Exercise 3 Return to Index
Parkinson's disease is neurological disorder that is caused by a reduction in the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Besides being a neurotransmitter, dopamine is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of the hormone norepinephrine from the amino acid tyrosine. Figure 3.1 summarizes key features of that biosynthetic pathway. This exercise and the six that follow utilize the compounds in Figure 3.1 to familiarize users with the four control panels of the VMK.
The biosynthetic pathway from tyrosine to norepinephrine
We begin by making a model of propane, CH3CH2CH3.
1. From the Molecular Editor control panel select Start with: ethane.
2. Select the Atom:C tool and click on one of the H atoms of the model of ethane.
That's all there is to it! Note that the molecular formula of propane, C3H8, appears in the calculator at the top right of the page.
3. Run Query:SMILES
SMILES is a character string that describes the atomic connectivities within a molecule. In the case of a simple compound such as propane, the relationship between the structure and its SMILES, CCC, is obvious. Such is not always the case. A SMILES is a useful way to store structural information in a database.
In the next exercise we will convert propane to propanoic acid.