The Saturation Game: Teaching Protein–Ligand Binding with a Playing Card Analogy

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The dissociation constant of a protein–ligand complex is commonly measured by a saturation binding experiment, in which a protein is progressively saturated by repeated additions of a ligand. Students often find it hard to understand how the hyperbolic binding curve, described by the Hill–Langmuir equation, arises from an unchanging dissociation constant. In this activity, students played a prelab card game which taught them the stochastic origin of the binding curve’s shape. The saturation game almost doubled the number of students who chose the correct explanation of the curve’s shape and decreased the popularity of the most common misconception by a factor of 2.5.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Early online date1 Sept 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sept 2020

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