Biochemistry & MCB
The final aim at this area of BIFI is to understand and to control biological systems depending on proteins that have interest for chemical, biotechnological, pharmacological and biomedical applications. Knowledge of protein behaviour at molecular and cellular levels allows interpretation of the macroscopic mechanisms of the cellular functions in which they are involved, but many of the parameters controlling these processes still remain unknown. Proteins adopt an organized three-dimensional structure closely related with their function that can be regulated by the interaction with other biomolecules and/or small organic molecules. Defective structural arrangements can prevent protein interaction with other molecules, provoking many different illnesses in human beings. Many other illnesses are also produced by infectious viruses and microorganisms, and a way of stopping them could be to block a step of their vital cycle involving a protein or biomolecule. Moreover, small molecules from the environment can also be either toxic inhibitors or activatiors of particular activities in different organisms, and in many cases they might be used as effectors of the expression some genes, and the production or action of particular proteins. The research lines in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology at BIFI study different biological systems involved in key metabolic routes that serve as model for other systems combining classic methodologies from this area with biophysical and computational methods. Applications of the obtained knowledge are additionally being used to control and to modulate the behaviour of particular systems with benefits for the society.