Unveiling conformational changes of biological molecules using multiscale modeling and multiresolution experiments

Thursday, November 6, 2008 - 11:45am - 12:30pm
EE/CS 3-180
Florence Tama (University of Arizona)
Multipronged approaches have recently gained interest for tackling structural problems related to large biological complexes. Structural dynamical information is often obtained by low-resolution experimental techniques, such as Cryo Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM), Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) and Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET). Each of these techniques offers different advantages and meet with different pitfalls, artifacts and limitations. Therefore a more accurate description could be obtained if all pieces of experimental data were taken together to annotate conformational states.

To achieve this goal we will present our current developments of multi-resolution/multi-scale computational tools to interpret conformational changes of biological molecules based on cryo-EM, SAXS or distance constraints. Normal Mode Analysis or Molecular Dynamics simulations are used to deform, in a physical manner, X-ray structures to fit low-resolution data. Using simulated data, we will show that such approaches are successful to predict structures in the range of 2~3 Å resolution.
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