That is the question.
The protein to the left is bovine heart low molecular weight
protein tyrosine phosphatase.
Proteins are polymers that are constructed of 20
different amino acid monomers linked together to form a large chain.
The chain then folds on itself in 3D space to a specific, unique
structure with binding pockets for other molecules. This
tutorial will show one of the 148 amino acids,
Phenylalanine 10 (Phe
10), in the folded structure. The atoms in Phe consist
mostly of C and H, so it is nonpolar and contains few slight postive
and negative. On folding does Phe 10 bury itself in the
interior of the densely packed protein or is in on the surface,
where the nonpolar atoms are exposed to water? See below for
Cartoon and Wireframe
Zoom in on Phe 10
amino acids around
nonpolar amino acids
(Val 8, Leu 9, Val 11, Cys 12,
Ala 19, Ala 22, Phe 26, Ile 41, Leu 89, Leu 116, Cys 149)