FCCT Biochemistry Lab:Research

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Our fields of interest are:

Proteinases & their inhibitors (Brigita Lenarčič, Metka Renko)

This is a long-lasting cooperation with the J. Stefan Institute (JSI) in Ljubljana, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology where Professor Vito Turk is heading a programme on Proteolysis and its regulation.

Brigita is dealing with a group of inhibitors called Thyropins. Together with her postgraduate students at the JSI she managed to obtain recombinant thyropins and determine several interesting biochemical properties of these proteins. Metka is mainly involved in aminopeptidases and their LMW inhibitors. Marko used to work within this programme as well, mainly on cysteine proteinases cathepsins L, H and S.

Snake toxin phospholipases: structure, function and interactions (Petra Prijatelj) and Molecular evolution (Vera Župunski, Nika Lovšin)

Work on these two topics is another cooperation with J. Stefan Institute programme on Toxins and biomembranes (head: Professor Igor Krizaj)

Lipocalins as allergens (Jernej Palčič, Marko Dolinar)

This is a new field we are starting from scratch. Although rarely fatal, allergies are the increasing health problem of the Western world. Among biomolecules that can trigger alleregic reactions, lipocalins are a structurally conserved but biochemically varied group of molecules we wish to investigate in more detail.

Humanization of monoclonal antibodies (Nives Škrlj, Marko Dolinar)

A cooperation with the Blood Transfusion Centre of Slovenia (BTCS), group of Professor Vladka Čurin Šerbec, will start in 2007. BTCS has developed a series of murine monoclonal antibodies against human prion protein that have interesting binding properties and we believe they could be used as therapeutic antibodies.