Cellular proteins adopt defined structures that are necessary for their specific functions. The fundamental mechanisms of protein folding, modification, and degradation are intricately linked to their molecular function, and also ultimately to their roles in physiology and pathophysiology. In this research field scientists use a variety of techniques to study structural aspects of biological macromolecules, which allow these players to be identified, visualized at different levels of resolution, and characterized for different modifications.
X-ray crystallography, high-resolution optical and electron microscopy as well as mass spectrometry are key methods in this research field. These approaches are used to gain insights into the synthesis and subsequent folding of proteins, their targeted degradation, and the architecture of large protein complexes. A common goal of this research field is to understand the molecular details of biomolecular recognition processes.