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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News Seminars

Prof. A. Barducci - Molecular modeling of cellular condensates at multiple resolutions

When:Fr 07-07-2023 10:00 - 11:00

Membraneless organelles are dynamical biomolecular assemblies formed via
phase separation of proteins and nucleic acids. These cellular condensates are

currently thought to play a major role in organizing the cellular
environment and
characterizing their structural and functional properties has paramount

importance to improve our understanding of cell functioning. In this challenge,

adequate theoretical and computational approaches are needed to complement in

vitro and
in vivo experiments. In our group we develop and apply multi - scale
simulation strategies for dissecting the driving forces of condensate assembly

and for accessing their structural and dynamical details, which are elusive to

most experimental techniques.
Here, I will present some recent applications of
atomistic simulations to probe intermolecular interactions and structural

ensembles in model protein and protein/RNA condensates. Furthermore, I will

introduce coarse
- grained approaches for investigating the thermodynamic
determinants of condensation, including energy
- consuming biochemical
reactions that may regulate the phase behaviour beyond the boundaries of

thermodynamic equilibrium.