IOCB Prague

Iva Pichová Group

Viral and Microbial Proteins
Research Group
BIO cluster

About our group

The research of our laboratory focuses mainly on functional and structural studies of key proteins from Hepatitis B virus and Mycobacteria spp and their interactions with cellular proteins. We also study proteins from pathogenic yeasts and cooperate with chemical ecologists on insect pheromone biosynthetic enzymes.

Research projects involve protein engineering, protein purification, protein characterization, enzymology, NMR and X-ray protein structure solution, isolation and analysis of complexes of cellular and pathogenic proteins, various molecular biological methods, and electron microscopy analysis. Our close cooperation with organic chemists facilitates multidisciplinary research focused on identification and characterization of enzymes involved in drug metabolism and testing of potential inhibitors.

The group is a member of the Gilead Sciences & IOCB Research Centre, NPU 1 and OPVVV projects.



All publications
Desaturase specificity is controlled by the physicochemical properties of a single amino acid residue in the substrate binding tunnel
Desaturase specificity is controlled by the physicochemical properties of a single amino acid residue in the substrate binding tunnel
Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal 18: 1202-1209 (2020)
Membrane fatty acyl desaturases (mFAD) are ubiquitous enzymes in eukaryotes. They introduce double bonds into fatty acids (FAs), producing structurally diverse unsaturated FAs which serve as membrane lipid components or precursors of signaling molecules. The mechanisms controlling enzymatic specificity and selectivity of desaturation are, however, poorly understood. We found that the physicochemical properties, particularly side chain volume, of a single amino acid (aa) residue in insect mFADs (Lepidoptera: Bombyx mori and Manduca sexta) control the desaturation products. Molecular dynamics simulations of systems comprising wild-type or mutant mFADs with fatty acyl-CoA substrates revealed that the single aa substitution likely directs the outcome of the desaturation reaction by modulating the distance between substrate fatty acyl carbon atoms and active center metal ions. These findings, as well as our methodology combining mFAD mutational screening with molecular dynamics simulations…
Toll-like receptor dual-acting agonists are potent inducers of PBMC-produced cytokines that inhibit hepatitis B virus production in primary human hepatocytes
Scientific Reports 10: 12767 (2020)
Hypoxanthine-Guanine Phosphoribosyltransferase Is Dispensable for Mycobacterium smegmatis Viability
Journal of Bacteriology 202 (5): e00710-19 (2020)
Hepatitis B Core Protein Is Post-Translationally Modified through K29-Linked Ubiquitination
Cells 9 (12): 2547 (2020)