Interplay between DNA and proteins in the research of a graduate of the Doctoral School | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2024-01-16

Interplay between DNA and proteins in the research of a graduate of the Doctoral School

Photo: private materials
Kazi Amirul Hossain is another graduate of the Doctoral School at Gdańsk University of Technology. His doctoral thesis in chemical sciences concerns the relationship between DNA and proteins and their interactions.

The doctoral thesis entitled "Unraveling the Interplay between DNA and Proteins: A Computational Exploration of Sequence and Structure-Specific Recognition Mechanisms" was written under the supervision of prof. Jacek Czub from the Department of Physical Chemistry.

Imagine DNA as a complex puzzle, and proteins are the detectives trying to solve it. In my PhD research, I became a DNA detective, using computers to understand how proteins interact with DNA. Proteins, our detectives, have a preference for certain DNA pieces, like magnets being drawn to specific parts of a puzzle – explains the scientist. – I discovered that some protein binding parts consisting of acidic amino acid residues are like picky eaters - they prefer a certain type of 'food', in this case, a specific DNA piece called cytosine. These picky eaters can either help or hinder the binding, depending on how many cytosines are around. If there are lots, they're happy and helpful. If not, they can be a bit grumpy!

His research the graduate additionally focused on a specific mitochondrial protein, EXOG, and unique DNA structures called G-quadruplexes (G4).

– Understanding these tiny interactions helps us in big ways! It helps scientists design better drugs and antibodies, like teaching them how to create a perfect lock and key match. This knowledge is like having a superpower in the fight against diseases. Plus, it's like deciphering the ancient secrets of life, helping us understand how living things evolve and what goes wrong in diseases – adds Kazi Amirul Hossain.

The doctoral student came to Poland from India in 2019. He received the highest score of all candidates in the recruitment procedure. He completed his studies in October 2023.

– I was considering doctoral studies at universities in India, Germany, China and Poland. I chose Gdańsk University of Technology due to the research profile of my supervisor, because this topic interested me the most. – emphasizes Hossain. – In India, during my engineering studies, I chose pharmacy, and I completed my master's degree at Jadavpur University in Kolkata.

Currently, the graduate conducts research at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona. His scientific future is closely related to biomedical research.