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Physics Colloquium: Vikas Nanda, "Electron transfer in proteins: minimal elements and how they are connected"

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Physics Colloquium: Vikas Nanda, "Electron transfer in proteins: minimal elements and how they are connected"
When Feb 14, 2018
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where MR418N
Contact Name
Contact Phone 212-650-7443
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Prof. Vikas Nanda
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
RBHS, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

"Electron transfer in proteins:  minimal elements and how they are connected"

There are no direct fossil records of the original proteins at the beginning of life, and molecular evolutionary genetics approaches that infer the nature of ancestors from sequences and structures of extant proteins are of limited use over long evolutionary time scales.  Leveraging the structures of proteins containing transition-metal cofactors, we identify at least four structural modules that comprise the diverse family of oxidoreductases, molecular nanomachines that are critical for electron transfer reactions that form the energetic basis of life.

The discussion will center around a comprehensive analysis of the atomic-resolution structures of metalloproteins to determine patterns of connectivity between these minimal elements.  These two levels of study produce a bipartite network that is rich in information about evolutionary and functional relationships.  We propose a general approach for assessing evolutionary homology versus analogy of distantly related proteins, allowing us to probe ancestral connections deep in evolutionary time.