Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Introduction

The ultimate goal of cellular biology and biochemistry is to provide a molecular basis for the details of cell (mis)functioning and human diseases. Its achievement requires understanding the complexity of molecular interactions in the living cell. Indeed, biological macromolecules are the key players of the cell. In the post-genomic era, we are granted with a large quantity of ‘low-resolution’ information on the correlations between molecules involved in different cellular processes. To interpret this information, it is necessary the structural and functional understanding of the recognition between biological macromolecules.

The interactions between macromolecules and between macromolecules and small molecules take place on a wide range of timescales. Stable complexes are characterised by a long lifetime and, sometimes, a high binding specificity. Such interactions are common and important to cell functioning. Transient complexes, with a very short lifetime, are crucial to ensure a fast turnover or reversibility in multi-components assemblies. Examples are the interactions between proteins engaged in electron transfer and in cell signalling. The growing knowledge of different cellular processes proves that transient and reversible interactions are necessary for a broad range of processes.

The technical difficulties intrinsic to the study of weakly interacting systems can be tackled in depth only by more concerted efforts. Integrating the research efforts from many disciplines and establishing recognised multi-technique methods for characterisation of transient complexes is a priority in biological and biomedical research. The invited speakers, who are leading researchers in their respective fields, will cover the most relevant aspects of transient macromolecular interactions and complex formations by using the most recent and advanced techniques - stopped-flow, laser flash photolysis, NMR, combinatorial chemistry, EM, SPR, protein engineering, resonance Raman, docking modeling and statistical analysis-. Therefore, a meeting essentially multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary is guaranteed. The programme will also offer the opportunity for discussions as well as the possibility to initiate new collaborations and joint projects.