Molecular Mechanism of Metabolite and Ion Permeation through VDAC and of its Regulation through the Binding with Proteins

Abstract : Ion channels are water-filled, biological nanotubes formed by membrane proteins. They serve as conduits for rapid, regulated ion motion across cellular membranes. The voltage-dependent anion-selective channel (VDAC) forms the major pore for metabolite exchange through the mitochondrial outer membrane. In addition to its pore function, experimental data point to an involvement of VDAC in various cell processes including apoptosis and in severe diseases such as cancer. Our objective is to decipher the key features of the permeation at atomic detail for ions and different classes of metabolites and to reveal the molecular origin of differences in their transport. The regulation of VDAC upon interaction with proteins, in particular with tubulin, a component of the cytoskeleton, is also addressed. These issues are being studied using molecular dynamics simulations, modeling and docking calculations. The theoretical results are used to design experiments, performed by Pr. Homblé (SFMB, ULB), which will probe the accuracy of the proposed mechanisms.
Promoteur/Supervisor : Prof. Prévost Martine
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Centre de recherche/Research center : Structure et Fonction des membranes Biologiques
Faculté/Faculty : Faculté des Sciences/Faculty of Sciences
Ecole doctorale/Graduate Colleges : Sciences/Science
Ecole doctorale thématique/Graduate School (French Only):

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