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January 19, 2012 / May K.

Activin A

Protein Data Bank ID: 3B4V
Protein Name: Activin A
Organism: Homo sapiens
Title of Drawing: “The Butterfly”

Activin A is a dimeric protein complex which enhances the liberation of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland. Therefore activin indirectly controls the development and reproductive processes of the male as well as of the female body.

The protein data bank entry comprises four activin beta-A chains in complex with four follistatin-like 3 (FSTL3) proteins. The “Butterfly” consists of an activin beta-A dimer (Activin A protein).


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  1. George Febish / Jan 19 2012 10:24 pm

    I love your art. I study epigenetics and how proteins play our DNA and can cause health or diseases. It is a very interesting way to look at these small objects as artwork. Thank you. My BLOG is at

    • May K. / Jan 23 2012 2:59 pm

      Thank you, George! I’m also happy to follow your interesting blog. I’m currently trying to draw some proteins interacting with DNA. Hopefully, I will some interesting images:).

  2. neilalxb / Jan 23 2012 3:40 pm

    this is truly fantastic stuff! some wonderful creativity going on here, I particularly like the drunken girl, I look forward to seeing more of your work!

    • May K. / Jan 23 2012 3:53 pm

      Thank you!:) It’s always very satisfying when the drawing reflects the function of the protein (as the drunken girl)… but unfortunately not always possible to realize.

  3. stormyontop / Feb 1 2012 10:36 pm

    These are really cool! I see proteins on screen very often- but never imagined it as beautifully as you do! Fabulous- Thanks for publishing!=)

    • May K. / Feb 2 2012 2:34 pm

      Thank you for your nice words!:)

  4. iamalexwyler / Feb 28 2012 5:56 pm

    I like your art. Nice butterflies!

  5. ivanterzic / May 2 2012 10:36 am

    I lIke this one. Its really great!


  1. Your Eye Candy for 2-11-12: Protein Art – The Butterfly | Sean D. Daily

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