Conformational dynamics of microtubules in external electric fields


SNIC 2017/1-153


SNAC Medium

Principal Investigator:

Jan Swenson


Chalmers tekniska högskola

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10603: Biofysik




The aim of this project is to monitor structural changes in microtubules induced by applying fluctuating electric field. This will help us to achieve the fundamental understanding of microtubules’ structural dynamics and guide us on the way of the development of new spectroscopic tools by combining dielectric spectroscopy and solution X-ray scattering (SAXS). The project is challenging since microtubular building blocks (tubulines) are large protein assemblies participating in numerous interactions. Thus, care should be taken to carefully construct the topology of molecules as well as to sample conformational dynamics in a series of molecular dynamics simulations. Additionally, less is known on the interactions of macromolecules with the time-dependent electric field. Therefore, structural response associated to the electric field should be identified and its influence to molecular assemblies should be further investigated. This project is tightly bound to experimental projects at synchrotron facilities as well as to complementary measurements by dielectric spectroscopy. Comparison to the experimental data could be done by calculating corresponding response directly from the the atomistic models obtained in molecular dynamics simulations.