Secondary Structure Determination of gp41(659-671)

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Secondary Structure Determination of gp41(659-671)

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 1st February 2010
  • Speaker: Craig Gregor (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

The short 13-residue fragment of the human HIV-1 surface glycoprotein (peptide gp41(659671)) is special in several respects: Primarily it comprises the only sequential epitope for one of the known antibodies of HIV-1. Recent findings indicate that rather than the peptide adopting one dominant structure, several motifs compete with one another and that the peptide has a high conformational plasticity. Established techniques such as Circular Dichroism (CD) and Molecular Dynamics (MD) are used in ascertaining the native secondary structure of gp41(659671) and exploring the sensitivity of its secondary structure to changes in the environment. The results support previously published findings that suggest the secondary structure of gp41(659671) under ambient conditions is comprised of a flexible conformational ensemble. Furthermore, this ensemble becomes biased towards a helical motif in a membrane-mimicking environment. It is proposed that the main driving force of this structural change is the promotion of intramolecular hydrogen bonding, while electrostatic interactions serve as a stabilisation mechanism.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

Find out more about Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars.