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Wed, 15 Nov 2017
Computational studies of biomolecular stability and interactions

Time: 2.00 PM - 3.00 PM

Venue: Cysteine, Level 7 (30 Biopolis Street, Matrix)

Speaker: Prof. Lennart Nilsson, Deputy Head of Department, Dept. of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Sweden


Adaptive mutations that alter the functionality of proteins are enriched within intrinsically disordered protein regions (IDRs), thus conformational flexibility appears to translate to evolvability. Pre-structured motifs (PreSMos) with relatively low propensity for secondary structure conformation are believed to be important for IDR function, particularly coupled binding and folding protein interactions. A set of 60 change-of-function mutants affecting the intrinsically disordered 58-residue glucocorticoid receptor tau1core transcriptional activation domain (GRtau1core) were studied using disorder prediction algorithms, NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. Overall we conclude that changes in PreSMo stability account for the effects of a subset of change-of-function mutants affecting the GRtau1core IDR.

Nucleic acid recognition.

Tautomerism plays an important role in many biomolecular interactions, not least in RNA biology. Crystallographic studies increasingly show the possible presence of the minor tautomer form of tRNA anticodon bases in the ribosome. Here, we employ ab initio calculations and molecular dynamics simulations to understand if and how the minor enol form of uracil (U), or of a modified uracil with an oxyacetic acid moiety at position 5 (cmo5U), can be accommodated in tRNA:mRNA interactions in the ribosome decoding center. The oxyacetic acid modification does not keep the conformation observed in the X-ray structure and only has a minor effect on the keto-enol equilibrium.

About The Speaker
Prof Lennart Nilsson did his doctorate in theoretical physics at the Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholmat the Karolinska Institutet followed by postdoctoral work with Novel Luareate Prof Martin Karplus at Harvard. He has been at the Karolinska Institute since 1985 at the Dept of Medical Biophysics, at the Centre for Structural Biochemistry and then at the Department of Biosciences where he has been Director of Grad studies, Head of Department and now Pro-dean of Doctoral Education. He is also the Executive Editor of BBA General subjects since 2016.

Dr. Chandra Verma, Head of Research Division / Senior Principal Investigator

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