A zinc finger is a short (~30 amino acid) protein
motif that is often found in proteins that bind to DNA. Use our 3-D
model of a zinc finger to discuss metal cofactors and common protein
Proteins with zinc fingers are one of the largest families of proteins
found in the human genome. Each zinc finger is made up of a 2-stranded
beta sheet and a short alpha helix. Its structure is stabilized by 2
cysteines and 2 histidines that bind to a single zinc atom.
This particular zinc finger structure is from the protein Zif268, a DNA
binding protein that contains 3 consecutive zinc fingers. Side chains
are displayed in ball-and-stick format, including the 4 side chains in
complex with the zinc atom. The zinc atom is shown in green spacefill
format. The backbone of the zinc finger is shown in white, with the
α-Helix shown in red and the β-Sheet shown in yellow.
This 3.5'' model is made of plaster by rapid prototyping and should be
handled with care. Mini models will break if dropped, held tightly or
handled roughly. Its PDB file is 1ZAA.pdb.