Physics Seminar: Prof. Bart Hoogenboom

Centre for Computational Physics

Date: Wednesday 5th of December, 13:30.
Location: INB3305 (Isaac Newton Building).

‘Polymer choreography in the nuclear pore complex’

by Bart Hoogenboom, Department of Physics & Astronomy, UCL, London, UK.


To regulate macromolecular transport into and out of the cell nucleus, the cell relies on giant macromolecular machines called nuclear pore compexes (NPCs). NPCs span the nuclear envelope and are filled with a disordered arrangement of natively unfolded proteins called FG-nucleoporins, or short FG-nups. We use approaches from experimental and computational physics to study how these FG-nups determine the transport selectivity of the NPC. Atomic force microscopy on intact NPCs reveals the heterogeneous nature of FG-nups in the transport channel; using DNA-origami based biomimetic pores, we visualise the collective dynamics of the FG-nups; and using coarse-grain density functional theory and molecular dynamics simulations, we interpret FG-nup behaviour in terms of polymer physics.

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