About our group
The research of this laboratory focuses mainly on functional and structural studies of key proteins from Hepatitis B virus and Mycobacteria spp and their interactions with cellular proteins. 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.
Expansion of the fatty acyl reductase gene family shaped pheromone communication in Hymenoptera
eLife 8 : e39231 (2019).
Fatty acyl reductases (FARs) are involved in the biosynthesis of fatty alcohols that serve a range of biological roles. Insects typically harbor numerous FAR gene family members. While some FARs are involved in pheromone biosynthesis, the biological significance of the large number of FARs in insect genomes remains unclear.\n\nUsing bumble bee (Bombini) FAR expression analysis and functional characterization, hymenopteran FAR gene tree reconstruction, and inspection of transposable elements (TEs) in the genomic environment of FARs, we uncovered a massive expansion of the FAR gene family in Hymenoptera, presumably facilitated by TEs. The expansion occurred in the common ancestor of bumble bees and stingless bees (Meliponini). We found that bumble bee FARs from the expanded FAR-A ortholog group contribute to the species-specific pheromone composition. Our results indicate that expansion and functional diversification of the FAR gene family played a key role in the evolution of pheromone communication in Hymenoptera.\n
Allosteric regulation of pyruvate kinase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis by metabolites
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics 1867 (2): 125-139 (2019).
Analysis of nucleotide pools in bacteria using HPLC-MS in HILIC mode
Talanta 205 : Early View (2019).
Hepatitis B Virus X Protein Function Requires Zinc Binding
Journal of Virology 93 (16): e00250 (2019).