Support Options

  • Knowledge Base

    Find information on common questions and issues.

  • Support Messages

    Check on the status of your correspondences with members of the QUBES team.

Contact Us

About you
About the problem

Piwi Matters

By Laurel Lorenz1, Shuchismita Dutta2

1. Princeton University 2. RCSB Protein Data Bank, Rutgers University

This case focuses on understanding structure and function relationships in Piwi, a protein that is critical for germline stem cell function and development of eggs in the fruit fly ovary.

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group Molecular CaseNet Faculty Mentoring Network

Download Bundle (4 MB)

We're sorry! Resource content is currently unavailable.

Version 1.0 - published on 12 Jun 2020 doi:10.25334/ZM3H-4149 - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms



Piwi Matters

Overview: Stem cells have the ability to self renew and differentiate. This case discusses how these properties of germline stem cells are regulated by a protein called Piwi, that is highly conserved in many species. Presence and function of this protein is required for producing large numbers of eggs in fruit flies. The RNA binding ability of this protein is critical for its function. The case begins with watching a video about a researcher in this field describing how the role of Piwi was identified and is currently studied to understand its structure-function relationships.

Learning Objectives: The case was developed for introductory genetics courses where students are introduced to the molecular structural basis for ovary development. Students learn to identify and access data from various biological databases and integrate information to understand the structure and functions of this protein. The explorations may be expanded to a laboratory exercise where students can develop hypothesis about Piwi's structure-function relationships and design experiments to test them.

Molecules explored: Molecular structures of Piwi complexes are explored to understand structure function relationships.

Implementation: The case can be implemented using either a flipped approach and/or in-class discussions. Detailed teaching notes, mini lessons, and discussion prompts for open ended discussions are available for download to guide the in-class activity.


Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:


Molecular CaseNet Faculty Mentoring Network

Molecular CaseNet Faculty Mentoring Network group image

When watching a resource, you will be notified when a new version is released.