Judit’s research focuses on the very basic – structural and functional – understanding of type II topoisomerases.
Despite having a fairly good understanding of how type II topoisomerases (e.g. gyrases, topo IV enzymes) function, we lack knowledge of the fine details of enzymatic reactions performed by these enzymes.
For instance, how the energy gained from ATP-hydrolysis is used and why is it needed for otherwise thermodynamically favourable reactions? Is ATP-hydrolysis needed to ensure topology simplification by keeping the number of complex DNA topoisomers (e.g. knots, catenanes) below the expected thermodynamic equilibrium? Or is it used to precisely fine tune enzymatic conformations during the reaction cycle of type II topos?
To try answer some of the questions, Judit’s research project aims to understand what happens at key interfaces of these complicated enzymes by employing biochemical and biophysical methods.