Press-room / Digest
Sustainable Light Achieved in Living Plants
The movie Avatar evoked an imaginary world of lush bioluminescent jungles. Now the popular fascination for sustainably glowing foliage is being realized through advances in designer genetics. This week in Nature Biotechnology, scientists have announced the feasibility of creating plants that produce their own visible luminescence. The scientists from the IBCH RAS in collaboration with russian and foreign colleagues revealed that bioluminescence found in some mushrooms is metabolically similar to the natural processes common among plants. By inserting DNA obtained from the mushroom, the scientists were able to create plants that glow much brighter than previously possible. Learn more
A new direction of synthetic chemistry was developed in the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry RAS
Small molecules play a critical role in many biological processes and are used as drugs and other research tools. As a result of joint work carried out by the Laboratory of bioinformatics approaches in combinatorial chemistry and biology and a group of heterocyclic compounds with a support of Laboratory of biomolecular NMR-spectroscopy, a novel unique method for the synthesis of spirocyclic derivatives based on the use of a new class of cyclopropanes was developed. The results of the study are published in the Organic Letters journal. Learn more
HSP70 Multi-Functionality in Cancer
Researchers from the Laboratory of Cell Interactions, IBCh RAS, together with colleagues from the Department of Immunology and the Department of Bioengineering of Moscow State University, in their work “HSP70 Multi-Functionality in Cancer” examined various functions of HSP70 in the Hallmarks of Cancer. This work emphasizes the importance of understanding the structure, functional cycle, conformational changes of HSP70 for the future development of effective anticancer therapy. Using molecular docking studies, the interaction of key HSP70 domains with various receptors has also been demonstrated. The work was published in Cells.
A 12-mer Peptide of Tag7 (PGLYRP1) Forms a Cytotoxic Complex with Hsp70 and Inhibits TNF-Alpha Induced Cell Death
Previously, a team of scientists from the Veterinary service and the Laboratory of bioengineering of neuromodulators and neuroreceptors demonstrated that the innate immunity protein Tag7 (PGRP-S, PGLYRP1) can interact with the TNFα receptor, TNFR1, and block the transduction of apoptotic signals through this receptor. A complex formed between the Tag7 protein and the major heat shock protein Hsp70 can activate TNFR1 receptor and induce tumor cell death via either apoptotic or necroptotic pathway. In this study, they show that a 12-mer peptide, designated 17.1, which was derived from the Tag7 protein, can be regarded as a novel TNFα inhibitor, also is able to form a cytotoxic complex with the heat shock protein Hsp70. Also, this new inhibitory 17.1 peptide demonstrates an anti-inflammatory activity in the complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)-induced autoimmune arthritis model in laboratory mice. It appears that the 17.1 peptide could potentially be used as an anti-inflammatory agent. The work is published in Cells.
The immune response to the vaccine is studied at the level of individual T-cells
The diverse repertoire of T-cells plays a key role in the adaptive immune response. Researchers from the Laboratory of Comparative and Functional Genomics in collaboration with IKMB (Kiel, Germany) and ENS (Paris, France) used high throughput sequencing of alpha/beta T-cell receptors (TCR) as well as single cell RNA sequencing to analyse the alterations in T-cell repertoire after primary and secondary vaccination against yellow fever. The response to the secondary vaccination is an order of magnitude weaker, but much faster than the primary one. More than 60% of all cytotoxic response could be focused on a single epitope of the yellow fever virus. Researchers characterized distinctive motifs in amino acid TCR sequences that are essential for the recognition of this immunodominant epitope. The study is published in eLife.