Tutorial:Basic Chemistry Topics

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This tutorial is designed for entry-level college students with some basic chemistry knowledge (Ages 18-22)

Purpose of the Tutorial

  • This tutorial is intended as a beneficial learning/teaching aid for an entry-level chemistry college student with some basic chemistry knowledge. Various general chemistry concepts are explained using a research article as an example. Applying general chemistry to a research article will allow the students to see the impact they can have on the research world in the future by applying their knowledge.

Summary: Scientific Research Article

The molecule to left is from the article "Aminoglycoside 2'-N-acetyltransferase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Complex with Coenzyme A and Tobramycin" published in Nature Structural Biology.[2]. The study focused on aminoglycoside 2’- N- acetyltransferase (AAC (2’)- Ic), an enzyme. This enzyme is a protein that speeds the rate of the reaction it catalyzes.

This study determined the structure of AAC (2’)-Ic from mycobacterium tuberculosis, a pathogen. This pathogen is a microorganism that causes tuberculosis (TB), which typically affects the lungs, but can affect other parts of the body as well. The specific structure/protein fold of AAC (2’)-Ic places it in the GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase (GNAT) superfamily. The GNAT superfamily is a group of enzymes that are similar in structure. The protein fold is important because it determines the function of the compound.[2]

The GNAT family is a group of acetylating enzymes. Acetylation is the addition of CH3CO functional group onto a compound. Although the physiological function of AAC(2’)-Ic is not certain, the discovery of the GNAT fold allowed researchers to classify AAC (2’)-Ic as an acetylating enzyme. Mycothiol is catalyzed by AAC (2’)-Ic to acetylate the aminoglycoside antibiotic known as tobramycin. When this occurs the aminoglycoside antibiotic becomes inactive. The basis of this study is important because when pathogens become resistant to commonly used antibiotics, an infection that was easily cured can now become severe and life threatening.[2]

PDB ID 1m4d

Drag the structure with the mouse to rotate


  1. Vetting, M. W., et al. "Aminoglycoside 2'-N-acetyltransferase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Complex with Coenzyme A and Tobramycin." RCSB Protien DataBase. N.p., 28 Aug.2002. Web. 13 July 2011. http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/explore/explore.do?structureId=1M4D
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Vetting, Matthew W., et al. "Aminoglycoside 2'-N-acetyltransferase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Complex with Coenzyme A and Tobramycin."Nature Structural Biology 9.9 (2002): 653-58. Print.
  3. User:Cepheus. "Periodic Table." Wikipedia. N.p., 26 Feb. 2007. Web. 26 Nov.2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Periodic_table.svg>.
  4. "Periodic Table." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2012.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table>.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 "Amino Acids." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amino_acid>.
  6. . "File:NaF.gif." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 17 June 2011. Web. 31 Oct. 2012.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NaF.gif.
  7. User:Cepheus. "Ionic Bonds." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionic_bond>.
  8. Maňas, Michal, trans. "File:3D model hydrogen bonds in water.jpg." Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 3 Dec. 2007. Web. 31 Oct. 2012 <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:3D_model_hydrogen_bonds_in_water.jpg.
  9. "Hydrogen Bond." wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Nov. 2012.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_bond>.
  10. "Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_secondary_structure>.
  11. Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 4 Nov. 2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enzyme_substrate_(biology)
  12. Maňas, Michal, trans. "File:3D model hydrogen bonds in water.jpg." "Coenzyme A." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coenzyme_A>.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Tobramycin." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobramycin>.

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