On the line of maturing new understanding of the factors regulating the correct dynamics of intrinsically disordered proteins in solution, one of the group’s interest is studying the mechanisms at the base of IDP’s recognition by structured partners. The function of IDPs is mostly, if not exclusively, developed around their ability to bind other molecular components inside the cell. Nevertheless, their lack of structure poses an additional challenge to successful binding. By employing molecular dynamics and brownian dynamics simulations interfaced to experimental validations, we aim to identify the mechanisms of recognition and binding between IDPs and structured partners crucial to cell surviving. The ultimate goal of the project is to bridge the knowledge that we acquire at a single-molecule level to the function of interacting partners inside the cell.
The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.