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High resolution tools to understand the functional role of protein intrinsic disorder (IDPBYNMR)
Start date: Nov 1, 2010, End date: Oct 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Recent evidence shows that a large share of proteins gain functional advantages by remaining natively unstructured, either completely or partially, thus challenging well-established concepts in structural biology. In order to characterize the highly dynamical nature of such “intrinsically disordered proteins”, and follow their (possible) reorganization by interacting with partners, new integrated multidisciplinary approaches combining a variety of experimental and computational techniques are needed. Our proposal is focused on NMR spectroscopy, since this technique offers an arsenal of effective tools for the study of the structural and dynamical properties of disordered states of proteins at atomic resolution in systems as complex as whole cells. In order to achieve the full potential of this approach, however, current methods should be further developed and properly interfaced with other complementary techniques. The purpose of our network is thus to establish a framework to train a new generation of young researchers and help them develop the necessary skills to successfully respond to the challenges associated with the elucidation of the functional role of intrinsically disordered protein states. If achieved, this goal will provide us with a more quantitative understanding of the biochemical processes at the basis of life and have a significant impact in biomedical research and in the design of new drugs.
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