Doctoral Studies

Structural Biology - Field

Topic name: Protein sensitivity of membrane curvature

Supervisor: doc. RNDr. Robert Vácha, PhD.

Oficiální zadání:
The control of biological membrane shape and composition is vital to eukaryotic life. The shape is so specific that it allows us to recognize various organelles in the cell. Despite a continuous exchange of material, organelles maintain a precise combination and organization of membrane lipids, which is crucial for their function and the recruitment of many peripheral proteins. Membrane shape thus enables the cell to organize proteins and their functions in space and time, without which serious diseases can occur. Moreover, membrane curvature and lipid content can be specific to cancer cells, bacteria, and enveloped virus coatings, which could be utilized for selective targeting. The aim of this project is to unravel the relationship between the protein sequence and the preferred membrane. This will lay the foundations for the design of new protein motifs sensitive to membranes with a specific curvature and composition on enveloped viruses, organelles and cells. Student will master tools of computer simulations, in particular molecular dynamics technique, and methods to calculate free energies. Moreover, he/she will learn advantages and disadvantages of various protein and membrane parameterizations including all-atom and coarse-grained models.

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