structure of proteins

Understanding the structure of proteins is extremely important. When proteins behave properly, they assemble and fold into shapes that help them carry out their important tasks. However, when proteins do not fold properly, there are numerous tragic consequences. For example, many well known diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many Cancers and cancer-related syndromes are related to proteins that have not folded properly.


Folding@home is a distributed computing project that studies protein folding and misfolding. The webpage for the science behind Folding@home project has rich and useful information about:

Screenshot of and link to the Folding@Home protein folding website