About our group

The central research theme of our group is the study of structure-function relationships of signalling enzymes and receptors under physiological and pathological conditions.

A special emphasis is given to the signalling mediated by tyrosine-phosphorylation and protein tyrosine phosphatases. We aim to contribute to the understanding of how structural characteristics of enzymes and receptors are correlated with their specific signalling functions.

To this purpose we analyse signalling enzymes and receptors which we are investigating from multiple directions:

  • as classical enzymes, trying to evaluate their stability under various conditions, pH-dependence of the activity, specific activity, steady-state kinetic parameters, substrate specificity and also to identify the specific inhibitors as well as the corresponding inhibition constants;

  • as proteins, trying to crystallize the purified preparation and then to determine their 3D-structure

  • as receptors, trying to identify their agonists and antagonists as well as their specific mechanism for signal transduction. A special attention is given to G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) particularly to deorphanization of orphan GPCRs

  • as signalling entities, trying to find their subcellular localization, physiological substrate(s), regulatory interactions, role played in signalling pathways, post-translational modifications (Tyr/Ser/Thr phosphorylation and involvement in physiological and pathological events), etc.

  • implications of signalling enzymes and receptors in physiological and non-physiological conditions with particular emphasis to their involvement in neurodegenerative diseases

 

The combination of results thus obtained in this way is further used in shedding light on the signalling mechanism and on the overall functional role of the given enzyme or receptor.

 

The group has good experience and is currently involved in production, isolation and purification of recombinant proteins, expressed both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. The research activity of the group is performed by tools of molecular biology (recombinant DNA, site-directed mutagenesis, (RT)-PCR, Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, etc.), spectroscopic analysis (UV-VIS and fluorescence spectrophotometry), surface plasmon resonance, fluorescence polarization, mass-spectrometry, cellular biology, protein crystallization and enzyme kinetic analysis.

©2018 by Department of Enzymology

Institute of Biochemistry, Splaiul Independentei 296, Bucharest, Romania

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