Showing posts from March, 2015

Education series: Aquaporin

Everyday proteins - this is Aquaporin
Did you know that our kidney processes over 100 litres of water everyday? Under normal cell functioning conditions, a typical cell membrane will not be able facilitate so much water through the cell. Cells in the kidney need a special transport protein called Aquaporin to facilitate rapid transport of water in and out of the cell so that the kidney can perform its function in water reabsorption.

Structure Aquaporin is a tetrameric protein that consists of four identical monomers. Each monomer has six transmembrane α-helices arranged in a right-handed bundle and orient themselves alongside the other monomers to form four water channels (Fig. 1). The 3D printed model is obtained from the Protein Data Bank (PDB ID: 1FQY) and can be downloaded from our Thingiverse page.

3D Models To highlight the uniqueness of this protein, download and print a 3D model for yourself or your class. As you rotate the model, notice t…