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Informal Seminar - Thomas Shafee : Exploring the sequence space of unusual protein superfamilies: origins, divergence, convergence in defensins proteins

When Jan 18, 2018
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where Genetics Part II Room
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There will be an informal seminar held from 14:00 to 15:00 in the Part II Room on Thursday 18th January 2018.

Dr Thomas Shafee from the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, Melbourne will be speaking and the title of the talk is,

''Exploring the sequence space of unusual protein superfamilies: origins, divergence, convergence in defensins proteins''

Abstract:
The defensins are small, disulphide-rich proteins found across cellular life with roles including host defence, signalling, and venom toxicity. Unfortunately, their extreme sequence divergence, short length, frequent insertions and deletions, and repetitive sequence cause traditional methods of sequence analysis to fail, obscuring their evolution, hampering their classification and engineering. Insights into the unusual evolution of defensins is now possible using new alignment methods, similarity networks, and quantitative sequence space maps.

This work as shown that the defensins actually consist of two independent superfamilies that have independently converged upon remarkably similar sequence, structure, function and mechanism. Quantitative sequence space maps have shed light on the some of the superfamilies' hey evolution events, including those that occurred at their de novo birth.

Host: Ashraf Zarkan