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Peptidyl Transferase Activity

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Shockwave Flash
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Description This submission is a component of a series of animated lessons explaining various aspects of protein translation. The other components, submitted separately, are Protein Translation Overview, Protein Translation PA Sites, Transfer RNA, Genetic Code, Ribosome Assembly, Nuclear Pore Complexes, Nucleolus, Rough ER Targeting and Protein Sorting. This submission explains protein translation by displaying the peptidyl transferase activity of the ribosome. It displays the 3’ end of two charged tRNAs. The aminoacyl bond between the growing polypeptide and tRNA at the P site is cleaved, and a peptide bond is formed between the growing polypeptide and the next amino acid bond to the tRNA at the A site. Thus, the polypeptide is transferred to the next amino acid. The tRNA at the P site is then released and the tRNA with the polypeptide is transferred from the A to P site. The next charged tRNA is brought to the A site, and the cycle repeats. This animation serves as a valuable resource for any collegiate-level course that presents protein translation. Courses that might employ it include Introductory Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics. Two modes are provided for each lesson, “Labeled” and “PopUp.” Users can toggle between the modes at any point in a lesson. In the "Labeled" mode titles, labels and explanatory text accompany the images. The explanatory text makes an animation useful for self-study. To make an animation appropriate as a visual aid for lectures the explanatory text can be toggled off, thereby preventing it from competing with an instructor’s verbal explanations. The “PopUp” mode is designed to summarize key points, making it particularly conducive to self-study. Information appears when the cursor is passed over an object. In many cases additional information appears when the object is clicked.
Type of Resource Animation
Format Shockwave Flash - SWF
Technical Note Flash-enabled web browser To open the animations with a Windows operating system using Internet Explorer follow these steps: (1) Click the link for the animation. (2) A dialog box may pop up that begins with the statement "Windows cannot open this file:" If this box does not appear proceed to step four. If it does choose "Select the program from a list," then click OK. (3) Another dialog box will pop up that lists different programs. Make sure "Internet Explorer" is selected, then click OK. (4) Internet Explorer will pop up. Beneath the toolbars at the top of the window a yellow bar will appear that reads "To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has restricted this webpage from running scripts or Active X controls that could access your computer. Click here for options..." Pass the cursor over this yellow bar and click the right mouse button. (5) A dialog box will pop up. Left click the option "Allow Blocked Content." (6) Another dialog box will appear labeled "Security Warning" asking you to confirm that you want to run the content. Click "Yes." (7) The Flash animation will appear in the Internet Explorer Window. (8) Instructions for navigating the lesson are provided by the first frame of the animation. On most screens unless specified, clicking anywhere on the screen advances the action. To open the animations with a MAC operating system, click the link for the animation. If the .swf doesn't open it may have gone to your downloads file. If so, find your downloads file (home folder?), open your browser: File: Open File: select the title from downloads: open. It should open in your browser.
Jack Thatcher, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
Development Date June 25, 2013
Grade/Age Levels Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
Professional (degree program)
Learning Time <=1 hour
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By LifeSciTRC Board
Review Date November 18, 2013
Suggested Use

This animation is a component of a series of animated lessons explaining various aspects of protein translation.  These are difficult concepts that students often find difficult to grasp. The entire series serves as a valuable resource for any collegiate-level course that presents protein translation because of its unique ability to convey complex information in an animated visual format.

Johana Vallejo, Midwestern University

Animations are both excellent learning tools for students, but also teaching tools for instructors.

Elissa Carney, American Physiological Society

nice animation

Thomas Schmidt, UIowa


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