Off-campus WSU users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your WSU access ID and password, then click the "Off-campus Download" button below.

Non-WSU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Yeshitila Gebremichael


Structural studies devoted to m- and µ- calpains have proposed a two stage calcium dependent activation mechanism for calpains. In this work, we performed molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the global and the local changes in the structure of f the protease core upon calcium binding. Simulations were performed on the protease core of calcium free m- calpain and the protease core of calcium bound m- calpain with and without calcium ions. Our results indicated that the inactive, open conformation of the protease core may not transform into the active, closed conformation simply upon removal of constraints from the outside domains. We also propose that when the indole ring of W288 is oriented away from in between the sub domains IIa and IIb, the protease core tends to adopt a closed conformation and when it is oriented in between the two sub domains, the protease core tends to adopt an open conformation.

Off-campus Download