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Geometric techniques for molecular shape analysis

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Title: Geometric techniques for molecular shape analysis
Author(s): Facello, Michael Allen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Edelsbrunner, Herbert
Department / Program: Computer Science
Discipline: Computer Science
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Biophysics, General Computer Science
Abstract: Macromolecules such as proteins and DNA have complex spatial structures which are often important for their biological functions. The idea of molecular shape and shape complementarity play crucial roles in protein folding, conformational stability, molecular solubility, crystal packing, and docking. Various models based on a union of balls representation have been suggested for representing molecular shape, including the van der Waals model, the solvent accessible surface, and the molecular surface.In this thesis, we present several extensions to the theory of Alpha shapes applicable to the analysis of molecular shape. First, we define a "pocket" of a molecule, which is intuitively a 'depression', 'canyon', or 'cavity' of a molecule. The definition is based on mathematical notions of relative distance. We give efficient algorithms for computing pockets and examples of their application.Secondly, we look at the issue of maintaining shape dynamically as a molecule changes over time. Topological analysis of the changing structure can yield information about the function of the molecule. We describe algorithms and their implementations for dynamically maintaining the Delaunay complex, the basis for shape analysis. These algorithms have been implemented, and experimental results are reported.Finally, we discuss techniques for modelling uniform growth of the atoms of a molecule. The solvent accessible and molecular surface models of a molecule are based on such growth, and the algorithms presented here efficiently compute these models for all probe sizes.
Issue Date: 1996
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/21019
ISBN: 9780591198058
Rights Information: Copyright 1996 Facello, Michael Allen
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9712265
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9712265
 

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