Evgeny V. Grishin

Personal information

Deputy director of Shemiakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of bioorganic chemistry RAS; the head of laboratory; professor of Moscow State University; Doctor Honoris Causa of Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and Universidad Ricardo Palma (Lima, Peru).


PeriodCountry, cityEducation institutionAdditional info
1964–1969 Russia, Moscow M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University; Chemical faculty MS in Chemistry
1973 Russia, Moscow M.M. Shemyakin Institute for Chemistry of Natural Compounds of AS USSR PhD in Chemistry
1984 Peru, Lima Honorary doctor of the "Ricardo Palma" and "San-Marcos" Universities
1985 Russia, Moscow M.M. Shemyakin Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the AS USSR D.Sc. in Chemistry
1990 Russia, Moscow M.M. Shemyakin Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the AS USSR Awarded professor degree in chemistry
2004 Peru, Lima Doctor Honoris Causa of the "Ricardo Palma" and "San-Marcos" Universities

Selected publications

  1. Oparin P.B., Nadezhdin K.D., Berkut A.A., Arseniev A.S., Grishin E.V., Vassilevski A.A. (2016). Structure of purotoxin-2 from wolf spider: modular design and membrane-assisted mode of action in arachnid toxins. Biochem. J. 473 (19), 3113–26 [+]

    Traditionally, arachnid venoms are known to contain two particularly important groups of peptide toxins. One is disulfide-rich neurotoxins with a predominance of β-structure that specifically target protein receptors in neurons or muscle cells. The other is linear cationic cytotoxins that form amphiphilic α-helices and exhibit rather non-specific membrane-damaging activity. In the present paper, we describe the first 3D structure of a modular arachnid toxin, purotoxin-2 (PT2) from the wolf spider Alopecosa marikovskyi (Lycosidae), studied by NMR spectroscopy. PT2 is composed of an N-terminal inhibitor cystine knot (ICK, or knottin) β-structural domain and a C-terminal linear cationic domain. In aqueous solution, the C-terminal fragment is hyper-flexible, whereas the knottin domain is very rigid. In membrane-mimicking environment, the C-terminal domain assumes a stable amphipathic α-helix. This helix effectively tethers the toxin to membranes and serves as a membrane-access and membrane-anchoring device. Sequence analysis reveals that the knottin + α-helix architecture is quite widespread among arachnid toxins, and PT2 is therefore the founding member of a large family of polypeptides with similar structure motifs. Toxins from this family target different membrane receptors such as P2X in the case of PT2 and calcium channels, but their mechanism of action through membrane access may be strikingly similar.

  2. Kuzmenkov A.I., Sachkova M.Y., Kovalchuk S.I., Grishin E.V., Vassilevski A.A. (2016). Lachesana tarabaevi, an expert in membrane-active toxins. Biochem. J. 473 (16), 2495–506 [+]

    In the present study, we show that venom of the ant spider Lachesana tarabaevi is unique in terms of molecular composition and toxicity. Whereas venom of most spiders studied is rich in disulfide-containing neurotoxic peptides, L. tarabaevi relies on the production of linear (no disulfide bridges) cytolytic polypeptides. We performed full-scale peptidomic examination of L. tarabaevi venom supported by cDNA library analysis. As a result, we identified several dozen components, and a majority (∼80% of total venom protein) exhibited membrane-active properties. In total, 33 membrane-interacting polypeptides (length of 18-79 amino acid residues) comprise five major groups: repetitive polypeptide elements (Rpe), latarcins (Ltc), met-lysines (MLys), cyto-insectotoxins (CIT) and latartoxins (LtTx). Rpe are short (18 residues) amphiphilic molecules that are encoded by the same genes as antimicrobial peptides Ltc 4a and 4b. Isolation of Rpe confirms the validity of the iPQM (inverted processing quadruplet motif) proposed to mark the cleavage sites in spider toxin precursors that are processed into several mature chains. MLys (51 residues) present 'idealized' amphiphilicity when modelled in a helical wheel projection with sharply demarcated sectors of hydrophobic, cationic and anionic residues. Four families of CIT (61-79 residues) are the primary weapon of the spider, accounting for its venom toxicity. Toxins from the CIT 1 and 2 families have a modular structure consisting of two shorter Ltc-like peptides. We demonstrate that in CIT 1a, these two parts act in synergy when they are covalently linked. This finding supports the assumption that CIT have evolved through the joining of two shorter membrane-active peptides into one larger molecule.

  3. Kuzmenkov A.I., Krylov N.A., Chugunov A.O., Grishin E.V., Vassilevski A.A. (2016). Kalium: a database of potassium channel toxins from scorpion venom. Database (Oxford) 2016, [+]

    Kalium (http://kaliumdb.org/) is a manually curated database that accumulates data on potassium channel toxins purified from scorpion venom (KTx). This database is an open-access resource, and provides easy access to pages of other databases of interest, such as UniProt, PDB, NCBI Taxonomy Browser, and PubMed. General achievements of Kalium are a strict and easy regulation of KTx classification based on the unified nomenclature supported by researchers in the field, removal of peptides with partial sequence and entries supported by transcriptomic information only, classification of β-family toxins, and addition of a novel λ-family. Molecules presented in the database can be processed by the Clustal Omega server using a one-click option. Molecular masses of mature peptides are calculated and available activity data are compiled for all KTx. We believe that Kalium is not only of high interest to professional toxinologists, but also of general utility to the scientific community.Database URL:http://kaliumdb.org/.

  4. Kuzmenkov A.I., Nekrasova O.V., Kudryashova K.S., Peigneur S., Tytgat J., Stepanov A.V., Kirpichnikov M.P., Grishin E.V., Feofanov A.V., Vassilevski A.A. (2016). Fluorescent protein-scorpion toxin chimera is a convenient molecular tool for studies of potassium channels. Sci Rep 6, 33314 [+]

    Ion channels play a central role in a host of physiological and pathological processes and are the second largest target for existing drugs. There is an increasing need for reliable tools to detect and visualize particular ion channels, but existing solutions suffer from a number of limitations such as high price, poor specificity, and complicated protocols. As an alternative, we produced recombinant chimeric constructs (FP-Tx) consisting of fluorescent proteins (FP) fused with potassium channel toxins from scorpion venom (Tx). In particular, we used two FP, eGFP and TagRFP, and two Tx, OSK1 and AgTx2, to create eGFP-OSK1 and RFP-AgTx2. We show that these chimeras largely retain the high affinity of natural toxins and display selectivity to particular ion channel subtypes. FP-Tx are displaced by other potassium channel blockers and can be used as an imaging tool in ion channel ligand screening setups. We believe FP-Tx chimeras represent a new efficient molecular tool for neurobiology.

  5. Osmakov D.I., Koshelev S.G., Andreev Y.A., Dyachenko I.A., Bondarenko D.A., Murashev A.N., Grishin E.V., Kozlov S.A. (2015). Conversed mutagenesis of an inactive peptide to ASIC3 inhibitor for active sites determination. Toxicon , [+]

    Peptide Ugr9-1 from the venom of sea anemone Urticina grebelnyi selectively inhibits the ASIC3 channel and significantly reverses inflammatory and acid-induced pain in vivo. A close homolog peptide Ugr 9-2 does not have these features. To find the pharmacophore residues and explore structure-activity relationships of Ugr 9-1, we performed site-directed mutagenesis of Ugr 9-2 and replaced several positions by the corresponding residues from Ugr 9-1. Mutant peptides Ugr 9-2 T9F and Ugr 9-2 Y12H were able to inhibit currents of the ASIC3 channels 2.2 times and 1.3 times weaker than Ugr 9-1, respectively. Detailed analysis of the spatial models of Ugr 9-1, Ugr 9-2 and both mutant peptides revealed the presence of the basic-aromatic clusters on opposite sides of the molecule, each of which is responsible for the activity. Additionally, Ugr9-1 mutant with truncated N- and C-termini retained similar with the Ugr9-1 action in vitro and was equally potent in vivo model of thermal hypersensitivity. All together, these results are important for studying the structure-activity relationships of ligand-receptor interaction and for the future development of peptide drugs from animal toxins.

  6. Dubovskii P.V., Vassilevski A.A., Kozlov S.A., Feofanov A.V., Grishin E.V., Efremov R.G. (2015). Latarcins: versatile spider venom peptides. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 72 (23), 4501–22 [+]

    Arthropod venoms feature the presence of cytolytic peptides believed to act synergetically with neurotoxins to paralyze prey or deter aggressors. Many of them are linear, i.e., lack disulfide bonds. When isolated from the venom, or obtained by other means, these peptides exhibit common properties. They are cationic; being mostly disordered in aqueous solution, assume amphiphilic α-helical structure in contact with lipid membranes; and exhibit general cytotoxicity, including antifungal, antimicrobial, hemolytic, and anticancer activities. To suit the pharmacological needs, the activity spectrum of these peptides should be modified by rational engineering. As an example, we provide a detailed review on latarcins (Ltc), linear cytolytic peptides from Lachesana tarabaevi spider venom. Diverse experimental and computational techniques were used to investigate the spatial structure of Ltc in membrane-mimicking environments and their effects on model lipid bilayers. The antibacterial activity of Ltc was studied against a panel of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. In addition, the action of Ltc on erythrocytes and cancer cells was investigated in detail with confocal laser scanning microscopy. In the present review, we give a critical account of the progress in the research of Ltc. We explore the relationship between Ltc structure and their biological activity and derive molecular characteristics, which can be used for optimization of other linear peptides. Current applications of Ltc and prospective use of similar membrane-active peptides are outlined.

  7. Kuzmenkov A.I., Grishin E.V., Vassilevski A.A. (2015). Diversity of Potassium Channel Ligands: Focus on Scorpion Toxins. Biochemistry Mosc. 80 (13), 1764–99 [+]

    Potassium (K+) channels are a widespread superfamily of integral membrane proteins that mediate selective transport of K+ ions through the cell membrane. They have been found in all living organisms from bacteria to higher multicellular animals, including humans. Not surprisingly, K+ channels bind ligands of different nature, such as metal ions, low molecular mass compounds, venom-derived peptides, and antibodies. Functionally these substances can be K+ channel pore blockers or modulators. Representatives of the first group occlude the channel pore, like a cork in a bottle, while the second group of ligands alters the operation of channels without physically blocking the ion current. A rich source of K+ channel ligands is venom of different animals: snakes, sea anemones, cone snails, bees, spiders, and scorpions. More than a half of the known K+ channel ligands of polypeptide nature are scorpion toxins (KTx), all of which are pore blockers. These compounds have become an indispensable molecular tool for the study of K+ channel structure and function. A recent special interest is the possibility of toxin application as drugs to treat diseases involving K+ channels or related to their dysfunction (channelopathies).

  8. Astafieva A.A., Enyenihi A.A., Rogozhin E.A., Kozlov S.A., Grishin E.V., Odintsova T.I., Zubarev R.A., Egorov T.A. (2015). Novel proline-hydroxyproline glycopeptides from the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Wigg.) flowers: de novo sequencing and biological activity. Plant Sci. 238, 323–9 [+]

    Two novel homologous peptides named ToHyp1 and ToHyp2 that show no similarity to any known proteins were isolated from Taraxacum officinale Wigg. flowers by multidimensional liquid chromatography. Amino acid and mass spectrometry analyses demonstrated that the peptides have unusual structure: they are cysteine-free, proline-hydroxyproline-rich and post-translationally glycosylated by pentoses, with 5 carbohydrates in ToHyp2 and 10 in ToHyp1. The ToHyp2 peptide with a monoisotopic molecular mass of 4350.3Da was completely sequenced by a combination of Edman degradation and de novo sequencing via top down multistage collision induced dissociation (CID) and higher energy dissociation (HCD) tandem mass spectrometry (MS(n)). ToHyp2 consists of 35 amino acids, contains eighteen proline residues, of which 8 prolines are hydroxylated. The peptide displays antifungal activity and inhibits growth of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. We further showed that carbohydrate moieties have no significant impact on the peptide structure, but are important for antifungal activity although not absolutely necessary. The deglycosylated ToHyp2 peptide was less active against the susceptible fungus Bipolaris sorokiniana than the native peptide. Unique structural features of the ToHyp2 peptide place it into a new family of plant defense peptides. The discovery of ToHyp peptides in T. officinale flowers expands the repertoire of molecules of plant origin with practical applications.

  9. Kuzmenkov A.I., Vassilevski A.A., Kudryashova K.S., Nekrasova O.V., Peigneur S., Tytgat J., Feofanov A.V., Kirpichnikov M.P., Grishin E.V. (2015). Variability of Potassium Channel Blockers in Mesobuthus eupeus Scorpion Venom with Focus on Kv1.1: AN INTEGRATED TRANSCRIPTOMIC AND PROTEOMIC STUDY. J. Biol. Chem. 290 (19), 12195–209 [+]

    The lesser Asian scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae) is one of the most widely spread and dispersed species of the Mesobuthus genus, and its venom is actively studied. Nevertheless, a considerable amount of active compounds is still under-investigated due to the high complexity of this venom. Here, we report a comprehensive analysis of putative potassium channel toxins (KTxs) from the cDNA library of M. eupeus venom glands, and we compare the deduced KTx structures with peptides purified from the venom. For the transcriptome analysis, we used conventional tools as well as a search for structural motifs characteristic of scorpion venom components in the form of regular expressions. We found 59 candidate KTxs distributed in 30 subfamilies and presenting the cysteine-stabilized α/β and inhibitor cystine knot types of fold. M. eupeus venom was then separated to individual components by multistage chromatography. A facile fluorescent system based on the expression of the KcsA-Kv1.1 hybrid channels in Escherichia coli and utilization of a labeled scorpion toxin was elaborated and applied to follow Kv1.1 pore binding activity during venom separation. As a result, eight high affinity Kv1.1 channel blockers were identified, including five novel peptides, which extend the panel of potential pharmacologically important Kv1 ligands. Activity of the new peptides against rat Kv1.1 channel was confirmed (IC50 in the range of 1-780 nm) by the two-electrode voltage clamp technique using a standard Xenopus oocyte system. Our integrated approach is of general utility and efficiency to mine natural venoms for KTxs.

  10. Berkut A.A., Peigneur S., Myshkin M.Y., Paramonov A.S., Lyukmanova E.N., Arseniev A.S., Grishin E.V., Tytgat J., Shenkarev Z.O., Vassilevski A.A. (2015). Structure of Membrane-active Toxin from Crab Spider Heriaeus melloteei Suggests Parallel Evolution of Sodium Channel Gating Modifiers in Araneomorphae and Mygalomorphae. J. Biol. Chem. 290 (1), 492–504 [+]

    We present a structural and functional study of a sodium channel activation inhibitor from crab spider venom. Hm-3 is an insecticidal peptide toxin consisting of 35 amino acid residues from the spider Heriaeus melloteei (Thomisidae). We produced Hm-3 recombinantly in Escherichia coli and determined its structure by NMR spectroscopy. Typical for spider toxins, Hm-3 was found to adopt the so-called "inhibitor cystine knot" or "knottin" fold stabilized by three disulfide bonds. Its molecule is amphiphilic with a hydrophobic ridge on the surface enriched in aromatic residues and surrounded by positive charges. Correspondingly, Hm-3 binds to both neutral and negatively charged lipid vesicles. Electrophysiological studies showed that at a concentration of 1 μm Hm-3 effectively inhibited a number of mammalian and insect sodium channels. Importantly, Hm-3 shifted the dependence of channel activation to more positive voltages. Moreover, the inhibition was voltage-dependent, and strong depolarizing prepulses attenuated Hm-3 activity. The toxin is therefore concluded to represent the first sodium channel gating modifier from an araneomorph spider and features a "membrane access" mechanism of action. Its amino acid sequence and position of the hydrophobic cluster are notably different from other known gating modifiers from spider venom, all of which are described from mygalomorph species. We hypothesize parallel evolution of inhibitor cystine knot toxins from Araneomorphae and Mygalomorphae suborders.

  11. Mikov A.N., Fedorova I.M., Potapieva N.N., Maleeva E.E., Andreev Y.A., Zaitsev A.V., Kim K.K., Bocharov E.V., Bozin T.N., Altukhov D.A., Lipkin A.V., Kozlov S.A., Tikhonov D.B., Grishin E.V. (2015). ω-Tbo-IT1-New Inhibitor of Insect Calcium Channels Isolated from Spider Venom. Sci Rep 5, 17232 [+]

    Novel disulfide-containing polypeptide toxin was discovered in the venom of the Tibellus oblongus spider. We report on isolation, spatial structure determination and electrophysiological characterization of this 41-residue toxin, called ω-Tbo-IT1. It has an insect-toxic effect with LD50 19 μg/g in experiments on house fly Musca domestica larvae and with LD50 20 μg/g on juvenile Gromphadorhina portentosa cockroaches. Electrophysiological experiments revealed a reversible inhibition of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents in blow fly Calliphora vicina neuromuscular junctions, while parameters of spontaneous ones were not affected. The inhibition was concentration dependent, with IC50 value 40 ± 10 nM and Hill coefficient 3.4 ± 0.3. The toxin did not affect frog neuromuscular junctions or glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission in rat brains. Ca(2+) currents in Calliphora vicina muscle were not inhibited, whereas in Periplaneta americana cockroach neurons at least one type of voltage gated Ca(2+) current was inhibited by ω-Tbo-IT1. Thus, the toxin apparently acts as an inhibitor of presynaptic insect Ca(2+) channels. Spatial structure analysis of the recombinant ω-Tbo-IT1 by NMR spectroscopy in aqueous solution revealed that the toxin comprises the conventional ICK fold containing an extended β-hairpin loop and short β-hairpin loop which are capable of making "scissors-like mutual motions".

  12. Pluzhnikov K.A., Kozlov S.A., Vassilevski A.A., Vorontsova O.V., Feofanov A.V., Grishin E.V. (2014). Linear antimicrobial peptides from Ectatomma quadridens ant venom. Biochimie 107 Pt B, 211–5 [+]

    Venoms from three poneromorph ant species (Paraponera clavata, Ectatomma quadridens and Ectatomma tuberculatum) were investigated for the growth inhibition of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. It was shown that the venom of E. quadridens and its peptide fraction in particular possess marked antibacterial action. Three linear antimicrobial peptides sharing low similarity to the well-known ponericin peptides were isolated from this ant venom by means of size-exclusion and reversed-phase chromatography. The peptides showed antimicrobial activity at low micromolar concentrations. Their primary structure was established by direct Edman sequencing in combination with mass spectrometry. The most active peptide designated ponericin-Q42 was chemically synthesized. Its secondary structure was investigated in aqueous and membrane-mimicking environment, and the peptide was shown to be partially helical already in water, which is unusual for short linear peptides. Analysis of its activity on different bacterial strains, human erythrocytes and chronic myelogenous leukemia K562 cells revealed that the peptide shows broad spectrum cytolytic activity at micromolar and submicromolar concentrations. Ponericin-Q42 also possesses weak toxic activity on flesh fly larvae with LD50 of ∼105 μg/g.

  13. Sachkova M.Y., Slavokhotova A.A., Grishin E.V., Vassilevski A.A. (2014). Structure of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium genes provides clues to evolution of insecticidal two-domain knottin toxins. Insect Mol. Biol. 23 (4), 527–38 [+]

    Yellow sac spiders (Cheiracanthium punctorium, family Miturgidae) are unique in terms of venom composition, because, as we show here, two-domain toxins have replaced the usual one-domain peptides as the major constituents. We report the structure of the two-domain Che. punctorium toxins (CpTx), along with the corresponding cDNA and genomic DNA sequences. At least three groups of insecticidal CpTx were identified, each consisting of several members. Unlike many cone snail and snake toxins, accelerated evolution is not typical of cptx genes, which instead appear to be under the pressure of purifying selection. Both CpTx modules present the inhibitor cystine knot (ICK), or knottin signature; however, the sequence similarity between the domains is low. Conversely, notable similarity was found between separate domains of CpTx and one-domain toxins from spiders of the Lycosidae family. The observed chimerism is a landmark of exon shuffling events, but in contrast to many families of multidomain protein genes no introns were found in the cptx genes. Considering the possible scenarios, we suggest that an early transcription-mediated fusion event between two related one-domain toxin genes led to the emergence of a primordial cptx-like sequence. We conclude that evolution of toxin variability in spiders appears to be quite different from other venomous animals.

  14. Berkut A.A., Usmanova D.R., Peigneur S., Oparin P.B., Mineev K.S., Odintsova T.I., Tytgat J., Arseniev A.S., Grishin E.V., Vassilevski A.A. (2014). Structural similarity between defense peptide from wheat and scorpion neurotoxin permits rational functional design. J. Biol. Chem. 289 (20), 14331–40 [+]

    In this study, we present the spatial structure of the wheat antimicrobial peptide (AMP) Tk-AMP-X2 studied using NMR spectroscopy. This peptide was found to adopt a disulfide-stabilized α-helical hairpin fold and therefore belongs to the α-hairpinin family of plant defense peptides. Based on Tk-AMP-X2 structural similarity to cone snail and scorpion potassium channel blockers, a mutant molecule, Tk-hefu, was engineered by incorporating the functionally important residues from κ-hefutoxin 1 onto the Tk-AMP-X2 scaffold. The designed peptide contained the so-called essential dyad of amino acid residues significant for channel-blocking activity. Electrophysiological studies showed that although the parent peptide Tk-AMP-X2 did not present any activity against potassium channels, Tk-hefu blocked Kv1.3 channels with similar potency (IC50 ∼ 35 μm) to κ-hefutoxin 1 (IC50 ∼ 40 μm). We conclude that α-hairpinins are attractive in their simplicity as structural templates, which may be used for functional engineering and drug design.

  15. Sachkova M.Y., Slavokhotova A.A., Grishin E.V., Vassilevski A.A. (2014). Genes and evolution of two-domain toxins from lynx spider venom. FEBS Lett. 588 (5), 740–5 [+]

    Spiderines are comparatively long polypeptide toxins (∼110 residues) from lynx spiders (genus Oxyopes). They are built of an N-terminal linear cationic domain (∼40 residues) and a C-terminal knottin domain (∼60 residues). The linear domain empowers spiderines with strong cytolytic activity. In the present work we report 16 novel spiderine sequences from Oxyopes takobius and Oxyopes lineatus classified into two subfamilies. Strikingly, negative selection acts on both linear and knottin domains. Genes encoding Oxyopes two-domain toxins were sequenced and found to be intronless. We further discuss a possible scenario of lynx spider modular toxin evolution.

  16. Slavokhotova A.A., Rogozhin E.A., Musolyamov A.K., Andreev Y.A., Oparin P.B., Berkut A.A., Vassilevski A.A., Egorov T.A., Grishin E.V., Odintsova T.I. (2014). Novel antifungal α-hairpinin peptide from Stellaria media seeds: structure, biosynthesis, gene structure and evolution. Plant Mol. Biol. 84 (1-2), 189–202 [+]

    Plant defense against disease is a complex multistage system involving initial recognition of the invading pathogen, signal transduction and activation of specialized genes. An important role in pathogen deterrence belongs to so-called plant defense peptides, small polypeptide molecules that present antimicrobial properties. Using multidimensional liquid chromatography, we isolated a novel antifungal peptide named Sm-AMP-X (33 residues) from the common chickweed (Stellaria media) seeds. The peptide sequence shows no homology to any previously described proteins. The peculiar cysteine arrangement (C(1)X3C(2)XnC(3)X3C(4)), however, allocates Sm-AMP-X to the recently acknowledged α-hairpinin family of plant defense peptides that share the helix-loop-helix fold stabilized by two disulfide bridges C(1)-C(4) and C(2)-C(3). Sm-AMP-X exhibits high broad-spectrum activity against fungal phytopathogens. We further showed that the N- and C-terminal "tail" regions of the peptide are important for both its structure and activity. The truncated variants Sm-AMP-X1 with both disulfide bonds preserved and Sm-AMP-X2 with only the internal S-S-bond left were progressively less active against fungi and presented largely disordered structure as opposed to the predominantly helical conformation of the full-length antifungal peptide. cDNA and gene cloning revealed that Sm-AMP-X is processed from a unique multimodular precursor protein that contains as many as 12 tandem repeats of α-hairpinin-like peptides. Structure of the sm-amp-x gene and two related pseudogenes sm-amp-x-ψ1 and sm-amp-x-ψ2 allows tracing the evolutionary scenario that led to generation of such a sophisticated precursor protein. Sm-AMP-X is a new promising candidate for engineering disease resistance in plants.

  17. Vassilevski A.A., Sachkova M.Y., Ignatova A.A., Kozlov S.A., Feofanov A.V., Grishin E.V. (2013). Spider toxins comprising disulfide-rich and linear amphipathic domains: a new class of molecules identified in the lynx spider Oxyopes takobius. FEBS J. 280 (23), 6247–61 [+]

    In addition to the conventional neurotoxins and cytotoxins, venom of the lynx spider Oxyopes takobius was found to contain two-domain modular toxins named spiderines: OtTx1a, 1b, 2a and 2b. These toxins show both insecticidal activity (a median lethal dose against flesh fly larvae of 75 μg·g(-1) ) and potent antimicrobial effects (minimal inhibitory concentrations in the range 0.1-10 μm). Full sequences of the purified spiderines were established by a combination of Edman degradation, mass spectrometry and cDNA cloning. They are relatively large molecules (~ 110 residues, 12.0-12.5 kDa) and consist of two distinct modules separated by a short linker. The N-terminal part (~ 40 residues) contains no cysteine residues, is highly cationic, forms amphipathic α-helical structures in a membrane-mimicking environment, and shows potent cytolytic effects on cells of various origins. The C-terminal part (~ 60 residues) is disulfide-rich (five S-S bonds), and contains the inhibitor cystine knot (ICK/knottin) signature. The N-terminal part of spiderines is very similar to linear cytotoxic peptides found in various organisms, whereas the C-terminal part corresponds to the usual spider neurotoxins. We synthesized the modules of OtTx1a and compared their activity to that of full-length mature toxin produced recombinantly, highlighting the importance of the N-terminal part, which retained full-length toxin activity in both insecticidal and antimicrobial assays. The unique structure of spiderines completes the range of two-domain spider toxins.

  18. Utkina L.L., Andreev Y.A., Rogozhin E.A., Korostyleva T.V., Slavokhotova A.A., Oparin P.B., Vassilevski A.A., Grishin E.V., Egorov T.A., Odintsova T.I. (2013). Genes encoding 4-Cys antimicrobial peptides in wheat Triticum kiharae Dorof. et Migush.: multimodular structural organization, instraspecific variability, distribution and role in defence. FEBS J. 280 (15), 3594–608 [+]

    A novel family of antifungal peptides was discovered in the wheat Triticum kiharae Dorof. et Migusch. Two members of the family, designated Tk-AMP-X1 and Tk-AMP-X2, were completely sequenced and shown to belong to the α-hairpinin structural family of plant peptides with a characteristic C1XXXC2-X(n)-C3XXXC4 motif. The peptides inhibit the spore germination of several fungal pathogens in vitro. cDNA and gene cloning disclosed unique structure of genes encoding Tk-AMP-X peptides. They code for precursor proteins of unusual multimodular structure, consisting of a signal peptide, several α-hairpinin (4-Cys) peptide domains with a characteristic cysteine pattern separated by linkers and a C-terminal prodomain. Three types of precursor proteins, with five, six or seven 4-Cys peptide modules, were found in wheat. Among the predicted family members, several peptides previously isolated from T. kiharae seeds were identified. Genes encoding Tk-AMP-X precursors have no introns in the protein-coding regions and are upregulated by fungal pathogens and abiotic stress, providing conclusive evidence for their role in stress response. A combined PCR-based and bioinformatics approach was used to search for related genes in the plant kingdom. Homologous genes differing in the number of peptide modules were discovered in phylogenetically-related Triticum and Aegilops species, including polyploid wheat genome donors. Association of the Tk-AMP-X genes with A, B/G or D genomes of hexaploid wheat was demonstrated. Furthermore, Tk-AMP-X-related sequences were shown to be widespread in the Poaceae family among economically important crops, such as barley, rice and maize.

  19. Chugunov A.O., Koromyslova A.D., Berkut A.A., Peigneur S., Tytgat J., Polyansky A.A., Pentkovsky V.M., Vassilevski A.A., Grishin E.V., Efremov R.G. (2013). Modular Organization of α-Toxins from Scorpion Venom Mirrors Domain Structure of Their Targets, Sodium Channels. J. Biol. Chem. 288 (26), 19014–27 [+]

    To gain success in the evolutionary "arms race," venomous animals such as scorpions produce diverse neurotoxins selected to hit targets in the nervous system of prey. Scorpion α-toxins affect insect and/or mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels (Navs) and thereby modify the excitability of muscle and nerve cells. Although more than 100 α-toxins are known and a number of them have been studied into detail, the molecular mechanism of their interaction with Navs is still poorly understood. Here, we employ extensive molecular dynamics simulations and spatial mapping of hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties distributed over the molecular surface of α-toxins. It is revealed that despite the small size and relatively rigid structure, these toxins possess modular organization from structural, functional, and evolutionary perspectives. The more conserved and rigid "core module" is supplemented with the "specificity module" (SM) that is comparatively flexible and variable and determines the taxon (mammal versus insect) specificity of α-toxin activity. We further show that SMs in mammal toxins are more flexible and hydrophilic than in insect toxins. Concomitant sequence-based analysis of the extracellular loops of Navs suggests that α-toxins recognize the channels using both modules. We propose that the core module binds to the voltage-sensing domain IV, whereas the more versatile SM interacts with the pore domain in repeat I of Navs. These findings corroborate and expand the hypothesis on different functional epitopes of toxins that has been reported previously. In effect, we propose that the modular structure in toxins evolved to match the domain architecture of Navs.

  20. Kuzmenkov A.I., Fedorova I.M., Vassilevski A.A., Grishin E.V. (2013). Cysteine-rich toxins from Lachesana tarabaevi spider venom with amphiphilic C-terminal segments. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1828 (2), 724–31 [+]

    Venom of Lachesana tarabaevi (Zodariidae, "ant spiders") exhibits high insect toxicity and serves a rich source of potential insecticides. Five new peptide toxins active against insects were isolated from the venom by means of liquid chromatography and named latartoxins (LtTx). Complete amino acid sequences of LtTx (60-71 residues) were established by a combination of Edman degradation, mass spectrometry and selective proteolysis. Three toxins have eight cysteine residues that form four intramolecular disulfide bridges, and two other molecules contain an additional cystine; three LtTx are C-terminally amidated. Latartoxins can be allocated to two groups with members similar to CSTX and LSTX toxins from Cupiennius salei (Ctenidae) and Lycosa singoriensis (Lycosidae). The interesting feature of the new toxins is their modular organization: they contain an N-terminal cysteine-rich (knottin or ICK) region as in many neurotoxins from spider venoms and a C-terminal linear part alike some cytolytic peptides. The C-terminal fragment of one of the most abundant toxins LtTx-1a was synthesized and shown to possess membrane-binding activity. It was found to assume amphipathic α-helical conformation in membrane-mimicking environment and exert antimicrobial activity at micromolar concentrations. The tails endow latartoxins with the ability to bind and damage membranes; LtTx show cytolytic activity in fly larvae neuromuscular preparations. We suggest a membrane-dependent mode of action for latartoxins with their C-terminal linear modules acting as anchoring devices.

  21. Kudryashova K.S., Nekrasova O.V., Kuzmenkov A.I., Vassilevski A.A., Ignatova A.A., Korolkova Y.V., Grishin E.V., Kirpichnikov M.P., Feofanov A.V. (2013). Fluorescent system based on bacterial expression of hybrid KcsA channels designed for Kv1.3 ligand screening and study. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry , [+]

    Human voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3 is an important pharmacological target for the treatment of autoimmune and metabolic diseases. Increasing clinical demands stipulate an active search for efficient and selective Kv1.3 blockers. Here we present a new, reliable, and easy-to-use analytical system designed to seek for and study Kv1.3 ligands that bind to the extracellular vestibule of the K(+)-conducting pore. It is based on Escherichia coli spheroplasts with the hybrid protein KcsA-Kv1.3 embedded into the membrane, fluorescently labeled Kv1.3 blocker agitoxin-2, and confocal laser scanning microscopy as a detection method. This system is a powerful alternative to radioligand and patch-clamp techniques. It enables one to search for Kv1.3 ligands both among individual compounds and in complex mixtures, as well as to characterize their affinity to Kv1.3 channel using the "mix and read" mode. To demonstrate the potential of the system, we performed characterization of several known Kv1.3 ligands, tested nine spider venoms for the presence of Kv1.3 ligands, and conducted guided purification of a channel blocker from scorpion venom.

  22. Rogozhin E.A., Ryazantsev D.Y., Grishin E.V., Egorov T.A., Zavriev S.K. (2012). Defense peptides from barnyard grass (Echinochloa crusgalli L.) seeds. Peptides 38 (1), 33–40 [+]

    A number of defense polypeptides from latent seeds of weed cereal barnyard grass (Echinochloa crusgalli L.) has been isolated and characterized using an acidic extraction and high performance liquid chromatography methods in combination with MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and Edman sequencing. Members of three antimicrobial peptide families and two protease inhibitor families were found to be localized in barnyard grass seeds. Their biological activity concerning to Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative phytopathogenic bacteria, as well as oomycete Phytophthora infestans, has been investigated. Diversity of barnyard grass defense peptides is a significant factor that provides a resistance of E. crusgalli seeds to germination and latent phases.

  23. Polyansky A.A., Chugunov A.O., Vassilevski A.A., Grishin E.V., Efremov R.G. (2012). Recent Advances in Computational Modeling of α-Helical Membrane- Active Peptides. Curr. Protein Pept. Sci. 13 (7), 644–57 [+]

    Membrane-active peptides (MAPs) represent a broad variety of molecules, and biological functions of most are directly associated with their ability to interact with membranes. Taking into account the effect of MAPs on living cells they can be nominally divided into three major groups - fusion (FPs), antimicrobial/cytolytic (AMPs/CPs) and cellpenetrating (CPPs) peptides. Although spatial structure of different MAPs varies to a great extent, linear α-helical peptides represent the most studied class. These peptides possess relatively simple structural organization and share a set of similar molecular features, which make them very attractive to both experimental and computational studies. Here, we review different molecular modeling methods in prospective of their applications to study of α-helical MAPs. The most sophisticated of them, such as molecular dynamics simulations, give atomistic information about molecular interactions driving peptide binding to the water-lipid interface, cooperative mechanisms of membrane destabilization and thermodynamics of these processes. Significant progress has been achieved in this field during the last few years, resulting in a possibility to observe computationally MAPs action in realistic peptide-to-lipid ratios and over the microsecond timescale. Other relatively simple but powerful approaches allow assessment of important characteristics of MAPs such as α-helical propensity, amphiphilicity, total hydrophobicity, and spatial distribution of charge and hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties, etc. Altogether, computational methods provide efficient basis for rational design of MAPs with predefined properties and a spectrum of biological activities.

  24. Ryazantsev D.Y.u., Petrova E., Kalinina N.A., Valyakina T.I., Grishin E.V., Zavriev S.K. (2012). Application of supramolecular DNA-streptavidin complexes for ultrasensitive detection of several toxins by immuno-PCR. 14. Global J. Anal. Chem. 3 (17), [+]
  25. Vassilevski A.A., Kozlov S.A., Grishin E.V. (2009). Molecular diversity of spider venom. Biochemistry Mosc. 74 (13), 1505–34 [+]

    Spider venom, a factor that has played a decisive role in the evolution of one of the most successful groups of living organisms, is reviewed. Unique molecular diversity of venom components including substances of variable structure (from simple low molecular weight compounds to large multidomain proteins) with different functions is considered. Special attention is given to the structure, properties, and biosynthesis of toxins of polypeptide nature.

  26. Nekrasova O.V., Ignatova A.A., Nazarova A.I., Feofanov A.V., Korolkova Y.V., Boldyreva E.F., Tagvei A.I., Grishin E.V., Arseniev A.S., Kirpichnikov M.P. (2009). Recombinant Kv channels at the membrane of Escherichia coli bind specifically agitoxin2. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol 4 (1), 83–91 [+]

    Potassium voltage-gated channels (Kv) are considered as molecular targets in a number of serious neuronal, immune, and cardiac disorders. Search for efficient low-molecular weight modulators of Kv channel function provides a basis for the development of an appropriate therapy for various Kv-mediated diseases. We report here on a new bacterial cell-based system, which is suitable for study of interactions between ligands and ligand-binding sites of eukaryotic Kv1.3 and Kv1.1 channels. To create this system, high-level expression of KcsA-Kv1.3 and KcsA-Kv1.1 hybrid proteins (ligand-binding sites of Kv1.3 or Kv1.1 fused with prokaryotic KcsA potassium channel) was achieved in the plasma membrane of Escherichia coli. An efficient procedure of E. coli conversion to intact spheroplasts was developed. We demonstrate that fluorescently labeled agitoxin 2 binds specifically to high-affinity and lower-affinity sites of KcsA-Kv1.3 and KcsA-Kv1.1, respectively, at the membrane of spheroplasts. Number of binding sites per cell is estimated to be (1.0 +/- 0.6) x 10(5) and (0.3 +/- 0.2) x 10(5) for KcsA-Kv1.3- and KcsA-Kv1.1-presenting cells, respectively, that allows reliable detection of ligand-receptor interactions by confocal laser scanning microscopy. This bacterial cell-based system is intended for screening of ligands to membrane-embedded pharmaceutical targets.

  27. Andreev Y.A., Kozlov S.A., Koshelev S.G., Ivanova E.A., Monastyrnaya M.M., Kozlovskaya E.P., Grishin E.V. (2008). Analgesic compound from sea anemone Heteractis crispa is the first polypeptide inhibitor of vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1). J. Biol. Chem. 283 (35), 23914–21 [+]

    The first inhibitor of thermoreceptors TRPV1 that play an important role in inflammation and pain sensation was isolated from nematocyst extract of the sea anemone Heteractis crispa. Recombinant analogue of the peptide named APHC1 was found to exert high analgesic activity comparable to that of opioids in vivo. Unlike opioids, however, the action of APHC1 does not lead to a narcotic effect. The newly described polypeptide has great practical value in terms of new analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug production.

  28. Kozlov S.A., Vassilevski A.A., Feofanov A.V., Surovoy A.Y., Karpunin D.V., Grishin E.V. (2006). Latarcins, antimicrobial and cytolytic peptides from the venom of the spider Lachesana tarabaevi (Zodariidae) that exemplify biomolecular diversity. J. Biol. Chem. 281 (30), 20983–92 [+]

    A family of short linear polypeptide molecules, latarcins, was found in the venom of the spider Lachesana tarabaevi. Some peptides were chemically synthesized and their antimicrobial properties were studied. The bactericidal activity of latarcins matched that of the most active known antimicrobial peptides from different animals. The high therapeutic potential of these structurally simple polypeptide molecules will be brought to clinic in the near future.

  29. Kozlov S., Malyavka A., McCutchen B., Lu A., Schepers E., Herrmann R., Grishin E. (2005). A novel strategy for the identification of toxinlike structures in spider venom. Proteins 59 (1), 131–40 [+]

    We compared two different approaches to sequence information analysis from the expressed sequence tag (EST) library constructed for the venom glands of the spider Agelena orientalis. Some results were more illustrative and reliable by the contig analysis technique, whereas our novel method, with specific structural markers introduced for protein structure detection, allowed us to overcome some limitations of the contig analysis. A novel technique was suggested for the identification in data banks of the spider's ion channel inhibitor toxins using primary structure features common to all spiders. Analysis of about 150 polypeptides made it possible to introduce 3 primary structure motifs for spider toxins: the Principal Structural Motif (PSM), which postulates the existence of 6 amino acid residues between the first and second cysteine residue and the Cys-Cys sequence at a distance of 5-10 amino acid residues from the second cysteine; the Extra Structural Motif (ESM), which postulates the existence of a pair of CXC fragments in the C-region; and the Processing Quadruplet Motif (PQM), which specifies the Arg residue at position -1 and Glu residues at positions -2, -3, and/or -4 in the precursor sequences just before the postprocessing site. In the processed data bank we found 48 toxinlike structures with ion channel inhibitor motifs. These include agelenin earlier isolated from Agelena opulenta and 25 more homologous sequences, 15 homologs of mu-agatoxin 2 from the spider Agelenopsis aperta, 3 structures with low homology to omega-agatoxin-IIIA, and 4 new structures. Also we showed that toxinlike structures exceed two thirds of the overall database sequences.

  30. Korolkova Y.V., Bocharov E.V., Angelo K., Maslennikov I.V., Grinenko O.V., Lipkin A.V., Nosyreva E.D., Pluzhnikov K.A., Olesen S.P., Arseniev A.S., Grishin E.V. (2002). New binding site on common molecular scaffold provides HERG channel specificity of scorpion toxin BeKm-1. J. Biol. Chem. 277 (45), 43104–9 [+]

    The scorpion toxin BeKm-1 is unique among a variety of known short scorpion toxins affecting potassium channels in its selective action on ether-a-go-go-related gene (ERG)-type channels. BeKm-1 shares the common molecular scaffold with other short scorpion toxins. The toxin spatial structure resolved by NMR consists of a short alpha-helix and a triple-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet. By toxin mutagenesis study we identified the residues that are important for the binding of BeKm-1 to the human ERG K+ (HERG) channel. The most critical residues (Tyr-11, Lys-18, Arg-20, Lys-23) are located in the alpha-helix and following loop whereas the "traditional" functional site of other short scorpion toxins is formed by residues from the beta-sheet. Thus the unique location of the binding site of BeKm-1 provides its specificity toward the HERG channel.

  31. Korolkova Y.V., Kozlov S.A., Lipkin A.V., Pluzhnikov K.A., Hadley J.K., Filippov A.K., Brown D.A., Angelo K., Strøbaek D., Jespersen T., Olesen S.P., Jensen B.S., Grishin E.V. (2001). An ERG channel inhibitor from the scorpion Buthus eupeus. J. Biol. Chem. 276 (13), 9868–76 [+]

    The first selective blocker of K+ channels of ERG type BeKm was isolated from the venom of the scorpion Buthus eupeus. The peptide along with its mutants was produced in a heterological expression system and their properties were assessed on M-currents in the NG108-15 cell line, which allowed establishing the peptide’s pharmacophore. BeKm toxin became the first published selective inhibitor of hERG channels. At present it may be found on the market of bioactive substances.

  32. Grishin E.V. (1999). Polypeptide neurotoxins from spider venoms. Eur. J. Biochem. 264 (2), 276–80 [+]

    Spider venoms contain a variety of toxic components. The polypeptide toxins are divided into low and high molecular mass types. Small polypeptide toxins interacting with cation channels display spatial structure homology. They can affect the functioning of calcium, sodium, or potassium channels. A family of high molecular mass toxic proteins was found in the venom of the spider genus Latrodectus. These neurotoxins, latrotoxins, cause a massive transmitter release from a diversity of nerve endings. The latrotoxins are proteins of about 1000 amino acid residues and share a high level of structure identity. The structural and functional properties of spider polypeptide toxins are reviewed in this paper.

  33. Lelianova V.G., Davletov B.A., Sterling A., Rahman M.A., Grishin E.V., Totty N.F., Ushkaryov Y.A. (1997). Alpha-latrotoxin receptor, latrophilin, is a novel member of the secretin family of G protein-coupled receptors. J. Biol. Chem. 272 (34), 21504–8 [+]

    Ca2+-independent receptor of α-latrotoxin, latrophilin was discovered and studied. The protein was found to be a novel G protein-coupled receptor of the secretin family that plays an important role in neuromediator secretion. Analyses of its function and regulation by endogenic ligands are crucial for deciphering the mechanism of synaptic vesicle exocytosis.

  34. Kiyatkin N.I., Dulubova I.E., Chekhovskaya I.A., Grishin E.V. (1990). Cloning and structure of cDNA encoding alpha-latrotoxin from black widow spider venom. FEBS Lett. 270 (1-2), 127–31 [+]

    The primary structure of α-latrotoxin from the venom of black widow spider Latrodectus mactans that possesses a unique ability to stimulate neromediator secretion from the neural termini of vertebrate animals and shows markedly high toxicity to mammals is reported in this paper. Full amino acid sequence of the ~130 kDa toxin was established.

  35. Ovchinnikov Yu.A., Egorov C.A., Aldanova N.A., Feigina M.Y., Lipkin V.M., Abdulaev N.G., Grishin E.V., Kiselev A.P., Modyanov N.N., Braunstein A.E., Polyanovsky O.L., Nosikov V.V. (1973). The complete amino acid sequence of cytoplasmic aspartate aminotransferase from pig heart. FEBS Lett. 29 (1), 31–34 [+]

    Aspartate aminotransferase (L-aspartate: 2-oxo-glutarate aminotransferase, EC is one of the principal pyridoxal-P-containing enzymes that catalyse the transamination reactions [3] representing key steps
    at the intersection between the metabolic pathways of amino acids and dicarboxylic acids.
    Although the catalytic mechanism of aspartate aminotransferase has been investigated at the level of substrate-coenzyme models [4], its elucidation in detail requires knowledge of the enzyme’s structure, considering, in particular, that the very high rates of the enzymic process are determined by the structural peculiarities of the specific protein(apoenzyme) of the aspartate aminotransferase. Accordingly, we embarked
    on the task of elucidating the amino acid sequence of this enzyme. In the present paper the concluding stage
    of the work is reported*. The object chosen for study was the aspartate aminotransferase
    of the cytosol of pig heart; the enzyme, which is different from the mitochondrial isozyme
    [5,6] was prepared by a previously reported procedure [7]. The enzyme is a complex dimeric protein of
    high molecular weight; each of the associated subunits consists of a single polypeptide chain and has no disulfide bridges. Indirect evidence (amino acid composition, analysis of N-terminal residues, and peptide maps) testified to the identity of the two subunits [8].