Monday, 06 February 2023

MTA-SZTE Biomimetic Systems Research Group

Principal investigator: Gábor Tóth

Gabor Toth

The Biomimetic Systems Research Group was established in 2017 based on the tradition of the MTA-SZTE Supramolecular and Nanostructured Materials Research Group. The group affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine, but several of its members have links to the Faculty of Science and Informatics. The group integrates a wide-range of instrumental and methodical facilities available there and applies them to investigate complex protein systems.

Not the single proteins rather their different associates play a determining role in the fundamental processes of the living cell. The targets of the recent drug research are more and more those complex protein systems that have altered dynamical properties and initiate pathological processes. One of our main goals is the investigation of these complex protein systems and modulation of protein-protein interactions (PPI) present in them. Several proteins are in our main focus, among them the SSB-protein, ion-channel proteins, AMPA receptor and its interacting partners. In addition, a long standing research field of our group is the synthesis and investigation of peptides with multiple disulfide bridges e.g. ion channel blockers. Numerous antimicrobial peptides from different species belonging to this peptide family are in the focus of our research, as well.

In our group several „cutting edge” methodologies are simultaneously present enabling the high quality investigations of protein interactions. Using the possibilities of computer simulations and in silico design we plan to develop small molecule compounds that modulate PPI-s and serve as potential drug candidates. We use a wide variety of physico-chemical methods for the experimental investigation of protein-protein and protein-small molecule interactions. Among them, the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) for the binding, the isotherm titration calorimetry (ITC) for the thermodynamics, small angle X-ray scattering and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for the structural investigations of complex PPIs. Besides the investigation of PPIs, development of optical biosensors (gold nanohybrid systems) and in silico methods for protein-ligand interaction energy calculations are in our focus.