Animated GIF's, such as the small moving images at right,
can be created with
help from Protein Explorer -- see
Making an Animated GIF File with Protein Explorer.
Animations of conformational changes show interpolations
between two experimentally observed conformations. They help
the eye to relate the two conformations, but rarely if ever
do they attempt accurately to predict the true trajectory of
a reaction. The rationale and limitations of protein morphs are
summarized at the
The "canned" animation, above left, can be rotated (by dragging
on it with your mouse), but
is limited to one rendering and color scheme.
When the animation is played in
Protein Explorer, you can view it in a variety
of renderings (secondary structure cartoon, ball and stick, spacefilling) and color
schemes. Also, the playback speed can be adjusted, or each frame can be viewed individually.
obtain an animation that can be played
in Protein Explorer, you can save the animation
window directly from Protein Explorer as HTML. It can then be played
back in Netscape (smoother animation) or Internet Explorer (jumpier animation)
without running Protein Explorer.
For example, here is such a saved animation HTML file
(press the Animate button to start animation)
for serotonin N-acetyltransferase
To highlight sidechains with dramatic movements, delete
the script in the box and paste
this script in, then press
When ensembles of models resulting from
NMR experiments are
animated, they simulate thermal motion. Here are some examples.
Note 2: To start automatically at the NMR Models/Animation page, the
hyperlink must include the query parameter nmr=1.
Construction of Hyperlinks to Protein Explorer.