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Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Rebecca Roberts


The BASIL project is a scientific inquiry project that aims to determine the function of a protein from its structure. Biochemistry students completed wet lab work, while structural biology students worked in silico. The purpose of this study was to determine the function of the protein with PDB ID: 4DIU. Bioinformatics analyses were completed using several databases: BLAST, Dali, Pfam, and Moltimate, and imaging of the protein was completed using PyMOL software. The BLAST database aligned the primary sequence with known protein sequences. The Dali database compared protein structure with known structures through global alignment. The Pfam database matched our protein into the protein family Hydrolase_4. The Moltimate database looked for catalytic site structural homologies between proteins of known functions and it was found that protein 4DIU contained a catalytic triad of serine, aspartic acid, and histidine. The proposed function of PDB ID: 4DIU is a hydrolase, and more specifically, a lipase or carboxylesterase.


Presented as part of the Ursinus College Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) held April 23 – April 30, 2020.

This research is associated with BCMB-429 Structural Biology and BCMB-452 Biochemistry II. These two classes worked jointly through the BASIL project. The BASIL project is also implemented on six other campuses throughout the country.

The downloadable file is a PowerPoint slide presentation with recorded audio commentary.

Open Access

Available to all.