TCB Publications - Abstract

Tao Jiang, Po-Chao Wen, Noah Trebesch, Zhiyu Zhao, Shashank Pant, Karan Kapoor, Mrinal Shekhar, and Emad Tajkhorshid. Computational dissection of membrane transport at a microscopic level. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 45:202-216, 2020. (PMC: PMC7024014)

JIAN2020-ET Membrane transporters are key gatekeeper proteins at cellular membranes that closely control the traffic of materials. Their function relies on structural rearrangements of varying degrees that facilitate substrate translocation across the membrane. Characterizing these functionally important molecular events at a microscopic level is key to our understanding of membrane transport, yet challenging to achieve experimentally. Recent advances in simulation technology and computing power have rendered molecular dynamics (MD) simulation a powerful biophysical tool to investigate a wide range of dynamical events spanning multiple spatial and temporal scales. Here, we review recent studies of diverse membrane transporters using computational methods, with an emphasis on highlighting the technical challenges, key lessons learnt, and new opportunities to illuminate transporter structure and function.

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