AbstractMedical students are challenged to apply their biochemistry foundation towards a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in pathophysiological processes. Addressing the gap between basic sciences and clinical sciences is imperative, especially in light of educating the medical community about COVID-19 and the importance of vaccination. This video demonstrates how PyMol, a molecular graphics tool, can be used to visualize the three-dimensional structure of proteins on the SARS-CoV-2. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this video was posted on the MCG COVID Response Page and was used to teach the medical community about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and how the Pfizer vaccine works. Exploring a detailed 3D model of the virus allows students to study the spike protein amino acid sequence on the virus, see how mutations in the virus change its interaction with the ACE2 human receptor, and consequently, visualize the conformational changes that the spike protein undergoes as it fuses with the host cell. It is important that medical students learn how to utilize available technologies to critically analyze the relationship between protein structure and function and understand how this interaction plays a role the COVID-19 mutations responsible for the pandemic.
AffiliationMedical College of Georgia
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