Syllabus for Structural Bioinformatics

Bioinformatisk strukturbiologi


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1MB202
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Biology G1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2008-03-18
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: Introduction to biotechnology and bioinformatics. Cell Biology.
  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • account for the structure of proteins, DNA and RNA
  • explain the relationship between protein sequence and protein structure
  • describe how structure translates into function within different biological fields such as catalysis, transport and regulation
  • explain basic principles of experimental methods for the determination of the structure of macromolecules
  • use sequence and structural databases
  • use computer programs to visualise three-dimensional structures and analyse the relationship between structure and function
  • estimate the validity of information in structural databases
  • use bioinformatics tools for sequence alignment, sequence motif identification and prediction of secondary and tertiary structures
  • account for the purpose, theoretical background and limitations of the above mentioned bioinformatics methods and use this knowledge to interpret relevant results


Structure and characteristics of macromolecules (proteins, DNA, RNA). Relation between sequence, structure and function. Structural basis for the dynamics, binding specificity, catalysis and cooperativity of macromolecules. Function of macromolecules highlighted by a number of examples within fields such as enzymes, membrane proteins, signalling and translation.
Overview of biological databases, servers and information centres. Sequence comparisons. Basic macromolecular structure: three-dimensional structure, PDB co-ordinates, classification of proteins in structure families, programs for analysis and comparison of structures. Introduction to the theory of classification and comparison of sequences and extraction of common distinctive features (e.g., motifs). Sequence analysis for prediction of secondary and tertiary structures, and homology modelling of three-dimensional structures based on sequence data.


Lectures, seminars and computer exercises. Attendance at seminars and full participation in computer labs is mandatory to pass the course.


Test, seminar assignments and at the end of the course a written examination. Laboratory sessions and seminars: 2 credits. 
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

  • Petsko, Gregory A.; Ringe, Dagmar. Protein structure and function

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009

    Find in the library