The STRUCTBIO performs structural analysis of proteins, as a basis to understand their biological function. STRUCTBIO aims to promote and develop technologies in structural biology, theoretical chemical and physicochemical methods to enable the study of key biological systems on a molecular, electronic and systems level.
Proteins are the main molecular machines through which biological systems operate, as proteins are the working molecules of all biological systems. They play crucial roles in virtually all biological processes and have a multitude of very diverse functions. They determine the pattern of chemical transformations in biological systems by catalyzing with extreme specificity nearly all biochemical reactions. They function in immunity, in bio-signalling, in transport and storage of bio-molecules, in the motion and structure of all living organisms, and in control of growth and differentiation.
Insight into how biological systems function at a molecular level therefore requires insight into how proteins function, and this in turn requires insight into their three-dimensional (3-D) structures, since all proteins function through their 3-D structure. Knowledge of the 3-D structures of proteins is essential for understanding their mode of action, for optimal medical and biotechnological exploitations, for understanding bio-recognition and response processes, and for rational design of specific pharmacological reagents.