Interaction of pore forming peptides with cell membrane
|Interdisciplinary Areas:||Engineering and Healthcare/Medicine/Biology
Cell death resulting from pore formation in cell membranes by peptides has important consequences in biology. An important function of pore forming peptides is in the defense of plants and animals against invading microbes. These antimicrobial peptides could be very useful for combating drug resistant microbes. It is also one of the causes of neurological disorders such as Alzheimers disease. In these cases, fibrils formed by aggregation of amyloid beta peptides form pores in neuronal cell membranes causing death. Elucidation of this mechanism as a result of the work proposed here will help greatly in the development of guidelines for design of antimicrobial peptides to replace antibiotics and strategies for effective treatment of neurological disorders. A general framework will be developed for the prediction of pore formation by peptide of any amino acid composition and sequence for bacterial as well as mammalian cell membranes. This framework is based on molecular dynamics simulation of interaction of peptides with lipid bilayer and nucleation and growth of pores in lipid bilayers accounting for detailed pore structure as well as intermolecular interactions. Experimental verification of the methodology will be carried out using fluorescent dye leakage in liposomes as well as by microbial deactivation studies.
June 1, 2019
PhD in Biological/Biomedical/Chemical Engineering or related discipline is required. A strong background in colloidal chemistry with an exposure to molecular dynamics simulation and/or biochemistry/microbiology is desirable.
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Department of Food Science
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