The Macromolecular Structure and Function A (MSFA) Study Section reviews applications that focus on the structure-function relationships of proteins and polynucleic acids with particular focus on catalytic and other functional properties including interactions between enzymes and their effectors and substrates, the biochemistry and biophysics of metal center containing proteins, biochemistry and metabolism of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, elaboration of biochemical mechanism and structure-based drug development. Deployment of a broad range of physical, chemical, genetic, kinetic, mechanistic, and thermodynamic experimental tools is covered, along with extensive depth and range in theoretical and computational approaches to molecular biophysics. Commonly engaged experimental methods include NMR, EPR, crystallography, optical spectroscopies and electron microscopy. 

Review Dates

Membership Panel

The membership panel is a list of chartered members only.


  • Mechanistic enzymology of protein and nucleic acid catalysts.
  • Kinetic studies of catalytic reactions.
  • Structural bioinformatics including mechanistic strategies of enzyme superfamilies.
  • Macromolecular studies of metabolic pathways and networks.
  • Models of metallo-active sites: small molecule complexes and peptides mimetics of enzyme active site reactivity or metal center specificity, including redox catalysis and studies of oxygen/nitrogen species.
  • Biophysical theory and computational simulation of macromolecular structure, function and dynamics; and prediction of macromolecular interactions at varying spatial resolutions and timescales.
  • Computational docking and experimental studies of protein-ligand interactions and dynamics.
  • Discovery or design and evaluation of enzyme inhibitors or allosteric modulators.  Structure-based drug design.
  • Analysis of and prediction of properties of intrinsically disordered proteins and protein domains.

Shared Interests and Overlaps

There are shared interests for applications involving macromolecular biophysics and structural biology with Macromolecular Structure and Function B (MSFB), Macromolecular Structure and Function C (MSFC) and Biochemistry and Biophysical of Membranes (BBM).

  • Applications involving computational or theoretical prediction of protein folding/misfolding pathways or properties of intrinsically disordered proteins and domains are reviewed in MSFA.  Applications making primarily experimental exploration of the same issues are reviewed in MSFB.
  • Applications that emphasize integration of structure and catalytic mechanisms of enzymes of ribozymes are reviewed in MSFA. Applications studying structure-function of large cellular signaling complexes, motors and cytoskeletal components are reviewed in MSFC.
  • Applications focused on details of enzyme mechanisms, redox chemistry, metalloenzymes and metal binding proteins, or protein-ligand interactions are reviewed in MSFA. Applications focused on roles of lipids and membrane structures in mechanisms are reviewed in BBM.
  • Applications involving extensive development and/or deployment of biomolecular theory and computational simulation methods may be assigned to MSFA.  Applications with context that is heavily dependent upon details of membrane environments are reviewed in BBM.

There are shared interests in prokaryotic cellular processes with Prokaryotic Cell and Molecular Biology (PCMB). Applications involving extensive biophysical and biochemical analysis of metal ion containing proteins, enzymology of prokaryotic molecules, and proteins regulating metal influx, efflux and transport are reviewed in MSFA.  Applications that emphasize bacterial processes but also include some use of structural or biophysical methods are reviewed in PCMB.

There are shared interests in chemical and biochemical aspects of drug discovery and probe development with Chemical Biology & Probes (CBP). Applications that focus using elements of structure-based computational analysis and design/bioinorganic approaches to probe development are reviewed in MSFA. Applications that emphasize development and/or deployment of empirical synthetic and medicinal chemistry are reviewed in CBP.

There are shared interests in natural product biosynthesis, metal catalysis, and computational methodology with Chemical Synthesis & Biosynthesis (CSB). Applications that link metallo-centers to enzymatic catalysis and those examining molecular mechanisms of metal homeostasis are reviewed in MSFA. Applications that employ structural biology approaches to studying catalysis and biocatalysis are reviewed in MSFA. Applications that emphasize computational methodology not targeted specifically to synthesis are reviewed in MSFA. Applications that use synthetic and coordination chemistry to design new metallo-reagents are reviewed in CSB.

There are shared interests with the Molecular and Structural Immunology (MSI) in mathematical modeling, computational biology, and structure analyses. Applications that focus generally on macromolecule structure/function, bioinformatics, and computer modeling may be reviewed in MSFA, MSFB, or MSFC. Applications with a focus on the immunological outcome of such studies may be reviewed in MSI.


Last updated: 05/13/2024 06:10