Igor Križaj

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Protein corona of nanoparticles (NPs), which forms when these particles come in to contact with protein-containing fluids, is considered as an overlooked factor in nanomedicine. Through numerous studies it has been becoming increasingly evident that it importantly dictates the interaction of NPs with their surroundings. Several factors that determine the(More)
An important group of toxins, whose action at the molecular level is still a matter of debate, is secreted phospholipases A(2) (sPLA(2)s) endowed with presynaptic or beta-neurotoxicity. The current belief is that these beta-neurotoxins (beta-ntxs) exert their toxicity primarily due to their extracellular enzymatic action on the plasma membrane of(More)
Highly purified human brain cathepsin H (EC 3.4.22.16) was used to study its involvement in degradation of different brain peptides. Its action was determined to be selective. On Leu-enkephalin, dynorphin (1-6), dynorphin (1-13), alpha-neoendorphin, and Lys-bradykinin, it showed a preferential aminopeptidase activity by cleaving off hydrophobic or basic(More)
Novel hemolytic proteins, ostreolysin and aegerolysin, were purified from the fruiting bodies of the edible mushrooms Pleurotus ostreatus and Agrocybe aegerita. Both ostreolysin and aegerolysin have a molecular weight of about 16 kDa, have low isoelectric points of 5.0 and 4.85, are thermolabile, and hemolytic to bovine erythrocytes at nanomolar(More)
Based on previous screening for keratinolytic nonpathogenic fungi, Paecilomyces marquandii and Doratomyces microsporus were selected for production of potent keratinases. The enzymes were purified and their main biochemical characteristics were determined (molecular masses, optimal temperature and pH for keratinolytic activity, N-terminal amino acid(More)
Cone snail venoms are considered an untapped reservoir of extremely diverse peptides, named conopeptides, displaying a wide array of pharmacological activities. We report here for the first time, the presence of high molecular weight compounds that participate in the envenomation cocktail used by these marine snails. Using a combination of proteomic and(More)
β-neurotoxins are enzymes, secreted phospholipases A2, that inhibit neurotransmission in neuromuscular synapses by poisoning the motoneuron. They were reviewed extensively several years ago (Pungerčar and Križaj, 2007). Here we present and critically discuss the most important experimental facts reported since then. Evidence has been presented for specific(More)
Some phospholipases A(2) interrupt neuromuscular communication by blocking the release of neurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft. Despite numerous studies, the molecular mechanism of their action is still largely obscure. In this review the best-characterized receptors for beta-neurotoxins are presented. We propose a model which could be useful in(More)
Modulating composition and shape of biological membranes is an emerging mode of regulation of cellular processes. We investigated the global effects that such perturbations have on a model eukaryotic cell. Phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2)s), enzymes that cleave one fatty acid molecule from membrane phospholipids, exert their biological activities through(More)
The structural features of presynaptically neurotoxic secretory phospholipases A(2) (sPLA(2)s) that are responsible for their potent and specific action are still a matter of debate. To identify the residues that distinguish a highly neurotoxic sPLA(2), ammodytoxin A (AtxA), from a structurally similar but more than two orders of magnitude less toxic(More)