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Over 2600 genetic diseases have been found where a change in a single gene is linked to the disease. One of the questions we might ask is how those mutations change the shape and possibly the function of a protein?

If the structures of the mutant and wild type (normal) proteins have been solved, NCBI has a program called VAST that can be used to align those structures. I have an example here where you can see how a single amino acid change makes influenza resistant to Tamiflu®.

This 4 minute movie below shows how we can obtain those aligned structures from VAST and view them with Cn3D.

CN3D and VAST from Sandra Porter on Vimeo.


  1. #1 Rob Pyatt
    May 8, 2008

    I love this! If only more mutant structures had been solved, this could really help my work.

  2. #2 Sandra Porter
    May 8, 2008

    Thanks Rob!

    You’d be surprised, I think, at how many structures are available! Every day, I find new ones in the database.

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