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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Bakht Hayate

Hello, my name is Bakht. I am currently a student at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. I am an upcoming Junior Biology student at the University of Cincinnati. This summer I am working in Prof. Ruxandra Dima’s research lab where I am studying microtubule severing enzymes with computational chemistry and machine learning. Microtubules are large biopolymers that have many diverse cellular roles ranging from cilia biogenesis, cell division, phototropism, and neurogenesis. Microtubule severing enzymes are biological motors that generate internal breaks in microtubules, which is critical for regulating microtubule’s many critical functions. The microtubule severing enzyme I am interested in, katanin, uses carboxy-terminal tails (CTTs) that protrude from the surface of microtubules and ATP in order to form a hexamer and undergo a conformational change from a ‘spiral’ to a ‘ring’ structure that is important for the severing event to occur. The questions that remain include ATP and CTTs’ individual contribution to the activation of severing enzymes. This summer I am working on applying classification machine learning algorithms to molecular dynamic simulations of katanin that either include neither, one of, or both ATP and CTT in order to identify the most important features for distinguishing these different states of katanin. This analysis will also be applied to the ‘spiral’ and ‘ring’ structures in order to gain information regarding possible allosteric changes to katanin’s structure in both conformations due to the addition of these elements.

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