Send to

Choose Destination
Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2016 Nov 12;44(6):526-536. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20976. Epub 2016 Jun 9.

Connecting common genetic polymorphisms to protein function: A modular project sequence for lecture or lab.

Author information

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, James Madison University, Virginia.
Center for Genome and Metagenome Studies, James Madison University, Virginia.
Department of Biology, James Madison University, Virginia.


Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNA can result in phenotypes where the biochemical basis may not be clear due to the lack of protein structures. With the growing number of modeling and simulation software available on the internet, students can now participate in determining how small changes in genetic information impact cellular protein structure and function. We have developed a modular series of activities to engage lab or lecture students in examining the basis for common phenotypes. The activities range from basic phenotype testing/observation to DNA sequencing and simulation of protein structure and dynamics. We provide as an example study of the bitterness receptor TAS2R38 and PTC tasting, however these activities are applicable to other SNPs or genomic variants with a direct connection to an observable phenotype. These activities are modular and can be mixed to meet the student capabilities and infrastructure availability. The complete sequence of activities will demonstrate the direct connection between gene structure, protein structure and organism function.


genomics proteomics bioinformatics; molecular biology; protein structure function and folding; using simulation and internet resources for teaching

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center