Research activities of Institute of Biochemistry and Microbiology including fields of biochemistry and physiology of animal and microbial cells are focused on following of areas: Physiology and genetics of filamentous fungi: In this domain, the activities of several researchers are interconnected. They are involved in the study of biochemistry as well as genetics of selected filamentous fungi. Research is oriented mainly to the metabolism of important signalling molecule - γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), study of secretion of unique proteolytic enzymes into extracellular milieu, transport of organic acids into the microbial cells, Ca2+ homeostasis, fungal spore germination. In addition, some application aspects of mycology are studied, especially study of protein transporters conferring fungal resistance to antifungal agents and preparing mutants of biocontrol fungi with increased mycoparasitic activities.
Biochemistry of animal cell: Research in this area is oriented to: e.g. search of bioactive compounds (natural or synthetic DNA binding molecules, glutathione redox system modulators or inhibitors of acetylcholine esterase, etc.) and the study of their effects on cancer and non-cancer cell cultures, analysis of the mechanism of their cytotoxicity or cytoprotectivity. We are also focusing on the study of molecular mechanisms of resistance of cancer cells against chemotherapeutics. In this field, we are specifically oriented on the function of membrane transporters and detoxification enzymes. We also study the effect of UV-A radiation on cytotoxic effects of natural and synthetic compounds in context of their possible use in photodynamic therapy aimed for cancer treatment. In our research, special attention is paid to the study of signal transduction pathways involved in lipid metabolism and calcium homeostasis which can lead to the cell death (autophagy or apoptosis).
At our Institute, several topics of oriented basic research with defined line for possible future applications are studied too. Among them the study of low-temperature plasma effects on epiphyte, phytopathogenic and toxicogenic microflora of agricultural plant seeds before and during storage, possibilities of anaerobic hydrogen production or the evaluation of health risk of new biomaterials for tissue engineering.