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January 10, 2016 / May K.

Integrin α2β1

Protein Data Bank ID: 1AOX
Protein Name: Integrin α2β1 I domain
Organism: Homo sapiens
Title of Drawing: “Community

Another request from 2012, sorry for the huge delay, najas!

This scene is based on the integrin α2β1 I domain. Integrins are transmembrane proteins establishing connections between adjacent cells or between cells and the extracellular space. Integrin α2β1 can bind collagen or laminin and thereby not only ensures adhesion between the cellular skeleton and the extracellular matrix, but also can serve as a signal receiver for the cell.

The name “integrin” originates from the fact that these molecules are integral membrane proteins. Analogously to integrins incorporated into the membrane, members of religious groups such as Amish and Mennonites outlined in this drawing are highly integrated within their communities. An example to this is the warmth that has been bestowed on the sad girl by the other community members.

April 29, 2015 / May K.

Protein Art: Postcards and the Upcoming Mother’s Day

Some Protein Art motives are now available as (post)cards!


The cards can be ordered via the Protein Art shop at Etsy. In case of shippment to Germany, some cards are also avialable with a discount at Rockys-Onlineshop.

A postcard for the upcoming Mother’s Day on Mai 10th is shown beneath.

Now some words about the protein behind the Mother’s Day card.

Protein Data Bank ID: 2KRH
Protein Name: C-Terminal Actin-Binding Domain of ABRA
Organism: Rattus norvegicus (rat)
Title of Drawing: “Pushing the Buggy

This drawing is based on the actin-binding domain of the ABRA protein. ABRA promotes the polymerization of actin, the main structural and functional component of muscles. Only polymerized actin can drive muscle contraction. Thus, ABRA enables the mother to be strong enough to push the buggy and generally bring up her child.

January 20, 2015 / May K.

DNA Clamp

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a protein. But finally I’m back to the proteins and back for you, starting to fulfill your protein requests! The following drawing is inspired by a comment by pensatorkjh back in 2012.

Protein Data Bank ID: 3BEP
Protein Name: DNA Clamp
Organism: Escherichia coli
Title of the Drawing: “Even-Toed Ungulates

The DNA clamp is one of the most important cellular tools for DNA replication. It encircles the DNA helix which is situated in the center of the drawing and represents an emblem of even-toed ungulates. The clamp itself is drawn as a circle dance performed by deer, sheep, gazelles, and boars. The clamp slides along the DNA and ensures that the polymerase, the actual DNA copying machine, remains attached to the DNA strands. The clamp has distant analogy to a horse collar necessary for the carriage to remain on track.

July 31, 2013 / May K.

CDK5-P25 Complex

Dear readers of my blog,

I have to apologize for not being active for a while! I have received many great protein orders and little by little I am working on their realization. But unfortunately, I have a quite tough time this year as the final countdown of my PhD began. I will make up for the missing posts as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience! Here is a small reward:

Protein Data Bank ID: 1H4L
Protein Name: CDK5-P25 Complex
Organism: Homo sapiens
Title of Drawing: “Baby Dragon Playing with a Toy House“

Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) is an enzyme which triggers the phosphorylation of a key protein of the reelin signaling pathway. Via this pathway CDK5 is involved in neuronal migration and positioning. For its activation CDK5 needs a cofactor, p35 (a fragment of p35 called p25 is shown in the bottom part of this drawing). Recent studies have shown that CDK5 is required already early on during brain development [1].

Similar to ‘playing games’, CDK5 is necessary for a proper development of children’s brain. This baby dragon playing with his toy house illustrates these connections.

March 20, 2013 / May K.

Call for Art & Science Exhibition Proposals for ISMB ECCB 2013 in Berlin

Call for Art & Science Exhibition Proposals – ISMB/ECCB 2013
Scientists and artists are invited to submit images and videos that illustrate research projects, scientific principles and draw a link between art and science.

Images and videos will automatically enter an online contest for a $200 (USD) award.

Read more…

February 28, 2013 / May K.

Exciting News

The negative news for the start:

  • Unfortunately, my entry for the ”International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge’ is not among the winners. Here are the 2012 winners. However, a huge “Thank You” to all who supported me!

Now the positive ones:

January 29, 2013 / May K.

Neurophysin I, carrier protein for Oxytocin

Protein Data Bank ID: 2HNU
Protein Name: Neurophysin I (Carrier for Oxytocin)
Organism: Bos taurus
Title of Drawing: Mother Bear with Baby

Neurophysin I together with oxytocin are both cleavage products of the precursor protein preprooxyphysin. Once preprooxyphysin has been cleaved, neurophysin acts as carrier protein for oxytocin. Oxytocin is a well-known hormone. It has many functions, especially in the field of human relationships. For example, it plays an important role in bonding between mother and child. Sometimes a view of a baby face is enough to induce a release of oxytocin.
So mother bear and its baby is a direct illustration of the function of oxytocin and hence its carrier protein neurophysin I.
you can see a TED talk about the role of oxytocin. And here is an easy accessible video for the Russian-speaking readers.

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