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Physical Chemistry Seminar 228: Giulia Palermo

Physical, Physical Chemistry Seminar

January 22, 2024 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Speaker Prof. Giulia Palermo


Prof. Giulia Palermo Flyer

Title: Dynamics and mechanisms of CRISPR-Cas9 through the lens of computational methods

Abstract: The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) genome-editing revolution established the beginning of a new era in life sciences. I will report the role of state-of-the-art computations in the CRISPR-Cas9 revolution, from the early refinement of cryo-EM data to enhanced simulations of large-scale conformational transitions. Molecular simulations reported a mechanism for RNA binding and the formation of a catalytically competent Cas9 enzyme, in agreement with subsequent structural studies. Inspired by single-molecule experiments, molecular dynamics offered a rationale for the onset of off-target effects, while graph theory unveiled the allosteric regulation. Finally, the use of a mixed quantum-classical approach established the catalytic mechanism of DNA cleavage. Overall, molecular simulations are instrumental in understanding the dynamics and mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9 and pave the way for a new field of computational studies aimed at deciphering and engineering genome editing systems.

Prof. Giulia Palermo

Physical, Physical Chemistry Seminar

Professor at the University of California, Riverside

Department of Bioengineering and Chemistry