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Mike Tyka - KcsA Potassium Channel

Mike Tyka - KcsA Potassium Channel | Science Art | Scoop.it
Mike Tyka's insight:

KcsA Potassium Channel

Copper, Steel - 14"x14"x20"2011

Potassium channels form potassium-selective pores that span cell membranes. They are the most widely distributed type of ion channel found in virtually all living organisms. The four identical subunits are situated in a four-fold symmetrical manner around a central pore, which allows potassium ions to pass freely. At the top of the structure, formed by four loops lining the pore, a selectivity filter is situated which prevents other ions (such as sodium ions) from passing. The correct ions are detected by their size and charge. Note that that no active pumping of ions occurs; it merely allows passive conductance of ions down the con-centration gradient between the two sides of the membrane. The KcsA is an archetypal membrane protein with eight tightly packed membrane-spanning a-helices. The four short helices in the center where the chain crosses half the membrane and then returns to the top are a more unusual feature.
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Mike Tyka - "Angel of Death" (Ubiquitin)

Mike Tyka - "Angel of Death" (Ubiquitin) | Science Art | Scoop.it
Mike Tyka's insight:

"Angel of Death" - Ubiquitin

Copper, Steel, Gold plating - 9"x9"x16"2011 - currently on display at ScienceHouse

Life is a dynamic equilibrium of creation and destruction. Inside our cells the protein nano-machines, to which we owe our distinction from the inorganic, are perpetually recycled and rebuilt, forever battling the inevitable fate of entropic decay. Once covalently tagged with Ubiquitin, a protein is doomed to destruction by the proteasome, a protein degradation machine found in all of our cells. The component amino acids are then reused to synthesize new proteins. The constant recycling and rebuilding of proteins not only ensures that damaged proteins are removed quickly, but also allows rapid regulation of enzyme levels in the cell. The meandering path of the metal ribbon closely follows the fold and thus the internal structure of Ubiquitin. It features all of the major structural elements of typical proteins, including two alpha helices and a curved beta sheet. Its small size (76 amino acids) makes it one of the most studied proteins for protein folding and dynamics.

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Antibody Protein Sculpture

Antibody Protein Sculpture | Science Art | Scoop.it

www.miketyka.com/#antibody

 

Antibody (IgG) by Mike Tyka.
Copper, Steel, Gold/Chrome plating - 56”x50”x18”
2013 - Hutchinson Institute

 

The machinery of life, an inevitably complex system, must constantly defend itself from intrusion and subversion by other agents inhabiting the biosphere. Ever more intricate systems for the detection and thwarting of intruding foreign life forms have evolved over the eons, culminating in adaptive immunity with one of its centerpieces: The Antibody. Also known as Immunoglobulin, this pronged, Y-shaped protein structure is capable of binding, blocking and neutralizing foreign objects such as as bacteria or viruses. The two tips of the “Y” have special patches which can tightly recognize and bind a target. Our body generates astronomical numbers of variants, each recognizing a different shape. The variety is so great that completely alien molecules can be recognized even though the body has never encountered them before. Once bound, the antibody blocks the function of the foreign object by physically occluding its functional parts. The Antibody sacrifices itself in the process but not before signalling to the immune system to make more of its specific variant form. After the intruder in question has been fought off, memory cells remain in the bloodstream that can quickly be reactivated should reinfection occur to produce more of the successful variant Antibody.


Via Gilbert C FAURE
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Mike Tyka - "Portal" (Porin)

Mike Tyka - "Portal" (Porin) | Science Art | Scoop.it
Mike Tyka's insight:

"Portal" - Bacterial Porin

Copper, Steel, Wenge Wood - 12"x12"x24"2012 - Currently at Hutchinson Cancer Institute, Seattle 

The boundary of cellular life, which delineates the living chemistry from its surroundings, was among the most important fundamental inventions of evolution eons ago. Protein channels span these molecular castle walls and regulate the diffusional traffic of molecules trying to enter or leave the cell. One class of these molecular gatekeepers are the Porins, beta-barrel proteins that are situated in the outer membranes of cells or organelles such as human mitochondria. The Porin channel is partially blocked by a loop, called the eyelet, which projects into the cavity and defines the size of solute that can traverse the channel. Porins can be chemically selective, they can transport only one group of molecules, or may be specific to one molecule. For example, for antibiotics to be effective against a bacterium, it must often pass through an outer membrane Porin. Bacteria can develop resistance to the antibiotic by mutating the gene that encodes the Porin – the antibiotic is then excluded from passing through the outer membrane.
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Mike Tyka - "Savior" (Anitbody IgG)

Mike Tyka - "Savior" (Anitbody IgG) | Science Art | Scoop.it

Savior - Antibody (IgG)

Copper, Steel, Gold/Chrome plating - 56"x50"x18"2013 - Hutchinson Institute

The machinery of life, an inevitably complex system, must constantly defend itself from intrusion and subversion by other agents inhabiting the biosphere. Ever more intricate systems for the detection and thwarting of intruding foreign life forms have evolved over the eons, culminating in adaptive immunity with one of its centerpieces: The Antibody. Also known as Immunoglobulin, this pronged, Y-shaped protein structure is capable of binding, blocking and neutralizing foreign objects such as as bacteria or viruses. The two tips of the “Y” have special patches which can tightly recognize and bind a target. Our body generates astronomical numbers of variants, each recognizing a different shape. The variety is so great that completely alien molecules can be recognized even though the body has never encountered them before. Once bound, the antibody blocks the function of the foreign object by physically occluding its functional parts. The Antibody sacrifices itself in the process but not before signalling to the immune system to make more of its specific variant form. After the intruder in question has been fought off, memory cells remain in the bloodstream that can quickly be reactivated should reinfection occur to produce more of the successful variant Antibody.

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