Simulating protein folding with full atomistic detail

Published on October 1, 2007 Reviewed on August 12, 2020   42 min

Other Talks in the Category: Biochemistry

0:00
My name is Vijay Pande and the lecture I'm going to present is on studying "Protein Folding via Simulation".
0:06
Just as protein folding itself, ie the act of protein chain to assemble itself into its final fold is of extreme fundamental importance to biology, since before any protein can function must fold, it's obvious that when proteins fold incorrectly or misfold that there could be natural, drastic important biomedical implications. And therefore it's perhaps not surprising that there are many diseases associated with protein misfolding such as CJD or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease also known as mad cow disease in cows, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and much many others. And part of the rationale for studying protein folding itself is also to be able to better understand protein folding diseases. And this is a very challenging problem because protein folding while there are many aspects that can be understood experimentally, there's still a whole wealth of details that are just too difficult to examine experimentally due to either the various small sizes or fast timescales involved.
0:58
It's also intriguing that not just must proteins fold correctly, but they often must fold in a reasonable timescale. A very nice example comes from the p53 protein. p53 is a protein and very much important to cancer. Roughly half of all known cancers have a mutation involved in p53. And there is recent evidence from various experimental groups that suggests that p53 folds cotranslationally on the ribosome actually forms dimers on the ribosome. And it's natural to think that this dimerization process would be kinetically limited by translation and if this dimerization doesn't occur on a relatively fast rate that there themselves could be problems. So therefore it's perhaps intriguing to think that protein folding must occur and it must occur in some reasonably chemically speedy process. And this also becomes an interesting and challenging problem to try to understand.
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Simulating protein folding with full atomistic detail

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