Laboratory conducts research in three main areas. First, the laboratory carries out the analysis of organisms ’genomes, of RNA collections, of proteins and metabolites of individual cells and determines how their transformation affects a cell and an organism. Secondly, the laboratory researches the mechanisms of natural processes operating in cells at the level of the DNA, RNA and proteins. The third laboratory area of research is the development of methods allowing, on the basis of information about intrinsic mechanisms and genome structure, to introduce targeted changes in these genomes. Today genomic technologies critically depend on developments in these areas of research.

Modern biomedical technologies increasingly rely on the possibility to introduce targeted changes to the characteristics of the human genome and of other living organisms. In replacement to genetic engineering methods, which made possible the manipulation of single genes, are developed genomic technologies that combine approaches, developed within the framework of genetic, protein and metabolic engineering, of systemic and synthetic biology, in order to introduce targeted modifications into single cells’ hereditary material or even into whole organisms.

The results of the laboratory are aimed at solving the problems of diagnosis and treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and various types of cancer:

In the course of work are carried out modifications of donor oligonucleotides, whose incorporation effectiveness into the DNA is roughly twice higher as those of usually used oligonucleotides. With the help of such donors are created cell lines which are modeling deadly neurological disease - amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Hereafter, with the help of such cells, potential drugs for this disease will be tested;

  •  The mechanism of recognition of damaged parts of human or bacteria DNA by repair enzymes is thoroughly studied. It was found that enzymes slide along the DNA, superficially "check" each of its unit, and extract the suspicious ones from the DNA to check them more in detail. Knowledge of the mechanisms of repair enzymes will help the development of new anticancer agents and antibiotics, as the fight against cancer cells and bacteria often damages healthy cells DNA;
  •  A series of test-systems for the determination of possible relationships between the different human genes and breast cancer, malignant lymphomas, and male infertility is developed. Mutations occurring in cells during cancer of the thyroid gland, lung, breast, colorectal cancer, and osteosarcoma are studied. The data obtained will be used for the selection of targets for a wide range of drugs, already used in oncology practice, but without clear justification of their application effectiveness. Test-systems aimed at supporting drugs prescription in the treatment of lung cancer and metastatic colorectal cancer are developed;
  •  Variations in the genomes of pathogenic microorganisms which are circulating within the Siberian Federal District and presenting an extensive drug resistance are researched, in particular those of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These studies echo the need to address urgent phthisiological questions - finding new diagnostic markers for rapid diagnosis of drug resistance and the search for new therapeutic targets.
Partner Labs: Meshalkina Research Institute of Blood Circulation Pathologies (Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation), Stony Brook University (USA), Institute Gustave-Roussy (France), Kazakhstan National Center for Biotechnology.

Expert in this field: Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor Dmitry O. Zharkov, dzharkov@niboch.nsc.ru

Section of molecular biology of the Department  of Natural Sciences NSU
Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences