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Molecular Simulations of Hemagglutinin from Influenza virus
Perspectives of extension of this common project to a more ambitious proposal to be submitted to funding agencies : Long term Added value of the cooperation : The Protein Modelling group at ITQB has been performing several studies with the hemagglutinin protein from Influenza virus. However, we come now to a stand where high computational resources are required. In the group of Dr Xavier Daura, we will be able to have access the Marenostrum supercomputer (BSC), and therefore to perform the simulations of the hemagglutinin protein for higher simulation times.
Summary of the proposal :
Influenza viruses are responsible for worldwide outbreaks of flu (Laver and Garman 2001), which can have dramatic consequences, as demonstrated by the recent pandemic caused by the new strain of IV, H1N1. Unfortunately, due to high genetic variability and insufficient knowledge about the infection process, we have very few preventing weapons against these viruses (Nichol, Arikawa et al. 2000). Hemagglutinin, which can constitute an important drug target, is a glycoprotein found on the membrane of IV (Skehel and Wiley 2000). This protein is involved in the initial steps of the infection process of the virus, by promoting its fusion with the cell (Eckert and Kim 2001). However, the available structural knowledge and the associated molecular mechanisms concerning its action are still limited. Therefore, in this project we are proposing to study the structural alterations that hemagglutinin experiences in extreme conditions of pH and temperature using molecular modelling methods. These conditions were described to be the promoters of the major structural alterations of hemagglutinin during the infection of the Influenza Virus.
Antonio PINEDA-LUCENA, Valencia Claudio GOMES, Lisboa
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