2019 AMI Online Salon

The Role of Calmodulin in Calcium Signaling

Project Details

  • Company/Institution: University of Toronto

  • Entrant Name: Maurita Hung

  • Membership Type: Student Submission

  • Other Contributors:                         

  • Address: Toronto, Canada

  • Client: Faculty advisor: Dr. Derek Ng

  • Medium/software used: Chimera, Maxon Cinema4D, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop

  • Final presentation format: Print, 2-page spread for a popular science magazine (e.g., Scientific American)

  • Primary Audience: Educated lay audience

Project Description

Calcium ions are an essential cell signaling molecule in the human body. Intracellular levels of calcium can be detected by calcium-sensing proteins such as calmodulin, which then activate various target proteins leading to downstream biological effects. I created this two-page spread for a popular science magazine in order to illustrate the relationship between the structure and function of calmodulin in calcium signaling. In order to achieve this goal, I used: (i) 3D molecular models to depict the conformational changes of calmodulin upon binding to calcium ions; and (ii) schematic diagrams to communicate the versatility of calmodulin in binding to different target proteins and activating a wide range of functions in the human body. In addition, I employed color-coding, labels, and visual metaphors to further enhance the information being conveyed.