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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Heat Resistant Amylase
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Jens Mache
Lewis & Clark College

Rahul Tikekar
Southern Oregon University

Daniel Wilson
Southern Oregon University

Jeff Cronk
Gonzaga University


Possible Audiences:

Computer Scientists, Biochemists  


Brief Overview:

The objective was to "develop" a heat resistant amylase with the starch processing power of a corn amylase and the heat resistant qualities of a heat resistant amylase.

The first step was to find the two "base" amylases whose crystal structure was available via PDB. With the use of google, help from Ethel, and little luck, the two candidates were identified: 1VJS (the heat resistant amylase) and 1IZK ( the corn amylase).

The next step was to analyze the structures of both the enzymes on the ConSerf server along with similar proteins (as found on BLAST) to identify the conserved areas.

The final step was to identify regions on either enzyme where modifications could be performed to achieve the desired properties.  


Project Materials:

  1. The PDB entry to 1VJS ( here )
  2. The analysis of the conserved areas of 1VJS compared to other similar enzymes (as found on BLAST) performed on the ConSurf server ( screen shot)
  3. The PDB entry to 1IZK ( here )
  4. comparison of the two enzymes( here )
  5. Residues important for thermo stability( here )