3D-BioInfo Webinar on Protein Design and Evolution

Tue 20 June 2023, 16:00

This webinar is by the ELIXIR 3D-BioInfo, chaired by Dr. Anastassia Andreevna Vorobieva

Dr. Charlotte Miton

Michael Smith Laboratories,  
University of British Columbia,

Abstract: Causes and Consequences of Epistasis in Protein Evolution and Design

Proteins are complex molecular machines, composed of highly interconnected amino acid networks. Protein evolution may require the alteration of these intramolecular networks, to foster novel functions. While there have been considerable advances, our ability to optimize protein functions in the laboratory remains limited. One reason for these shortcomings may be the cryptic role played by epistasis, i.e., the dependency of mutational effects on the genetic context, during the rewiring of intramolecular networks. By permitting or restricting access to certain mutations over the course of evolution, epistasis shapes evolutionary pathways, influencing outcomes. Deciphering its biophysical basis is essential if we wish to understand, predict and design proteins.
In this talk, I will discuss various molecular and biophysical origins of mutational epistasis, and illustrate how this phenomenon can lead to the bifurcation of evolutionary pathways, in which two trajectories segregate and become incompatible over time. Our results illuminate how rapidly, but gradually, distinct molecular outcomes can arise in nature and the laboratory.

Previous webinars from the ELIXIR 3D-BioInfo Community:

For more information on the ELIXIR 3D-BioInfo Community: link 



Dr. R. Gonzalo Parra & Dr. Neeladri Sen (Coordinators)

See also: 3D-BioInfo Community