Cell growth is regulated by coordination of both extracellular nutrients and intracellular metabolite concentrations. Cells have developed exquisite mechanisms to sense nutrient status and adjust their behaviour to maintain growth or cope with stress, using a variety of mechanisms.
Nucleotides are centre stage in cell's life, not only because they are components of nucleic acids, but also for their role as signalling molecules. On the other hand, proteins are responsible for many tasks of cellular life and also receive signals from outside and orchestrate the intracellular response. Unbalanced production, malfunction or changes in the stability of individual proteins cause pathologies.
Our major goal is to understand the structure and function of proteins controlling nucleotide sensing and metabolism. We study various processes in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including biofilm formation, host-pathogen interactions and metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells. We analyse these processes in hypoxia and normoxia, to unravel the contribution of oxygen and other gaseous molecules to cellular behaviour.