College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Mechanochemical coupling in Molecular Motors: insights from molecular simulations at multiple scales

Oct 30, Tue 2007
11:00 am, MRB 200 Conference Room

Dr. Qiang Cui

Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Molecular motors are fascinating “vectorial machinesâ€ン in biology that convert energy between different forms with high efficiency. Recent advances in the experimental characterizations of these systems have provided excellent background and impetus for carrying out detailed theoretical and computational analyses, such that the underlying mechanism and governing physicochemical principles for these unique biological systems can be understood in energetic and structural terms.

In this seminar, I’ll discuss our recent simulation results for a characteristic molecular motor, myosin. Combined results from a range of theoretical and computational analyses help establish an energetics and structure based framework for understanding mechanochemical coupling, which explains in detail how the hydrolysis of ATP is tightly coupled to the dramatic swing of the lever arm more than 40 Šaway. Related results on a simpler signaling protein and an ion channel will also be discussed.

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