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Models of Molecular Self-Assembly for RNA Viruses and Synthetic DNA Cages

Grayson, Nicholas Edwin (2012) Models of Molecular Self-Assembly for RNA Viruses and Synthetic DNA Cages. PhD thesis, University of York.

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A significant number of RNA viruses assemble their protein containers and genomic material simultaneously. Here the implications of this protein-RNA co-assembly are investigated using an extended version of a model first proposed by Adam Zlotnick in 1994 (Zlotnick, 1994). The inspirations for this extended model are the cases of bacteriophage MS2 and the STMV virus, viruses that have been well characterised experimentally. Example pathways of RNA virus assembly have been enumerated and kinetic simulations have been run on these networks. The results show the most likely pathways of virus assembly and the concentrations of the intermediates. This work will also demonstrate how kinetic traps may be avoided when proteins are able to bind RNA during assembly. Additionally modelled are DNA cages, which are three-dimensional shapes made from double-helical DNA molecules. Such cages have been seen within viruses but may also be constructed artificially. This model has been used to produce energetically optimised designs for icosidodecahedron-shaped DNA cages.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Biology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.581596
Depositing User: Dr Nicholas Edwin Grayson
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2013 12:42
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:29
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4432

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