Group of nanobioengineering

Bioengineering department

Head: Oksana Nekrasova

bioengineering; Membrane proteins; Ligands; Ligand-receptor interactions

The group is aimed at the bioengineering of recombinant proteins and polypeptides, developing the procedures for their purification and renaturation, studies on the properties of recombinant molecules using physico-chemical methods, as well as the approaches and methods of nanotechnology.

The group collaborates with the departments of the IBCh RAS (Laboratory of optical microscopy and spectroscopy of biomolecules, the Molecular Instruments for Neurobiology Group and the Laboratory of molecular toxinology) and with Department of Bioengineering of the Biological Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Laboratory of Physicochemical Foundations of Reception of the Emanuel IBHF RAS.

Bioengineering group was formed in 2010 as a part of Bioengineering department of IBCh RAS.

  • Membrane engineering in living cells – bioengineering of recombinant receptor molecules that are targeted to and inserted into bacterial membrane, study of their ligand-binding activity at the surface of the cell membrane using fluorescent methods of detection. 
  • Development of bioengineering approaches to the production of recombinant membrane photosensitive proteins in order to study their structural organization and photochemical properties.
  • Development of bioengineering methods for obtaining soluble protein and peptide ligands in the functionally active form and studying their interaction with receptor proteins.

1.     A bioengineering test system was developed to study interactions of potassium channels with ligands. The test system is based on the use of fluorescently-labeled peptide probe and hybrid potassium channels that are embedded in the membrane of whole bacterial cells. The detection of ligand-receptor interactions is carried out by the method of laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM). Using the test system new blockers originating from animal venoms were identified that target Kv1.1 and Kv1.3 – potassium channels of important biomedical significance. With the help of molecular modeling methods, molecular determinants of interaction of peptide toxins with potassium channels were studied, and the mutant forms of peptide toxins were constructed with increased selectivity for the target channel. The principle of engineering of genetically encoded fluorescent ligands of potassium channels was developed with the aim to use them as fluorescent probes in binding studies and also for visualization of potassium channels in cells and tissues. The work is carried out in collaboration with departments of  IBCh - Laboratory of Optical Microscopy and Spectroscopy of Biomolecules, Laboratory of Molecular Instruments for Neurobiology, Laboratory of Molecular Toxinology, as well as Department of Bioengineering of the Biological Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University.

2.     Bioengineering method was worked out for over-production of recombinant bacteriorhodopsin (Halobacterium salinarum) in E.coli expression system. Photochemical properties of recombinant bacteriorhodopsin were found to be similar to those of the monomeric form of the native protein. Recombinant bacteriorhodopsin and its mutants are used to study primary events of photocycle and mechanisms of energy transfer using the method of Femtosecond Transient Absorption Spectroscopy (in collaboration with the Laboratory of Physico-Chemical Basis of Reception, N.M. Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics RAS).

3.     New effective bioengineering methods have been developed for producing functionally active recombinant ligands, such as: disulfide-rich peptide toxins from scorpion venoms; efrin A1 - the ligand of  Ephrine receptors. The obtained peptides and proteins are used in various studies on ligand-receptor interactions. 

Oksana Nekrasova, Ph.D.s. r. f.
Yakimov S.A.res. eng.

Previously worked here

Tikhonov R.V., Ph.D.
Elena Krjukovar. f.
Kudryashova K.S., Ph.D.
Birikh K.R., Ph.D.

Oksana Nekrasova

Russia, Moscow, Ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10 — On the map