Speaker: Prof. Ganapathy Ayappa
Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore- 560012
Prof. Govindan Rangarajan, Director, IISc will preside.
Date and Time: Thursday, 24th March 2022, 4.00 PM
Abstract: The plasma membrane of our cells form the first line of defence to external threats. Protein-membrane interactions dominate this landscape, playing an important role in our understanding of a myriad of bacterial and viral infections. Phenomena range from membrane-assisted protein aggregation, oligomerization and folding. Pore-forming toxins a subclass of proteins expressed by bacteria form their primary arsenal responsible for over 40 % of bacterial infections. With the rise in antimicrobial resistance a molecular understanding of the infection pathways could potentially open up novel treatment strategies. Pore forming toxins expressed in a water-soluble form bind to the target cellular membrane and self-assemble to form multimeric transmembrane pore complexes to eventually kill the cell. In this talk, I will summarize our ongoing work and outline the challenges therein for determining membrane assisted oligomerization pathways and intermediates, as well as monitoring lipid modulation and cellular disruption during the pore formation pathway. Using a combination of large-scale molecular dynamics simulations at atomistic and coarse-grainedlevels of description as well as experiments on supported bilayer and vesicle platforms we unravel the process of pore formation for bacterial infections. We connect membrane insertion and ensuing conformational changes with recent super resolution and single molecule microscopy to provide molecular insights into the pore forming pathways.
About the Speaker: Professor Ganapathy Ayappa obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Mangalore University, India in 1984, and an MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering with a Minor in Mathematics from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota, in 1992. Professor Ayappa has held visiting positions at the University of North Carolina, the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago and Department of Materials at ETH Zurich. He is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineers and the National Science Academy. His research interests lie in developing a molecular understanding of structure and dynamics of molecules at the nanoscale using molecular simulations and statistical mechanics. Current research interests are in the area of biomembranes, membrane-protein interactions and dynamics of fluids at the nanoscale.
All are welcome