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VARNYUNÉ KIS-BICSKEI, Nikolett

VARNYUNÉ KIS-BICSKEI, Nikolett

assistant professor

Department of Biophysics

Supervisor of the following TDK topics

Supervisor: TALIÁN, Csaba Gábor

Co-supervisor: VARNYUNÉ KIS-BICSKEI, Nikolett

The mechanical stability of eukaryote cells is provided by an internal scaffold, the cytoskeleton, whose one main component is the actin filament system. Also these structures are responsible for the majority of cell movements. The actin system is operated by hundreds of regulatory proteins that not only define the properties of the filaments but influence each other’s activities. The elongated tropomyosins bind the filaments longitudinally in a lateral way. They come in several isoforms even within the same cell type, but the significance of this is poorly understood. In the gelsolin family proteins share a similar molecular structure but differ in function.

Gelsolin is able to sever, nucleate (promote the formation) or cap (bind to one end) the filaments. It is also known that tropomyosin and gelsolin can bind not only actin but each other, as well. We aim to investigate the interactions of these two types of proteins (and, later on, some other members of the gelsolin family) and how they can mutually influence their regulatory effects on the actin filament. So we try to build a molecular model that can help us understand the functioning of this complex system. During our work we apply both molecular biology tools and fluorescence spectroscopy measurements or microscopy imaging.