This week I took a break from the experimentation and did research on the chemistry of the peptide. Pnc-27 is an amphipathic peptide, meaning that one side of it is polar and the other side is non polar. In regards to cellular chemistry, this means that one side is hydrophobic and able to get through the cell membrane, while the other is hydrophilic and unable to permeate the cell without some additional help.
Pnc-27 is a bulky peptide, so rather than study it, I was responsible for analyzing the protein prion. Prion is much smaller but has the same amphipathic nature as Pnc-27. Although prion has been implicated in memory diseases, such as Alzheimers, I was only studying it for its shape and not its biological properties.
This week, I was responsible for reading and finding research papers that could explain the way prion could enter the cell. I was also responsible for graphing prion on the computer. I used a program called Maestro, which plots the 3D points of the protein and allows for a movable model to be downloaded on the computer.
I also colored the prion molecule in accordance to its structures and polarity to make it easier to understand the protein.