Molecular Dynamics Simulations of LARP1, a Cancer-Relevant Drug Target

09/20/2019 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Dr. Jacob Durrant

Abstract: The RNA-binding protein La-related protein 1 (LARP1) helps regulate the synthesis of ribosomes, the cellular machines that translate messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into proteins. Ribosomes themselves include many protein subcomponents that are critical for their functioning. The mRNAs that encode these ribosomal subcomponents, called 5’TOP mRNAs, are chemically distinct from most other mRNA molecules. LARP1 binds 5’TOP mRNAs, thereby controlling to what extent they are available for ribosome biosynthesis. Molecular dynamics simulations of LARP1 reveal that a portion of the protein near the 5’TOP-mRNA binding site is particularly flexible. Elevated LARP1 levels have been implicated in several cancers, so better understanding LARP1 dynamics could provide pharmacological insights that will lead to novel treatments.


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