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Høst 2022

KJE-3402 Protein Structure - 10 stp

The course is administrated by

Institutt for kjemi

Type of course

Theoretical and practical subject. The course is available as a singular or elective course independent of study program, also to exchange students. The course is offered on condition that a minimum number of students register for the course.

Course overlap

KJE-8402 Protein structures 10 stp

Course contents

Of all molecules in a living organism, the proteins have the most diverse functions and due to this, they are also the most complex molecules in a cell. Their function is closely related to the complex 3D structure and the course focuses on this close relationship. The course is an introduction to the basic principles of protein structure, including the properties of amino acids, secondary structure elements, motifs, folds, classification based on fold and the relation between 3-dimensional structure and function of proteins. Intramolecular forces like hydrogen bonds, ionic and van der Waals interactions are extensively covered. The basic principles of the hydrophobic effect are also included. Basic properties of the amino acids in a protein such as H-binding, pKa, size, shape, polarity and secondary structure propensities are covered. The general principles of secondary structure elements and motif are extensively covered by the syllabus of the course. The students are furthermore expected to learn how the 3D-structure of a protein determines the function. This is taught through a detailed discussion of a series of protein classes; enzymes, DNA-binding and DNA-modifying proteins, receptors, membrane bound signalling proteins, proteins active in the immune system, virus proteins and the fibre type of proteins. Factors affecting the stability of a protein are discussed for all parts of the course. Some important methods for structure determination (X-ray crystallography and NMR), along with basic modelling techniques are also discussed. The content and use of some of the most important databases for protein structure data are examined both theoretically and through hands-on exercises.

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester 

Exchange students and Fulbright students:  15 April for the autumn semester.

Admission requirements

Formal prerequisites:

Objective of the course

The student will have acquired a solid and broad theoretical basis to understand protein structure. This means that the student:



Properties of amino acids


Structural hierarchy and structural diversity

Binding sites and intramolecular interactions


Methods for obtaining structural information




Language of instruction

The language of instruction and examination is English and all of the syllabus material is in English. 

Teaching methods

Lectures: 28 h, Seminars: 8 h, Laboratory: 30 h PC-based exercises

Date for examination

School exam 30.11.2022

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced at your faculty early in May and early in November.