[Chimera-users] how to select multiple residues in multiple chains

Elaine Meng meng at cgl.ucsf.edu
Tue Nov 1 09:13:10 PST 2005

On Oct 28, 2005, at 9:50 AM, Eric Gillitzer wrote:

> I work a lot with symmetrical, multi subunit structures and in  
> order to select say residue 45 in every subunit, I must one at a  
> time go in and in the sequence finder select the residue in each  
> chain and then color it.  Is there a way to select all of the same  
> number residues (say number 45, might be an alanine) in the  
> structure displayed and color only those.  If you select alanine,  
> it will select every single alanine in the structure.  Chimera  
> seems to be a really powerful program, but I am pulling my hair out  
> trying to get it to do something productive in a timely fashion.   
> thanks, eric.

Hi Eric,
It depends how the residues and chains are defined in the PDB file,  
but often it will be the same residue number but in different  
chains.  In that case, it is fairly simple to select using a  
command.  For example, in PDB 1e9i there are chains A-D, each  
comprising essentially the same sequence. To select residue 45 in all  
four chains:

command: select :45.a-d
command: select :45.*

Or, to select residue 45 in just chains A and D:

command: select :45.a,45.d

(To show the command line, choose Favorites... Command Line from the  
I hope this helps,
Elaine C. Meng, Ph.D.                          meng at cgl.ucsf.edu
UCSF Computer Graphics Lab and Babbitt Lab
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of California, San Francisco

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