This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course


7.5 Summary of Section 7

  1. Site-directed mutagenesis is an important technique for studying protein function. Using recombinant DNA technology, selected amino acids can be substituted with different residues to alter the structure and function of a protein. One widely used method employs primer extension. SDM studies can help identify residues that are critical for interactions or catalytic activity.

  2. Protein–protein interactions can be studied in a number of different ways – using biochemical or physical methods or using library-based methods.

  3. Physical methods include variations on ‘fishing’ approaches in which a bait protein is used to physically pull interacting proteins out of a mixture of proteins. Such methods include protein affinity chromatography and co-immunoprecipitation.

  4. Chemical cross-linking of proteins can provide information on interacting residues, and surface plasmon resonance can be used to study the kinetics of binding interactions between proteins.

  5. Library-based methods for studying protein–protein interactions rely on recombinant DNA technology and include the two-hybrid system and phage display. An advantage of these techniques is that the gene encoding the interacting protein is immediately available for further studies.

  6. Proteomics is the study of all the proteins expressed in an organism or cell in terms of their function, structure, modifications and interactions, indeed all aspects of their biochemistry.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus