Press-room / Digest
Genetically encoded fluorescent pH probe for precise monitoring of cellular biochemistry
One of the directions of the Molecular Technologies Laboratory is the development of new tools for bioimaging and optogenetics. Yulia Ermakova, Vsevolod Belousov and other lab members, in an article in Chemical Communications, describe a new member of SypHer family of genetically encoded pH indicators, SypHer3s.
Spider venom will cure from paralysis
Scientists from IBCh RAS together with foreign colleagues discovered that a toxin from the venom of the spider Heriaeus melloteei may serve as a hit in drug discovery for hypokalemic periodic paralysis type 2. The disease is caused by mutations in the gene encoding voltage-gated sodium channels NaV1.4, characteristic of skeletal muscles. As a result of the mutations, these channels conduct aberrant currents, the muscles are unable to respond to the signals of the nervous system, and weakness develops followed by paralysis. Until now, there is no reliable medication for all cases of this disease.
Lindoldhamine can activate the human ASIC3 channel
Researchers from the Laboratory of Neuroreceptors and Neuroregulators (group leader - Sergei Kozlov) found alkaloid lindoldhamine in the leaves of the noble laurel, which can activate the human ASIC3 channel at physiological pH. They reported that acidification of the extracellular medium is not essential for the opening of this channel. Molecules, closely related to the structure of lindolhamine, are produced in the human body during the inflammation and can also activate and alter the functioning of acid-sensitive channels. Regulation of the intracellular synthesis pathways of these endogenous molecules can be a new therapeutic strategy for a novel therapeutic strategy for treatment of pain and inflammation.
Human SLURP proteins suppress the growth of epithelial cancer cells
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) take part in neurotransmission and control the homeostasis of epithelial cells. Group of bioengineering of neuromodulators and neuroreceptors headed by Ekaterina Lyukmanova, Ph.D., studies the influence of human SLURP proteins on the nAChRs in epithelium. In their recent research, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, investigators proved that SLURPs inhibit the growth of epithelial cancer cells of four carcinomas of epithelial origin, and described the underlying mechanisms. These results show the prospects of implementation of the SLURP proteins for the therapy of epithelial tumours.
The Joint Life Sciences Forum, including the International Scientific Conference in bioorganic chemistry "XII conference dedicated to the Memory of Academician Yuri A. Ovchinnikov" and the VIII Russian Symposium "Proteins and Peptides" with a Young Scientists Competition, was held at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry RAS at 18-22 September, 2017. The leading foreign experts who visited the forum named it one of the main scientific events in the field of Life Sciences in the world in this year.