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:

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Acetylcholine Receptor Binding Toxins
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Sandra Slivka
San Diego Miramar College

Guillermina von Borstel
San Diego Unified School District

Christopher Smith
College of San Mateo

Marilyn S. Stalzer
Dept of Defense - Puerto Rico- Antilles High School

Juanita Quevedo
Sweetwater Union High School District


Possible Audiences:

Science Teachers and Students  


Brief Overview:

Various toxins that bind the acetylcholine receptor are compared to identify similarities in amino acid sequence. The hypothesis is that similar functioning proteins will have similar amino acid sequences.  


Project Materials:

Computer with Internet access and a browser.  


Resources and References:

Protein Data Bank (PDB), Swiss Protein Data Bank, Washington University at St. Louis website, Biology Workbench and PubMed. Link to Molecule of the Month: Acetylcholine Receptor:  


Future Directions:

Acetylcholine receptor amino acid toxin similarities may be used in considering drug development that may affect neurolgical disorders.  



- PPT_AChReceptor_Toxins4.ppt
- Amino Acid Sequence Comparisons.rtf