In Class Oct. 25th: The “Wasabi Receptor”

Recently, scientists figured out the structure of TRPA1, the so-called wasabi receptor, a protein that allows us to taste certain foods as spicy hot.

By using whatever resources you’d like, work on answering the following questions with your peers…

  • What’s the relationship between this protein’s structure and its function? How does it work? What kind of protein is it? Structural? An enzyme?
  • What levels of protein structure are present in a fully functioning TRPA1 protein?
  • What kind(s) of secondary structure(s) can you spot in the image of TRPA1’s structure above or in images elsewhere?
  • What would happen if you were able to hold one of TRPA1’s subunits by its ends and pull? Would it just rip apart into shreds?

wasabi receptor, schematic

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