Control of translation initiation, stability and turnover of mRNA in eukaryotic cells. We focus our attention mainly to the control of translation initiation and stability of eukaryotic mRNAs, especially of mRNAs lacking general 5’ 7mG cap or 3’ poly(A) tails or of mRNAs translated by cap-independent pathway. Such mRNAs are very often of viral origin, however still more and more evidences about the cap-independent translation of some cellular, nuclearly encoded, mRNAs appear. Cap-independent translation initiation may play important role especially during cell response to stress or viral infection, or during early embryonic development. Our main models are mammalian cell cultures and human viruses, namely hepatitis C virus, and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans. We also co-operate with the Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, 2nd Medical School, Charles University in the study of the role of translation initiation factors and HOX genes in leukemogenesis and oncogenesis. We run larger bioinformatical project focused on cap-independent translation initiation - IRESite - a public database containing data of experimentally verified IRES structures and IRES-related experiments.
Hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C virus is a significant human pathogen infecting some 200 mil people around the world. We are interested in the role of structural changes in HCV IRES as well as the role of cellular trans-acting factors in control of translation initiation of hepatitis C polyprotein. As a part of this project and in co-operation with Faculty Hospital Ostrava we study the diversity of internal ribosome entry sites in hepatitis C viruses as well as test the importance of such an information for antiviral therapy. We are also involved in a search for new antiviral compounds targeted against the HCV internal ribosome entry site.
Interleukin-1alpha. The human
IL-1alpha is a potent mediator of inflammation and immunity which plays also
a pivotal role in development of some autoimmune diseases. We have found that
IL-1alpha interacts with histone acetyltransferase complexes (HAT), including
p300 complex. We follow, in collaboration with Dr. Burysek from Protean
s.r.o. (formerly University of Ulm - Germany), in a search of IL-1alpha
interacting proteins and in a study of the role of IL-1alpha in a cell nucleus
and in the antiviral cellular defence.
Taxonomy, ecology and molecular biology of fungal viruses and cytoplasmic linear plasmids. Currently we deal with study of the biology of yeast linear cytoplasmic plasmids including their replication, transcription of plasmid specific genes and function of proteins encoded by them. We are interested in a search for new fungal viruses and in their molecular characterization. We also take part in wood-rotting fungi genome annotation and molecular ecology projects. We run these particular projects in a framework of the Centre for environmental microbiology.
We are also partially involved in other projects concerning forensic science, morphology of yeast colonies and also some biotechnology projects.