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  • science news First crystal structure of bacterial oligopeptidase B in an intermediate state: the roles of the hinge region modification and spermine October 27

    Oligopeptidase B (OpB) is a two-domain serine peptidase with trypsin-like substrate specificity. OpB belongs to the prolyl oligopeptidase (POP) family and are found only in bacteria and protozoa. It is known that OpB are pathogenesis factors of protozoan infections and protect bacterial cells from a number of antimicrobial peptides. Nevertheless, they are the least studied representatives of POP, especially bacterial OpB, for which there was a complete lack of structural information. The researches from IBC RAS together with those of NRC Kurchatov Institute and the IBOC of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus managed to obtain crystal structures of bacterial OpB from Serratia proteomaculans (PSP) with a modified hinge region.

  • science news Mambalgin-2 inhibits growth, migration, and invasion of metastatic melanoma cells by targeting the channels containing an asic1a subunit whose up-regulation correlates with poor survival prognosis October 16

    Melanoma is aggressive cancer characterized by acidification of extracellular environment. Scientists from the Laboratory of bioengineering of neuromodulators and neuroreceptors IBCh RAS together with colleages from NN Blokhin NMRCO showed for the first time that extracellular media acidification increases proliferation, migration, and invasion of patient-derived metastatic melanoma cells and up-regulates cell-surface expression of acid sensitive channels containing the ASIC1a, α-ENaC, and γ-ENaC subunits. No influence of media acidification on these processes was found in normal keratinocytes.

  • science news Pseudomonas phage MD8: genetic mosaicism and challenges of taxonomic classification of lambdoid bacteriophages October 8

    Fundamental questions of the evolution of viral genomes are the most important topic of virological research. As a result of the joint work of virologists from the Laboratory of Molecular Bioengineering of the IBCh RAS and the Limnological Institute of the RAS, a group of bacteriophages of the dangerous pathogen Pseudomonas was identified, the genomes of these bacterial viruses were studied, and it was shown that their formation was greatly influenced by multiple horizontal transfers, which led to pronounced genetic mosaicism. Scientists also put forward hypotheses about the origin of the new group and proposed basic principles for the taxonomic classification of lambdoid phages.

  • science news The secreted protein disulfide isomerase Ag1, lost by ancestors of poorly regenerating vertebrates, is required for Xenopus laevis tail regeneration October 6

    As is known, unlike cold-blooded vertebrates, warm-blooded vertebrates are not able to regenerate such complex structures as a limb or tail. Earlier, researchers from the Laboratory of Molecular Bases of Embryogenesis IBCH RAS proposed a hypothesis about the relationship between the weakening of regenerative abilities in warm-blooded animals and the loss of some genes that regulate regeneration in cold-blooded animals. In support of this hypothesis, we showed that there are indeed genes essential for the regeneration among the found genes lost by warm-blooded vertebrates, particularly the gene for the secreted disulfide isomerase Ag1. Strong activation of this gene on 1 and 2 days post-amputation of the tail in a model object, the frog Xenopus laevis tadpoles, indicated its essential role at the beginning of regeneration processes. It was shown that knockdown of ag1 reduces the ability to regenerate the amputated tail. At the same time, this ability can be restored either by overexpression of ag1 or by the addition of its recombinant protein to the tadpoles.

  • science news Mechanism of coelenterazine chromophore photoinactivation from Beroe abissycola photoprotein is proposed August 27

    Scientists from IBCh RAS with colleagues from Photobiology Lab (IBP SB RAS) elucidated the structures of Beroe abissycola photoprotein’s chromophore photoinactivation products and proposed a mechanism of the photoinactivation process. The similarity of chemical transformations of photoprotein and GFP-like fluorescent protein chromophores was demonstrated for the first time. The results are published in Organic Letters. The project was funded by the RScF grant № 17-14-01169p.  

  • science news Essential role of zinc ions in TLR1 receptor activation August 24

    Toll-like receptors are the key players of the innate immune response. Despite the numerous studies and huge amount of data regarding these proteins, the structural basis of their functioning has not yet been clearly elucidated. Scientists from IBCh RAS, together with their colleagues from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (China) discovered the essential role of zinc in the functioning of Toll-like receptor 1 and proposed possible mechanisms of zinc-mediated receptor activation. The work was funded by the RFBR grant 20-34-70024 and published in Communications Biology

  • science news New structural data allowed to study the mechanism of thermal activation of thermosensitive ion channels of the TRP family August 12

    Scientists from the Laboratory of biomolecular modeling of the IBCh RAS, together with colleagues from Columbia University (New York, USA), the University of Illinois (Peoria, USA), and the Institute of Physiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Prague, Czech Republic), have revealed the structural mechanism of heat-induced opening of temperature-sensitive TRP channels.

  • science news Investigation of long-term fate of magnetic nanoparticles in mice July 15

    Scientists from Laboratory of molecular immunology of IBCh RAS performed first broad comprehensive study of factors which influence degradation rate of magnetic particles in mammals. For this aim magnetic spectral approach was developed, allowing non-invasive and quantitative measurement of magnetic particles in mice without influence of biogenic iron. Researchers studied the key factors that determine the degradation rate of nanoparticles: particle dose, size, zeta potential, type of polymer coating and internal architecture of nanoagents. The revealed deeper insights into the particle degradation in vivo may facilitate rational design of theranostic nanoparticles with predictable long-term fate in vivo. The work was published in ACS Nano.

  • conferences Conference "Pathological changes in the central nervous system. From model to the patient." June 20
  • funds FEBS Excellence Awards June 7

    Please note that applications for the new FEBS Excellence Awards are now open (from 1st June) and will close on 1st September.  The online application system is here: https://fellowships.febs.org/ea_2021 and full details can be found on the FEBS website here: https://www.febs.org/our-activities/fellowships/febs-excellence-awards/. FEBS Excellence Awards are intended to support research projects in the molecular life sciences from early-career group leaders. They are granted over three years and amount to €100,000.

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