Voelcker Academy
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Lauren Tsai

Investigation of thermodynamic and hydrodynamic properties of biological macromolecules with analytical ultracentrifugation

Lauren Tsai

Mentor: Dr. Borries Demeler

An understanding of macromolecular interactions is essential to biomedical research. Molecular structure, function, and interactions are key components of investigation. Proteins and nucleic acids can react with each other to form macromolecular complexes and cellular machinery. Current research focuses on these interactions and functions between proteins and nucleic acids, with particular interest into non-covalent interactions between two or more biological macromolecules that can only be observed in solution. The use of analytical ultracentrifugation to measure thermodynamic and hydrodynamic parameters of macromolecules in solution will lead to a greater understanding of these biological systems. A particular interest lies in systems that exhibit reversible self- or hetero- associations. These interactions between subunits of a single molecule or different molecules can be measured by sedimentation velocity or sedimentation equilibrium experiments. In this study we will evaluate and compare both methods for accuracy, precision and information content.