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You are here: Home Science & Projects Deisa Extreme Computing Initiative Projects 2005 - 2006 SNARE: : Membrane Fusion

SNARE: : Membrane Fusion

Project Acronym SNARE
Scientific Discipline Computational Chemistry/Biology
Principal Investigator(s) Marc Baaden
Leading Institution Labo de Biochimie Theorique, CNRS UPR9080
Partner Institution(s) None


The SNARE protein complex is central to membrane fusion, a ubiquitous process in biology. Modeling this complex in order to better understand its guiding principles is a challenging task. This is mainly due to the complexity of the environment: two adjacent membranes and a central complex of four helices made up by v- and t-SNARE proteins. Not only the size of the actual system but also the computing time required to equilibrate it render this a demanding task requiring exceptional computing resources. We suggest the use of the innovative replica exchange method where several simulations simultaneously run in parallel to enhance sampling in order to establish a realistic microscopic view of the membrane-embedded SNARE complex. This model will be a starting point for further investigations related to membrane fusion, and will provide detailed insight into one of the key steps bringing the two membranes together.

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