University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Thursday, November 10th 2016
11:15 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Speaker: Dr. Ruth Sommese University of Minnesota, Dept. of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development
Subject: Dissecting the regulation of collective myosin motility using DNA nanotechnology

While much is known about individual motor function, collective motility of molecular motors remains poorly understood. In the cell, myosin ensembles work together to drive numerous processes, from large-scale movement and force generation in muscle to dynamic cargo sorting to and from the cell membrane. Our lab is now developing tools to explore the regulation of myosin ensembles using DNA nanotechnology, which allows us to precisely control the biophysical properties of the motor-cargo interface. Complementing experimental approaches with computational modeling, highlights how the biophysical and structural properties of the acto-myosin interaction have been tuned to enhance collective motor behavior. Finally, we provide a novel method to pattern native protein complexes on DNA scaffolds using a GFP nanobody linkage. Overall, these approaches address an essential missing link in our understanding of collective motor function while also providing novel insight into the functional regulation of unconventional myosins.

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