Building Blocks of Life
The shape of a protein determines its function. In this lab, students will be given a hypothetical DNA sequence for part of an enzyme. Using the Universal Genetic Code, they will then determine the amino acid sequence coded for by the DNA. Students will examine a “substrate” and predict the shape of an enzyme that could interact with that substrate. Differently shaped Lego® blocks will represent different amino acids. Next they will construct the “enzyme” using Lego®s as specified in the code and see if it a) matches their prediction and b) fits the substrate. Effects of mutant DNA sequences on the enzyme structure will be examined to see how the interaction between the enzyme and substrate are affected. This lab corresponds to CIBT’s Building Blocks of Life Kit.