This project was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled Modeling in Bioinformatics at Lane Community College in October 2004. 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:

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Aquaporins: Are regions of the protein conserved?
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Jerry Hall
Lane Community College

Kathleen Morrison-Graham
Lane Community College

Gary Mort
Lane Community College


Possible Audiences:



Brief Overview:

The osmotic controlled passage of polar water through fundamentally nonpolar biologic lipid bilayers (membranes) wasn't understood until the work of Peter Agre and Roderick MacKinnon on aquaporins resulting in the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 2003. We decided to examine conservation in aquaporins. A Google search provided us with both the PDB id (1h6i) of the human aquaporin A chain from RBCs, and a clearer understanding that the aquaprorins represent a related group of proteins present in multiple species. At we conducted an initial investigation of the structure of 1h6i. At consurf ( we were able to obtain the protein sequences for the best 20 matches in nearly FASTA form. After text editing we ran Clustalw and retrieved both rooted and unrooted trees. In the trees, it is easy to see the families of aquaporins (type 1, 2 etc; see tree.doc below).  


Project Materials:

The Biology Workbench
Protein Data Bank
The ConSurf Server The Nobel Prize web site  


Resources and References:  


Future Directions:

Compare the structural similarities 1. between types of aquaporins 2. between human aquaporins and within groups of aquaporins.  



- tree.doc
- aquaporin_str_4views.doc