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Articulated Models

The Scripps Research Institute | Molecular Graphics Lab


All molecular models shown are designed and output from our molecular modeling environment, PMV, and printed on a Z-Corp 406 3-D printer and a Stratasys Prodigy Plus printer.


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A fully flexible model of the HIV protease backbone. This enzyme, which is an important drug target in treating AIDS patients is composed of two identical protein chains (depicted in yellow and green). It functions by cutting other peptide chains (shown in white), in a step that is critical to the maturation of the virus. The model is folded up from a string of peptide units for each chain. The folding is accomplished by the interactions of magnets representing hydrogen bond donors and acceptors in the peptide units. The completed model enables manipulation of the two "flaps" that must open to allow the peptide substrate into the active site of the enzyme.

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Two flexible alpha helix models. These models are formed from a linear string of peptide units, each with magnets representing the hydrogen bond donors and acceptors. The helices result from the formation of hydrogen bonds between units that are equally spaced apart along the chain by 4 peptides. The green components represent the amino acid side-chains, showing how they can interdigitate between adjacent alpha helices.

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A flexible model of a DNA double helix. This model shows the complimentarity of the nucleotide bases of DNA, and how they zip up to form a double helical structure. Magnets are placed to represent the hydrogen bond donors and acceptors that form the Watson-Crick base pairs.

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