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The Fluctuating Enzyme: From Catalysis to Vibrational Dynamics

Descripción del proyecto

El carácter aleatorio de la catálisis enzimática

Las enzimas son catalizadores fundamentales de procesos biológicos esenciales que rigen el crecimiento, el desarrollo y el metabolismo de todos los organismos vivos. Las tecnologías de vanguardia han permitido a los científicos caracterizar y manipular las enzimas, lo que proporciona valiosa información sobre las reacciones enzimáticas a nivel de molécula única. El proyecto FLUCTENZ, financiado con fondos europeos, se centrará en el carácter aleatorio de la actividad de las enzimas, especialmente cuando estas sufren fluctuaciones térmicas. Para ello, los científicos del proyecto desarrollarán métodos teóricos y herramientas matemáticas que les ayudarán a comprender y determinar los principios del comportamiento de las enzimas en diferentes condiciones. Teniendo en cuenta que la catálisis enzimática es el motor principal de la vida tal como la conocemos, los resultados del proyecto tendrán gran importancia tanto para la ciencia básica como para la aplicada.

Objetivo

Enzymes spin the wheel of life by catalyzing a myriad of chemical reactions central to the growth, development, and metabolism of all living organisms. Without enzymes, essential processes would progress so slowly that life would virtually grind to a halt, and the quest to determine their inner workings thus continues to attract and fascinate scientists over a broad range of disciplines. Cutting-edge methods now allow one to observe and manipulate individual enzymes in their reaction course. These revealed that chemistry at the single-molecule level is inherently stochastic and, at times, extremely unintuitive. Thermal fluctuations push enzymes to vibrate erratically and force a probabilistic description, but classical approaches are deeply entrenched in determinism, and so is our basic expectation for how things should behave in the world around us. The groundbreaking purpose of this proposal is to bring advanced theoretical methods and mathematical tools to the analysis of stochastic fluctuations of enzymes and proteins at the single-molecule level. These will be based on state-of-the-art approaches in statistical physics and stochastic processes that I will adapt and further advance to need. Equipped with mathematical techniques that have so far been foreign to the field, I expect to rectify fundamental flaws in our understanding, predict the emergence of novel phenomena, and show how single-molecule fluctuations can be extracted from bulk, steady-state, concentrations—despite belief that this is fundamentally impossible. Novel analysis methods that I will apply to tens of thousands of protein structures would complement these efforts and aid in the discovery of unifying principles governing thermal fluctuations of enzymes and proteins. The amalgamation of all these efforts will pave the way to large-scale, multi-tier, characterization of fluctuations which is expected to transform our understanding of enzymes and enzymatic catalysis.

Régimen de financiación

ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Institución de acogida

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY
Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 1 496 875,00
Coste total
€ 1 496 875,00

Beneficiarios (1)