The Budapest Group
Institute of Enzymology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Karolina ut 29/31
Dr. Monika Fuxreiter
Institute of Enzymology
Karolina ut 29
The Institute of Enzymology belongs to the Biological Research Center (BRC) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The BRC is largest state institution dedicated to biology and has the status of the Center of Excellence of the European Community. The budget of the institute is over 1M Euro provided by national and international funds. The Institute of Enzymology consists of eleven research groups that apply multidisciplinary approaches to investigate the structure, function and regulation of proteins and enzymes in living organisms. The research areas include bioinformatics, functional genomics, structural biology and molecular cell biology. A recently founded laboratory supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute focuses on genetic metabolism and repair. The institute currently employs 60 people, including staff scientists and postdoctoral fellows, plus 25 Ph.D students and several diploma workers. The Institute is well equipped and experienced in training early stage researchers. The graduate students have to follow 8 courses within 3 years held by either the teachers of the Graduate School or approved by their supervisors. Several courses are held by the staff of the institute e.g. in DNA repair as well as in computer simulation techniques. In the second year of their education the graduate students have to give a progress report. In addition, there are research seminars, where the students present their work for their fellow students and the staff of the institute. The graduate students are also involved in training of diploma students or undergraduate students who join the research groups in early stages of their studies. There is a close collaboration with Eötvös Loránd University that ensures the mobility of students. The graduate students have to pass a combined examination in three main areas of structural or molecular biology that allows them to submit their PhD. thesis.
Dr. Fuxreiter has extensive experience in computer simulations of enzymatic catalysis and also in structural analysis of proteins. She is a staff scientist at the Institute of Enzymology and lecturer at the Eötvös Loránd University. Her studies focus on the catalytic mechanism of type II restriction endonucleases and also on the mechanism of DNA scission by repair proteins. She also investigates the molecular mechanism of sequence discrimination. Prof. Simon is the head of the protein structure group at the Institute of Enzymology. He has 30 years experience in structural analysis and structure prediction of proteins as well as in bioinformatics. His group maintains several servers for structural analysis and predictions, including SCide, which can be used for comparative analysis of restriction endonucleases. Csaba Magyar is experienced in molecular modeling and bioinformatics approaches.
The Budapest group offers expertise in applying computer simulation approaches on the catalytic mechanism of type II restriction endonucleases and DNA repair enzymes and in analyzing structural stability elements in nucleases with PD-(D/E)XK fold. The research of the Budapest group complements the structural studies carried out in Vilnius and the biochemical experiments in Giessen by providing molecular interpretation of catalytic models developed based on the experimental results. The Budapest group takes advantage of the structural data provided by the Vilnius group that can be used for comparative structural analysis and also as a starting point for the simulations. Based on the computed catalytic effect of functional groups the Budapest group proposes mutations that can alter the mechanism of action in several restriction enzymes. These predictions can be probed by mutagenesis studies in Giessen. The collaboration with the Giessen group has led to the following joint publication:
1. Pingoud A, Fuxreiter M, Pingoud V & Wende W (2005) Type II restriction endonucleases: structure and mechanism Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 62, 685-6707.
The Budapest group has initiated collaboration with the Warsaw group on evolutionary analysis of methylases. The dataset will be prepared by the Warsaw group and the analysis techniques that have been developed in Budapest will be applied. This collaboration involves exchange of graduate students between the two groups and short training will be provided. Ongoing research on DNA repair enzymes will lead to co-operation with the Giessen and the Newcastle group. Results on the mechanism of DNA sequence discrimination can be probed by single molecule experiments by the York group. In the area of the project we had several international collaborations with USA and Israel, in the form of mobility grants and international collaborations. The group is experienced in development and maintenance of internet servers (http://www.enzim.hu/servers.html) that can also facilitate Tok. One of this servers (Scide) isavailable for comparative structural analysis of endonucleases, whereas another, Scpred, is used to identify important structural motifs for endonucleases with unknown structure, which will be of interest for the Berlin, Bristol, Giessen, Vilnius and Warsaw groups.The institute provides an infrastructure support and personnel management.