Call for Papers and Posters

Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDPs) and Their Functions

Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing
January 3-7, 2020
The Big Island of Hawaii, USA


In general the functions of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and Regions (IDPs and IDRs) are complementary to, or interact with, the functions of structured proteins. Because of their fundamental functional roles, IDPs and IDRs have likely been important for the origin of life, the evolution of the genetic code, the origins of eukaryotic cells, the advent of sexual reproduction in eukaryotes, and the evolution of complex multicellular organisms. Intracellular phase transitions (e.g. formation of membraneless organelles) have recently been shown to involve IDPs. Malfunctions of IDP- or IDR-associated functions or processes make important contributions to a variety of complex diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegeneration.

Indeed, studies on particular protein functions that critically depend on IDPs or IDRs have received high recognition, including gene regulation (1965 Nobel Prize, Physiology or Medicine), genetic control of early embryonic development (1995 Nobel Prize, Physiology or Medicine), prion disease (1997 Nobel Prize, Physiology or Medicine), induced pluripotent stem cells (2012 Nobel Prize, Physiology or Medicine), autophagy (2016 Nobel prize, Physiology or Medicine), circadian rhythms (2017 Nobel Prize, Physiology or Medicine), and phage display (2018 Nobel Prize, Chemistry), yet the general biological research community and even the Nobel Laurates themselves are (or were) not aware of the key roles played by IDPs or IDRs in the molecular mechanisms that underlie these just-mentioned phenomena.

The purpose of this PSB session is to bring attention and recognition to the wide variety of biological functions and processes that depend on IDPs or IDRs.

Session Topics

This session invites papers on all aspects of the computational analysis, simulation, prediction, and the merging of heterogeneous data on IDPs or IDRs. Papers containing experimental work on IDPs are also considered so long as computational and/or bioinformatics methods are also employed. Papers that focus on explaining how IDP- or IDR-dependent molecular functions contribute to various biological processes are encouraged. An expected feature of experimental papers is that they present computational challenges or opportunities. Examples of specific relevant topics include (but are not limited to):
  • Prediction, classification and characterization of functions of IDPs and IDRs
  • Evolution of IDPs and IDRs
  • Strategies for modulating IDP functions in human diseases
  • Analysis of functional data on IDPs and IDRs in disorder databases: DisProt, MobiDB, D2P2, IDEAL and other
  • Integration of IDP and IDR predictions to study and predict other structural and functional features of proteins, such as post-translational modifications or protein-nucleic acids binding
  • Integration of structural data from simulation and experiment to predict and characterize functions of IDPs and IDRs
  • Computational methods to characterize mechanistic aspects of coupled binding and folding and regulation of IDR recognition
  • Simulation of different states of IDPs and IDRs
  • Session Co-Chairs

    A. Keith Dunker
    Indiana University
    Lukasz Kurgan
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Predrag Radivojac
    Northeastern University
    Joel L. Sussman
    Weizmann Institute of Science

    Submission Information

    The submitted papers are reviewed and accepted on a competitive basis. At least three reviewers will be assigned to each submitted manuscript. All deadlines are at midnight Pacific Standard Time.

    PSBs paper format template and instructions are available at

    Articles in the PSB proceedings are archival, rigorously peer-reviewed publications. PSB publications are Open Access and linked directly from MEDLINE/PubMed and Google Scholar for wide accessibility. They are equivalent to journal articles that may be cited on CVs and grant reports.


    Donations to support the PSB2020 meeting and the session on "Intrinsically disordered proteins and their functions" should be done by check made out to "Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing". Please send the checks to:

    Tiffany Murray
    Shriram Center
    443 Via Ortega Room 213
    BioE Altman Lab MC: 4245
    Stanford, CA 94305-4125