Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 337283
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Germany

Mid-Term Report Summary - MEMBRANESACT (Biological Membranes in Action: A Unified Approachto Complexation, Scaffolding and Active Transport)

The formation and transport of supramolecular complexes in membranes is ubiquitous to nearly all functions of biological cells. Today, there is a variety of experiments suggesting that macromolecular complexes act as scaffolds for free proteins, overall yielding obstructed diffusion, counterbalanced by active transport by molecular motors. However, an integrative view connecting complexation and transport is largely missing. Furthermore, the interplay of membrane mediated interactions and (non)-thermal fluctuations were so far overlooked. Furthemore, understanding the consequeces of these effects on cellular level and transport in tissues is still lacking. Gaining a quantitative insight into protein mediated interactions of membranes is key to understanding the fundamental functioning of cells and tissues.

The MembranesAct team is addressing these intrinsically biological problems, by means of theoretical physics. Phenomena such as active and anomalous transport, as well as complexation are also currently subject to intense research in the statistical and soft matter physics communities. MembranesAct bridges the divide between the two worlds is significantly contributing to both physics and the life sciences by developing general principles that can be applied to processes in cells and tissues. Resolving these issues is of fundamental importance since it would identify how interactions on the cell surface arise, and may translate directly into pharmaceutical applications.

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