282292 Modeling Nonspecific Interactions in Biological Systems

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 10:20 AM
Pennsylvania East (Westin )
Andrew D. White, Ann K. Nowinski, Wenjun Huang, Andrew J. Keefe, Fang Sun and Shaoyi Jiang, Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Many of the difficulties in biomedical applications arise from the complexities of multiple interactions in biological systems. These interactions can be broadly broken into two categories: those which are important to function (high activity for a specific target) and nonspecific binding which is detrimental to function (low activity binding to many targets). Nonspecific interactions are central to many failures of drugs, devices and materials in the biomedical field. Despite this fact, there is little modeling work on studying nonspecific interactions. Modeling all possible interactions within a biological system is difficult, yet there are ways to both indirectly study nonspecific binding and directly study many possible interactions using bioinformatics. In this work, we describe recent work using bioinformatics, phenomenological modeling, molecular simulations, and experiments to study three types of nonspecific interactions. They are the weak nonspecific interactions between proteins in crowded environments, irreversible nonspecific protein adsorption, and nonspecific stabilization of proteins in molecular chaperones. These disparate systems have allowed us to generalize our conclusions into a small set of principles that other researchers should consider when designing specific activity in order to maintain resistance to nonspecific interactions.

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