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Mapping and modulating integrin mediated interactions

Mapping and modulating integrin mediated interactions


Multicellular life depends on the effective communication between cells and their surroundings. One of the primary conduits for cellular interactions is the membrane-embedded receptor family of integrins. Integrins are crucial for several key biological processes, from blood clotting, to proper immune response. Integrin misregulation is at the heart of several diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, MS, or cancer, and integrins are targeted by several viruses as entry points. Yet, our current drugs are not capable of efficiently combating these diseases, as we do not have sufficient molecular and network level knowledge of how integrins work.

The main research objective of MIMIC is to develop an original hybrid in silico/in vitro framework that allows the identification and characterization of unknown elements of integrin signaling. It will present the first such systematic large-scale effort, integrating computational modeling with state-of-the-art experimental techniques. MIMIC will provide the first structured description of integrin ligand specificity profiles, extending our current limited descriptions of extracellular integrin interactions. Thus, MIMIC will be the missing link between integrin research and recent advancements in linear motif research.

The developed framework will not only enable the identification of currently unknown integrin ligands, but will also lay the foundations for innovative approaches in the development of therapeutic agents for integrin-related diseases. Building on the developed experimentally verified computational models, I will construct a novel peptide-based inhibitor design pipeline. MIMIC will provide a structural basis for currently missing immune-specific interactions in atomic detail. I will use this knowledge to design the first immunomodulatory peptide-based integrin inhibitor, serving as a proof-of-concept for future therapeutic applications.
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Meyerhofstrasse 1
69117 Heidelberg


Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 162 806,40

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 842490


Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 January 2020

  • End date

    31 December 2021

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 162 806,40

  • EU contribution

    € 162 806,40

Coordinated by: