Physics & QBio Hagoromo Hour: Kabir Husain, University of Chicago, “The evolution of kinetic proofreading”

Event time: 
Wednesday, October 25, 2023 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Bass Center for Molecular and Structural Biology See map
266 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Kabir Husain, University of Chicago
Event description: 

Since at least Schrodinger, life has been seen as a non-equilibrium process that has successfully evaded the second law of thermodynamics: maintaining order for four billion years. Yet, while we understand how extant biomolecular Maxwell Demons work, much less is known about how they come into existence in the first place. Here, we suggest that surprisingly little might be needed. We study models of multicomponent assembly, such as the nucleotide polymers or heterogeneous protein assemblies that make up biology. In each, fast replication alone can favour the evolution of non-equilibrium error-correction, to avoid slowdowns from geometric frustration effects intrinsic to the physics of multicomponent assembly. We develop a massively multiplexed Luria-Delbruck assay to test our theory in extant proofreading DNA polymerases. Overall, our work sheds light on the origins of fidelity in biomolecular processes, and suggests a minimal scenario for the origins of non-equilibrium order in biology.
Hosts: Michael Abbott, Isabella Graf, and Mason Rouches