Create a molecular dynamics model of the KcsA potassium ion channel and study the ion conduction
The bacterial potassium channel KcsA which is simplified model of eucaryotic voltage-dependent potassium channels has been chosen as an object of investigation. The studying of KcsA structure and functions by molecular modeling methods has begun at the end of the XX-th century when the group of researchers headed by Professor Roderick MacKinnon has published X-ray analysis results of protein crystals. Since KcsA represents simplified model of voltage-dependent potassium channels which are directly responsible for excitation and nervous impulses transfer functions, investigation of basic KcsA functioning principles is the key for further understanding of their work. The obtained data in turn can be used for further drug design which modulates channel activity and, hence, cell functional status.
M.A. Kasimova has successfully defended her master thesis.