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Statistical physics-based computational design of protein-RNA complexes

Objective

This project aims to computationally design RNA molecules apt to bind to a given protein under given conditions (such as binding affinity, properties of the solution and temperature).
The relevance of this research lies in the current effort to elucidate the mechanism that guide RNA-protein complexes, which are abundantly found in the cell at all levels of relevant cell mechanisms. Further, such a study is expected to be a first valuable step in the effort of rational drug design in silico.
In this project, we propose to transfer concepts from statistical mechanics used in e.g. soft matter science, to this challenging problem. Such a physics-based approach will explicitly take into account entropic effects encountered in the RNA-protein complexes, which properly account for the flexibility of these biomolecules, but which are usually disregarded by current techniques. With such an approach, we aim to win physical insight into the mechanisms governing RNA-protein complexes (shown on the example of the Hfq-RNA complex). Then, simulations can help to overcome experimental bottlenecks and drive their progress.
In this project, the applicant aims to maintain close contacts with both other theoreticians and with the relevant experimental groups, both at the host institution and within the European Community.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/medicinal chemistry
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/classical mechanics/statistical mechanics

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2011-CIG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-CIG - Support for training and career development of researcher (CIG)

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAT WIEN
Address
Universitatsring 1
1010 Wien
Austria
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 62 500
Administrative Contact
Amy Williams (Ms.)