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Disputation Tim Hempel

Sep 04, 2023 | 02:00 PM
Thema der Dissertation:
Markov field models of molecular kinetics
Abstract: Computer simulations such as molecular dynamics (MD) provide a possible means to understand protein dynamics and mechanisms on an atomistic scale. The resulting simulation data can be analyzed with Markov state models (MSMs), yielding a quantitative kinetic model that, e.g., encodes state populations and transition rates. However, the larger an investigated system, the more data is required to estimate a valid kinetic model. In this work, we show that this scaling problem can be escaped when decomposing a system into smaller ones, leveraging weak couplings between local domains. Our approach, termed independent Markov decomposition (IMD), is a first-order approximation neglecting couplings, i.e., it represents a decomposition of the underlying global dynamics into a set of independent local ones. We demonstrate that for truly independent systems, IMD can reduce the sampling by three orders of magnitude. IMD is applied to two biomolecular systems. First, synaptotagmin-1 is analyzed, a rapid calcium switch from the neurotransmitter release machinery. Within its C2A domain, local conformational switches are identified and modeled with independent MSMs, shedding light on the mechanism of its calcium-mediated activation. Second, the catalytic site of the serine protease TMPRSS2 is analyzed with a local drug-binding model. Equilibrium populations of different drug-binding modes are derived for three inhibitors, mirroring experimentally determined drug efficiencies. IMD is subsequently extended to an end-to-end deep learning framework called iVAMPnets, which learns a domain decomposition from simulation data and simultaneously models the kinetics in the local domains. We finally classify IMD and iVAMPnets as Markov field models, which we define as a class of models that describe dynamics by decomposing systems into local domains. Overall, this thesis introduces a local approach to Markov modeling that enables to quantitatively assess the kinetics of large macromolecular complexes, opening up possibilities to tackle current and future computational molecular biology questions.

Time & Location

Sep 04, 2023 | 02:00 PM

Hörsaal B (0.1.01)