Monday, June 18, 2007
Golden Eagle Eyrie (Boise Centre on the Grove)

Modeling interactions between minute virus of mice replicator protein peptides and viral DNA

Shamus Tucek, Jeffrey N. Woodford, and Joe Corsini. Eastern Oregon University, La Grande, OR

The Minute Virus of Mice is a rodent virus that has been observed to integrate its DNA into extrachromosomal plasmids in human cells. This behavior raises the possibility of using this virus in gene therapy applications. Required for this integration is the virally encoded DNA binding protein, NS1. In order to better understand the DNA binding and integration processes, we previously used circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy to study interactions between peptides derived from NS1 and oligonucleotides from the NS1 binding region of the viral genome. Those studies revealed that one of the peptides (amino acids 82-120) contains α-helical character which is lost upon interaction with the DNA. In order to develop molecular models of the peptide/DNA interactions and to aid with predicting the effects of amino acid substitutions during future gene therapy studies of the protein, we have begun to generate molecular models of the NAMD to conduct preliminary simulations of the peptide. Initial results (10 ns, CHARMM22 force field) show helical character in the peptide, supporting the previous CD data. Preliminary simulations of the peptide-DNA complex will also be presented.