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CL X Dynamics of Molecular Interactions


Inflammation is a complex event in which numerous cell types, commensals as well as pathogenic microbes, subcellular structures and molecules spatially interact. To understand these interactions, it is important to decipher function and dynamics of individual players down to the molecular level. Besides the identification of interacting molecules, the detailed knowledge of the mode of interaction, i.e. structure-function correlation and structural dynamics of interacting molecules, is the base for understanding their biological role. To study such complex molecular events in the context of inflammatory processes at barriers between cells or subcellular structures, a broad methodological repertoire is indispensable. The cluster laboratory bundles expertise and infrastructures from different disciplines, namely structure analysis by NMR and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, membrane biophysics, molecular imaging, immunomagnetic separation techniques, proteomics, cell biology, and antimicrobial peptides, covering a wide range of technologies suited for the analysis of interaction processes at molecular level. The CL platforms will perform methodologically oriented research and will provide these cutting-edge technologies for RAs aiming at the resolution of molecular processes of inflammation. The technological advances will create novel hypotheses on the molecular basis of inflammation and promote development of new anti-inflammatory therapeutic principles.

Contribution to the Scientific Discourse

The CL will contribute collaborative access to and training in cutting-edge technologies crucial for studying molecular interactions in inflammatory processes. It will allow to (1) study interactions and molecular dynamics within lipid membranes (e.g. membrane-active peptides) in vitro and in vivo, (2) structurally analyze and visualize complex biomolecule interactions (e.g. DNA/protein, multiprotein) interactions, and (3) introduce a "structural systems biology" approach by 3D-structure determination of protein complexes and design structure-based inhibitors.

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