Physics & QBio Hagoromo Hour: Anton Zilman, University of Toronto, “Physics of the Nuclear Pore Complex: theory, modeling and experiment”

Event time: 
Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Sloane Physics Laboratory SPL, Room 56 See map
217 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Anton Zilman, University of Toronto
Event description: 

Nuclear Pore Complex (NPC) is a very large molecular “biomachine” that controls macromolecular transport between the cell nucleus and the cytoplasm. Unlike many cellular transporters, it does not possess a molecular “gate” and the translocation of cargoes is not directly coupled to the non-equilibrium input of energy. Yet, it is capable of transporting cargoes against their concentration gradients with very high specificity and speed. The key part of the transport mechanism of the NPC is the assembly of intrinsically disordered proteins that fills its transport channel and serves as a milieu for the translocation of the cargo-carrying transport proteins. I will review the current understanding of the transport mechanism of the NPC, which has been partially recapitulated in biomimetic nanochannels, and will report on the recent computational/theoretical and experimental works providing explanation for a number of puzzling abilities of the NPC to conduct rapid and selective transport in a very crowded environment. I will conclude by the implications of these results for viral transport through the NPC and design of biomimetic channels for protein sorting.
Host: Michael Abbott (