Biochemistry and molecular biology

Doc. dr. Livija Tušar

Assist. Prof. Dr. Livija Tušar. Department for biochemistry and molecular and structural biology.

Group for Structural biology, Head Prof. Dr. Dušan Turk

I research the specificity of enzymes and use new approaches in the analysis of experimental data based on statistics and artificial intelligence methods.

Research program: Structural biology P1-0048, Head Dušan Turk

Research programme: Structural Biology
Training topic: Discovery of new physiological functions of cysteine cathepsins through new approaches in statistics, bioinformatics and experimentally

As part of a recently published statistical analysis of approximately 30,000 substrates of cathepsins K, V, B, L, S and F, we have developed the SAPS-ESI (“Statistical Approach to Specific Peptide Substrate-Enzyme Interaction”) software platform, which contains new approaches and algorithms for determining the specificity of positions near the cleavage sites, classifying substrates into groups, determining the connection of amino acids at different positions (cooperativity) and  predicting cleavage sites (Tušar et al, 2023). We plan to upgrade the software platform with new methods and algorithms.


The goals of this work will be:

  • upgrade of the SAPS – ESI software platform for the study of peptide substrate – enzyme interactions (in the Python 3.x programming language),
  • analyze data from additional databases,
  • development of new statistical and bioinformatic approaches for the study of the mentioned interactions,
  • establish involvement of cysteine cathepsins and other enzymes in yet unexplored physiological pathways.




  • Turk et al., Cysteine cathepsins: from structure, function and regulation to new frontiers. Biochimica et biophysica acta 1824, 68-88 (2012).
  • Tušar L. et al., Proteomic data and structure analysis combined reveal interplay of structural rigidity and flexibility on selectivity of cysteine cathepsins. Communications biology 6, 450 (2023).