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Macromolecular Structure and Function


Human Estrogen Receptor (ES1).  Image by Emw.  Licensed: GFDL.  Source:


  1. Biological macromolecules are large and complex
    Students should be able to discuss the diversity and complexity of various biologically relevant macromolecules and macromolecular assemblies in terms of the basic repeating units of the polymer and the types of linkages between them.

  2. Structure is determined by several factors
    Students should be able to discuss the chemical and physical relationships between sequence and structure of macromolecules and evaluate chemical and energetic contributions to the appropriate levels of structure of the macromolecule and predict the effects of specific alterations of structure on the dynamic properties of the molecule.  

  3. Structure and function are related
    Students should be able to examine a structure of a macromolecule-ligand complex and predict the determinants of specificity and affinity and design experiments to test their hypothesis, explaining the basis of the proposed experiments and discussing potential results in the context of the hypothesis.  

  4. Macromolecular interactions

  5. Macromolecular structures are dynamic

  6. Some macromolecules are intrinsically unstructured

  7. Macromolecular function is subject to regulation
    Students should be able to compare and contrast the potential ways in which the function of a macromolecule might be affected and be able to discuss examples of allosteric regulation, covalent regulation and gene level alterations of macromolecular structure/function.