This project was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled Implementing Bioinformatics in Introductory Undergraduate Biology Courses:
Exploring Microbiology, Molecular Data and Visualization
at San Diego Supercomputing Center in January 2007. The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium is committed to the reform of undergraduate biology instruction through an emphasis on engaging students in realistic scientific practices. This approach is sometimes characterized as an inquiry driven approach and is captured in BioQUEST's three P's (problem-posing, problem-solving, and peer-persuasion). As part of this workshop groups of faculty were encouraged to initiate innovative curricular projects. We are sharing these works in progress in the hope that they will stimulate further exploration, collaboration and development. Please see the following links for additional information:

Upcoming events               BEDROCK Problem Spaces

Anthrax toxin: Examining the relationship between structure and function
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Lucy Kluckhohn Jones
Santa Monica College

Ramy Aziz
San Diego State University

Stephanie Songer
North Georgia College & State University

April Maskiewicz
Point Loma Nazarene University

Melissa Scott
San Diego City College


Possible Audiences:

Introductory and Allied Health Students  


Brief Overview:

We didn’t get where we wanted to go.
We wanted students to be able to visualize that a change in structure results in a change in function. We wanted students to be able to investigate that these changes in amino acid sequences result from changes in nucleic acid structure.
We posited a scenario based on anthrax. Anthrax is the molecule of the month for April 2002 on the Protein Data Base.
Follow-up activity: Small groups would be able to investigate central dogma based on sequences from a molecule of the month.  


Resources and References:

Anthrax Toxin binding cartoon:
Click here

Mechanism of Anthrax infection:

Molecule of the Month:
Find the anthrax toxin in this list

See the LF moving  


Future Directions:

Modify project to fit individual classroom needs. Enable students to similarly investigate other molecules of the month and the connection between structure and function at both the nucleic acid and protein levels.  



- DNAfunction.doc