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Title: Models of molecular self-assembly for RNA viruses and synthetic DNA cages
Author: Grayson, Nicholas Edwin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 8563
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2012
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A significant number of RNA viruses assemble their protein containers and genomic material simultaneously. Here the implications of this protein-RNA co-assembly are investigated using an extended version of a model first proposed by Adam Zlotnick in 1994 (Zlotnick, 1994). The inspirations for this extended model are the cases of bacteriophage MS2 and the STMV virus, viruses that have been well characterised experimentally. Example pathways of RNA virus assembly have been enumerated and kinetic simulations have been run on these networks. The results show the most likely pathways of virus assembly and the concentrations of the intermediates. This work will also demonstrate how kinetic traps may be avoided when proteins are able to bind RNA during assembly. Additionally modelled are DNA cages, which are three-dimensional shapes made from double-helical DNA molecules. Such cages have been seen within viruses but may also be constructed artificially. This model has been used to produce energetically optimised designs for icosidodecahedron-shaped DNA cages.
Supervisor: Twarock, Reidun Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available