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Enzyme Regulation

binding site.png


Metabolism is about control

High product levels are bad in most biological systems. Here, we use buildup of glycerol-6-phosphate to compare two types of product inhibition: allostery and product/competitive inhibition.

This 30-minute activity has students interact with a movable version of the human hexokinase isoform from the brain.

The activity teaches:

  • Location of allosteric or competitive binding sites relative to the active site

  • Allosteric changes to an active site structure

  • Product inhibition by allostery and competition

Where's the data?

Want to know if the activity is effective? We did too. Check out our peer-reviewed publication here.

The Models


One set of models

  • Human hexokinase I

  • A wire connected set of ATP & Glucose-6-P

All model files provided are to scale. Use caution when printing from .stl files, which are dimensionless. substrate and product molecules are connected, after printing, cut them from the wire.

For classroom purposes, we recommend printing in two colors, then mixing and matching as pictured.


Model design: Michelle Howell


Inhibition Model Set

Printable File Downloads

Opens a UNL Digital Commons page with download files at the bottom. Two versions available: .blend and .stl

Note that these models were designed to be printed on an SLS printer. After printing, the interior powder is blown away with a air compressor. Printers with support material may also work. 

Print Hexokinase at Shapeways

No 3D printer? Print models with a professional service, they ship to your door.

Model design: Michelle Howell

The Activity

We recommend a printed version only for small classes and a combination of printed and interactive online activity for large classes. 

This 30-minute activity is designed to replace a lecture-style class on protein structure. In our class of >110 students, it was completed in groups of three. 


Activity learning goals:

  1. Location of allosteric or competitive binding sites relative to the active site

  2. Allosteric changes to an active site structure

  3. Product inhibition by allostery and competition

Allostery activity.PNG
The Slides

These slides describe:

  1. Prerequisite class knowledge

  2. An introduction to why protein structure is important

  3. Model description

  4. Clicker question

  5. Protein methods image

  6. A summary of what Dr. Roston's class should know about Amino Acids

Looking for Assessment Questions?

Or activity answer keys? Our data suggests that students will perform better on typical biochemistry test questions regarding protein structure after doing this activity. However, Dr. Roston is happy to provide assessment questions and answer keys.

Contact Dr. Roston

Questions? Comments! Talk to us
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