Rice University

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Center for Theoretical Biological Physics
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Dean of Engineering
Dean of Natural Sciences
Physics & Astronomy

Speaker: Dave Thirumalai
Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry
University of Texas, Austin

"Architecture of Myosin V and its Motility”

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
12:30 PM  to 1:30 PM

1060 A/B  BioScience Research Collaborative
Rice University
6500 Main St.
Houston, Texas, USA

Abstract: Myosin V, two-headed motor protein and a member of the myosin super family, ferries cellular cargo by walking hand-over-hand on actin filaments. Interplay between ATD-driven conformational changes in the motor head and stress due to load produces a variety of stepping dynamics: the motor can step forward or backward, or "stomp", where one of the heads detaches and rebinds to the same site. I will present theory that captures all these behaviors, quantitatively matching a wide array of single molecule experiments. The theory lays out the structural and chemical design principles underlying the motor's robust function, which provides a guide for how bioengineering might alter its dynamics [1]. The theoretical results will be complemented with simulations describing the role the internal dynamics of the motor domain plays in motility [2]. References: [1] M. Hinczewski, R. Tehver, and D. Thirumalai, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 110: E4059-E4068, (2013). [2] R. Tehver and D. Thirumalai, Structure, 18: 471-481, (2010).

Biography of Dave Thirumalai:
Thirumalai received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and was a postdoc at Columbia University. In 1985, he joined the faculty at the University of Maryland and rose through the ranks where he is currently a distinguished university professor and founding director of the biophysics program. Thirumalai’s research is primarily theoretical at the interfaces of chemistry, physics, and biology. He has published more than 325 peer-reviewed publications, many of which appear in top-tier journals, and given more than 200 invited talks. He has been recognized for his accomplishments by receiving numerous awards, including more recently a Distinguished Faculty Research Fellowship Award and the Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists. He was also elected to the Royal Society of Chemistry and is a fellow of the Biophysical Society.

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