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Seminars and Colloquia


Integrative modeling of biomolecular assembly structures and pathways 
Mon, Jul 31, 2017,   12:00 PM to 01:00 PM at Seminar Room 34, 2nd Floor, Main Building

Prof. Andrej Sali
University of California San Francisco

The networks and spatial structures of biomolecular interactions provide insights into their function and thus help us to understand the workings of living cells. Detailed structural characterization of large and often dynamic assemblies and their networks is generally impossible by any single existing experimental or computational method. This challenge can be overcome by hybridapproaches that integrate data from diverse biophysical experiments (eg, X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, electron microscopy, chemical cross-linking, yeast-two hybrid system, and various chemical genetics and proteomics approaches). We formulate the hybrid approach to structure and/or network determination as an optimization problem, the solution of which requires three main components: the representation of the assembly or network, the scoring function, and the optimization method. The ensemble of solutions to the optimization problem embodies the most accurate characterization given the available information. The key challenges remain translating experimental data into restraints on the structure and/or network, combining these spatial and/or network restraints into a single scoring function, optimizing the scoring function, and analyzing the resulting ensemble of solutions. The approach will be illustrated by several applications to specific biological systems, including the structure determination of the nuclear pore complex and the mapping of the gulonate pathway in Haemophilus influenzae .

A. Ward, A. Sali, I. Wilson. Integrative structural biology. Science 339, 913-915, 2013. PMCID3633482