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SZABÓ-MELEG, Edina

SZABÓ-MELEG, Edina

PhD

senior lecturer

Department of Biophysics

Telefon: 36460

Supervisor of the following TDK topics

Supervisor: SZABÓ-MELEG, Edina

In the Department of Biophysics at University of Pécs our research group studies mainly the structure, molecular dynamics and interactions of cytoskeletal proteins with actin in the center of interest. Our research includes membrane nanotubes, which is a relatively new and highly interesting way of direct cellular communication. Membrane nanotubes are long, temporary membrane protrusions, providing more than physical connections between cells. Membrane nanotubes are described as direct communication pathways between certain cells (T-lymphocyte, neuran cells, kidney cells, myeloid cells, some cancer cells) transporting different matters or chemical signals. In the last few years nanotubes have quickly gained interest demonstrating a capability to spread disease among cells avoiding activation of immune system. Viruses, prions, different cell organelles, membranesurface proteins, lipids have been identified to migrate between cells using membrane nanotubes.

Our aim to reveal molecular processes and interactions in the formation and function of membrane nanotubes.

Figure: Mouse B-lymphocyte (A20) cells (fixated), labeled by Alexa 488 phalloidin, (63x magnification, SIM: structured illumination microscopy image). Arrow indicates a membrane nanotube.

Supervisor: SZABÓ-MELEG, Edina

Co-supervisor: Prof. Dr. NYITRAI, Miklós

Our research group studies membrane nanotubes, which is a relatively newly discovered, highly interesting way of direct cellular communication. Membrane nanotubes are long, temporary membrane protrusions, providing more than physical connections between cells. Membrane nanotubes are described as direct communication pathways between certain cells (T-lymphocyte, neural cells, kidney cells, myeloid cells, some cancer cells) transporting different matters or chemical signals. As a result of significant researches, viruses, prions, different cell organelles, membrane surface proteins, lipids have been identified to migrate between cells using membrane nanotubes.

Our aim to reveal molecular processes and interactions in the formation and function of membrane nanotubes by the application of superresolution microscopy.

Superresolution microscope techniques have been applied only in the last few years in different research fields. Denomination of these instruments originates from their exceptionally good resolution cabability. The Zeiss Elyra-type superresolution microscope found in the Szentágothai Research Centre at University of Pécs has 100 nm resolution, giving twice better resolution than traditional microscopes. A great advantage of this microscope and operation method (SIM, structured illumination) is not only the excellent resolution, but in contrast with other superresolution techniques it does not require special fluorophores, therefore sample preparation is easy.

Figure: Murine B-lymphocyte (A20) cells (living), labeled by DiO lipophilic membrane tracker, (63x magnification, SIM: structured illumination microscopy image). Arrow indicates a membrane nanotube.