Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Group

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BMB 622 - Physical Principles of Mechano-Enzymes

Spring - even-numbered years (1/2 semester; 1/2 credit)

Course Directors:

Yale E. Goldman, M.D., Ph.D.,, tel: 215-898-4017
Roberto Dominguez, Ph.D.,, tel: 215-573-4559
E. Michael Ostap, Ph.D.
,, tel: 215-573-9758

This course will provide an introduction to the biochemical, structural, and mechanical properties of energy-transducing enzymes. We will emphasize the relationships of mechanical, thermal, and chemical forces in mechano-enzyme function. Introductory lectures will be given by the faculty, and students and faculty will present papers from current scientific literature. The format of the course is designed to foster active discussion of the subject with an emphasis on the critical evaluation of the literature. Participants will write and submit, on the day of each presentation, five questions on each of the selected literature papers. Grading will take account personal presentations, participation during other students’ presentations, homework and written questions. Attendance is expected at all sessions; please inform faculty of necessary absences beforehand.

Prerequiste: Biochemistry

Course Materials:  “Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton,” by Jonathon Howard is the required text book.


Basic Physical Principles
Mechanical Forces in Biophysics and Cell Biology           
Mass, Stiffness and Damping of Proteins
Thermal Forces and Diffusion
Chemical Forces
Polymer Mechanics
Cytoskeletal Motor Proteins
Non-Classical Mechano-Enzymes
ATP synthase
RNA Polymerase
Bacterial Flagella
Viral portal motors