Dr Katalin Török investigates mechanisms that govern and regulate basic biological processes within cells.
She studies cell signalling – how information moves inside and between cells. She investigates the proteins that transmit information along signalling pathways, and how cells respond.
Her research focuses on how components of the calcium signalling pathways function and interact in neurons in processes that are relevant to the formation of memory at the molecular and cellular level.
She develops genetically encoded and chemically derivatised fluorescent protein sensors for real-time monitoring of calcium signalling and glutamate neurotransmission.
Dr Török joined St George's, University of London in 1999 as a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology. She was promoted to Reader in Cell Biology in 2002.
Prior to St George's, she was Lecturer in Biochemistry at Queen Mary and Westfield College (1997 to 1999), Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Newcastle (1995 to 1997) and Lecturer in the Department of Physiology at University College London (UCL) (1993 to 1995).
Dr Török studied for an MSc in Chemistry at Eötvös Lorand University of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary in 1976. She obtained a PhD at Semmelweis University Medical School (SOTE), in the Department of Biochemistry (1981). She was postdoctoral fellow at Boston Biomedical Research Institute in the USA (1981 to 1983), returning to Budapest and SOTE for a year to work as a staff scientist in the Department of Biochemistry.
In 1984 Dr Török joined the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research (NIHR) in Mill Hill, London, where she worked for nine years, first in the Laboratory of Protein Structure and then in the Division of Physical Biochemistry.
N Helassa, X-h Zhang, I Conte, J Scaringi, E Esposito, J Bradley, T Carter, D Ogden, M Morad and K Tӧrӧk. Fast-response calmodulin-based fluorescent indicators reveal rapid intracellular calcium dynamics. Scientific Reports (2015) 5, 15978; doi: 10.1038/srep15978
AM Jama, J Gabriel, AJ Al-Nagar, SR Martin, SZ Baig, H Soleymani, Z Chowdhury, P Beesley, K Török. Lobe-specific functions of Ca2+.calmodulin in aCa2+.calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II activation. J. Biological Chemistry. 2011, 286, 12308-12316.
AM Jama, J Fenton, SD Robertson and K Török. Time-dependent auto-inactivation of phospho-Thr286-aCa2/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. J. Biological Chemistry. 2009, 284, 28146-28155.
R Dodd, C Peracchia, D Stolady and K Török. Calmodulin association with connexin32 derived peptides suggests trans-domain interaction in chemical gating of gap junction channels. J. Biological Chemistry. 2008, 283, 26911-26920.
PAA Grant, S. Best, N Sanmugalingam, R Alessio, AM Jama, K Török. A two-state model for Ca2+/CaM-dependent protein kinase II (aCaMKII) response to persistent Ca2+ stimulation in hippocampal neurones. Cell Calcium. 2008, 44, 465-478.
K Török. PERSPECTIVE: The regulation of nuclear membrane permeability by Ca2+ signaling: A tightly regulated pore or a floodgate? Science STKE. 2007, 386, pe24.
R Thorogate and K Török. Role of Ca2+ activation and bilobal structure of calmodulin in nuclear and nucleolar localization. Biochemical J. 2007, 402, 71-80.
N. Helassa, B. Podor, A. Fine and K. Török. Design and mechanistic insight into ultrafast calcium indicators for monitoring intracellular calcium dynamics. Scientific Reports (2016) 6, 38276; doi: 10.1038/srep38276
K Török, A Tzortzopoulos, Z Grabarek, SL Best and R Thorogate. Dual effect of ATP in the activation mechanism of brain Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II by Ca2+/calmodulin. Biomchemistry. 2001, 40, 14878-14890.
K Török and DR Trentham. Mechanism of 2-chloro-(*-amino-Lys75¬)-(6-(4-N,N-diethylamino-phenyl)-1,3,5-triazin-4-yl)-calmodulin interactions with smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase and derived peptides. Biochemistry. 1994, 33, 12807-12820.
Dr Török's collaborators include:
Dr Thomas Oertner, Institute for Synaptic Physiology, Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg, Germany
Dr Alan Fine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Professor Tom Carter, St George’s, University of London, UK
FastTrack GECI: Development of novel fast calcium indicators for intracellular, extracellular and in vivo imaging
Awarded to K. Török
BBSRC project grant (for post-doctoral researcher and research technician)
2015-2018, £ 280,114.
Dr Török gives lectures and runs tutorials and practical sessions for medical students as well as students on the Pharmacy MPharm (Hons) course (run jointly by Kingston University and St George's) and the Biomedical Science MRes course.