July 24, Thu 2014
1:00 pm, MRB 200
Dr. Gauta, Basu
Department of Biophysics, Bose Institute, Kolkata, India
Electrostatically biased molecular interactions in biology: Adenine-guanine binding and protein-protein interactions
Molecular interactions drive biological functions. Often these interactions must be specific to be functionally relevant. In other words, a molecule must bind only a specific partner from a pool containing many other molecules similar to its cognate partner. We show that electrostatics plays a crucial role in discriminating adenine at guanine-binding sites and guanine at adenine-binding sites in proteins. Only a simple orientational term in the complex electrostatic energy expression is sufficient to predict adenine or guanine specificity of purine-binding sites in proteins. Similarly, using very simple electrostatic models and focusing only on electrostatic orientational bias between subunits in protein-protein complexes we show that a single geometric parameter associated with the crystal structure of the protein-protein complex is sufficient to predict the rate at which protein-protein complexes associate.