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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3FM4M

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Energy Landscape Exploration of the Folding Processes of Biological Molecules Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Energy landscape
Molecular Folding
Landscape theory
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Engel, Megan C
Supervisor and department
Beach, Kevin (Physics)
Woodside, Michael (Physics)
Examining committee member and department
Klobukowski, Mariusz (Chemistry)
Woodside, Michael (Physics)
Morsink, Sharon (Physics)
Beach, Kevin (Physics)
Department
Department of Physics
Specialization

Date accepted
2013-10-01T16:05:13Z
Graduation date
2013-11
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
For decades, scientists from every discipline have struggled to understand the mechanism of biological self-assembly, which allows proteins and nucleic acids to fold reliably into functional three-dimensional structures. Such an understanding may hold the key to eliminating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and to effective protein engineering. The current best framework for describing biological folding processes is that of statistical mechanical energy landscape theory, and one of the most promising experimental techniques for exploring molecular energy landscapes is single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), in which molecules are mechanically denatured. Theoretical advances have enabled the extraction of complete energy landscape profiles from SMFS data. Here, SMFS experiments performed using laser optical tweezers are analyzed to yield the first ever full landscape profile for an RNA pseudoknot. Further, a promising novel landscape reconstruction technique is validated for the first time using experimental data from a DNA hairpin.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3FM4M
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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