One of the features of biology that has proven very difficult to mimic in man-made chemical systems, is the complex chemical environment provided by proteins. It has become increasingly obvious that the dynamics of protein, and the availability of dynamic processes that match the time scales of a large number of chemical processes, is a key aspect of the proteins ability to facilitate chemical reactions and to confer reaction specificity. The main objective of the proposed work is to bring to maturity a structure-based model for the electron transfer reactions of the bacterial reaction center proteins. We believe that a quantitative, dynamic model for this system that accurately represents observed function will be extremely valuable, not only to the photosynthetic community, but towards a mechanistic understanding of chemical reactions in proteins more generally. The unique team of investigators at ASU makes this proposed approach realistic. Dr. Matyushov has been working on theoretical modeling and molecular dynamic simulation of protein dynamics, and has successfully interpret the experimental results of reaction center kinetics measured in the laboratories of Drs. Lin and Woodbury. Drs. Woodbury and Lin are experts in studying electron transfer in photosynthetic systems using mutagenesis and ultrafast laser spectroscopy. The recent advances in both dynamic modeling and fast time scale measurements have made it possible for these two teams to join forces in a powerful way, to gain a deeper, more structurally-based understanding of the role of protein dynamics in electron transfer reactions.
Summary We request an REU supplement to support Ms. Diana Nucuta. Ms. Nucuta will be performing genetic engineering of photosynthetic reaction center proteins and isolating reaction centers from photosynthetic bacteria.
|Effective start/end date||3/1/12 → 2/28/18|
- NSF: Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO): $987,220.00