RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology

Moscow, Russia

RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology

Moscow, Russia
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Deutsches Rheuma Forschungszentrum Berlin and RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Date: 2013-10-28

The invention relates to isolated bispecific affinity reagents, such as antibodies or antibody fragments that bind TNF and a marker molecule for macrophages and/or neutrophils. The affinity reagents of the invention enable pathogenic sub-populations of TNF to be neutralised, whilst protective sub-populations of TNF are not affected.

Vassetzky N.S.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Kramerov D.A.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2013

SINEBase (http://sines.eimb.ru) integrates the revisited body of knowledge about short interspersed elements (SINEs). A set of formal definitions concerning SINEs was introduced. All available sequence data were screened through these definitions and the genetic elements misidentified as SINEs were discarded. As a result, 175 SINE families have been recognized in animals, flowering plants and green algae. These families were classified by the modular structure of their nucleotide sequences and the frequencies of different patterns were evaluated. These data formed the basis for the database of SINEs. The SINEBase website can be used in two ways: first, to explore the database of SINE families, and second, to analyse candidate SINE sequences using specifically developed tools. This article presents an overview of the database and the process of SINE identification and analysis. © The Author(s) 2012.

Jordan D.M.,Harvard University | Ramensky V.E.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Sunyaev S.R.,Harvard University
Current Opinion in Structural Biology | Year: 2010

It is widely anticipated that the coming year will be marked by the complete characterization of DNA sequence of protein-coding regions of thousands of human individuals. A number of existing computational methods use comparative protein sequence analysis and analysis of protein structure to predict the functional effect of coding human alleles. Functional and structural analysis of coding allelic variants can inform various aspects of research on human genetic variation. In population and evolutionary genetics it helps estimate the strength of purifying selection against deleterious missense mutations and study the imprint of demographic history on deleterious genetic variation. In medical genetics it may assist in the interpretation of uncharacterized mutations in genes involved in monogenic and oligogenic diseases. It has a potential to facilitate medical sequencing studies searching for genes underlying Mendelian diseases or harboring rare alleles involved in complex traits. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Logacheva M.D.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Schelkunov M.I.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Penin A.A.,Russian Academy of Sciences
Genome Biology and Evolution | Year: 2011

Plastids are the semiautonomous organelles that possess their own genome inherited from the cyanobacterial ancestor. The primary function of plastids is photosynthesis so the structure and evolution of plastid genomes are extensively studied in photosynthetic plants. In contrast, little is known about the plastomes of nonphotosynthetic species. In higher plants, plastid genome sequences are available for only three strictly nonphotosynthetic species, the liverwort Aneura mirabilis and two flowering plants, Epifagus virginiana and Rhizanthella gardneri. We report here the complete sequence of a plastid genome of nonphotosynthetic mycoheterotrophic orchid Neottia nidus-avis, determined using 454 pyrosequencing technology. It was found to be reduced in both genome size and gene content; this reduction is however not as drastic as in the other nonphotosynthetic orchid, R. gardneri. Neottia plastome lacks all genes encoding photosynthetic proteins, RNA polymerase subunits but retains most genes of translational apparatus. Those genes that are retained have an increased rate of both synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions but do not exhibit relaxation of purifying selection either in Neottia or in Rhizanthella. © The Author(s) 2010.

Grechko V.V.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology | Year: 2013

The review considers the current problems of molecular phylogenetics based on mitochondrial and chromosomal DNA sequences. The emphasis is placed on mtDNA markers, which are widely employed in reconstructing molecular evolution, but often without a critical analysis of the physiological and biochemical features of mitochondria that affect the adequacy and reliability of the results. In addition to the factors that make mtDNA-based phylogenies difficult to interpret (unrecognized hybridization and introgression events, ancestral polymorphism, and nuclear paralogs of mtDNA sequences), attention is paid to the nonneutrality and unequal mutation rates of mtDNA genes and their fragments, violations of uniparental inheritance of mitochondria, recombination events, natural heteroplasmy, and mtDNA haplotypic diversity. These factors may influence the congruence of phylogenetic inferences and trees constructed for the same organisms with different mtDNA markers or with mitochondrial and nuclear markers. The review supports the viewpoint that mitochondrial genes and their fragments fail to provide reliable evolutionary markers when considered without a thorough study of the environmental conditions and life of the taxa. The influence of external conditions on the metabolism and physiology of mitochondria cannot be taken into account in full nor modeled well enough for phylogenetic applications. It is assumed that mtDNA is valuable as a phylogenetic marker primarily because its complete sequence may be analyzed to identify the apomorphic and synmorphic properties of a taxon and to search for informative nuclear paralogs of mtDNA for phylogeographical studies and estimations of relative evolution times. © 2013 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.

Kramerov D.A.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Vassetzky N.S.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
Heredity | Year: 2011

Short interspersed elements (SINEs) are one of the two most prolific mobile genomic elements in most of the higher eukaryotes. Although their biology is still not thoroughly understood, unusual life cycle of these simple elements amplified as genomic parasites makes their evolution unique in many ways. In contrast to most genetic elements including other transposons, SINEs emerged de novo many times in evolution from available molecules (for example, tRNA). The involvement of reverse transcription in their amplification cycle, huge number of genomic copies and modular structure allow variation mechanisms in SINEs uncommon or rare in other genetic elements (module exchange between SINE families, dimerization, and so on.). Overall, SINE evolution includes their emergence, progressive optimization and counteraction to the cell's defense against mobile genetic elements. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Kramerov D.A.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Vassetzky N.S.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA | Year: 2011

Short interspersed elements (SINEs) are mobile genetic elements that invade the genomes of many eukaryotes. Since their discovery about 30 years ago, many gaps in our understanding of the biology and function of SINEs have been filled. This review summarizes the past and recent advances in the studies of SINEs. The structure and origin of SINEs as well as the processes involved in their amplification, transcription, RNA processing, reverse transcription, and integration of a SINE copy into the genome are considered. Then we focus on the significance of SINEs for the host genomes. While these genomic parasites can be deleterious to the cell, the long-term being in the genome has made SINEs a valuable source of genetic variation providing regulatory elements for gene expression, alternative splice sites, polyadenylation signals, and even functional RNA genes. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Shatsky I.N.,Moscow State University | Dmitriev S.E.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Andreev D.E.,Moscow State University | Terenin I.M.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | Year: 2014

The conventional paradigm of translation initiation in eukaryotes states that the cap-binding protein complex eIF4F (consisting of eIF4E, eIF4G and eIF4A) plays a central role in the recruitment of capped mRNAs to ribosomes. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that this paradigm should be revised. This review summarizes the data which have been mostly accumulated in a post-genomic era owing to revolutionary techniques of transcriptome-wide analysis. Unexpectedly, these techniques have uncovered remarkable diversity in the recruitment of cellular mRNAs to eukaryotic ribosomes. These data enable a preliminary classification of mRNAs into several groups based on their requirement for particular components of eIF4F. They challenge the widely accepted concept which relates eIF4E-dependence to the extent of secondary structure in the 5′ untranslated regions of mRNAs. Moreover, some mRNA species presumably recruit ribosomes to their 5′ ends without the involvement of either the 5′ m7G-cap or eIF4F but instead utilize eIF4G or eIF4G-like auxiliary factors. The long-standing concept of internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-elements in cellular mRNAs is also discussed. © 2014 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.

Makarova J.A.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Kramerov D.A.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
BMC Genomics | Year: 2011

Background: Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are a large group of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that mainly guide 2'-O-methylation (C/D RNAs) and pseudouridylation (H/ACA RNAs) of ribosomal RNAs. The pattern of rRNA modifications and the set of snoRNAs that guide these modifications are conserved in vertebrates. Nearly all snoRNA genes in vertebrates are localized in introns of other genes and are processed from pre-mRNAs. Thus, the same promoter is used for the transcription of snoRNAs and host genes.Results: The series of studies by Dahai Zhu and coworkers on snoRNAs and their genes were critically considered. We present evidence that dozens of species-specific snoRNAs that they described in vertebrates are experimental artifacts resulting from the improper use of Northern hybridization. The snoRNA genes with putative intrinsic promoters that were supposed to be transcribed independently proved to contain numerous substitutions and are, most likely, pseudogenes. In some cases, they are localized within introns of overlooked host genes. Finally, an increased number of snoRNA genes in mammalian genomes described by Zhu and coworkers is also an artifact resulting from two mistakes. First, numerous mammalian snoRNA pseudogenes were considered as genes, whereas most of them are localized outside of host genes and contain substitutions that question their functionality. Second, Zhu and coworkers failed to identify many snoRNA genes in non-mammalian species. As an illustration, we present 1352 C/D snoRNA genes that we have identified and annotated in vertebrates.Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that conclusions based only on databases with automatically annotated ncRNAs can be erroneous. Special investigations aimed to distinguish true RNA genes from their pseudogenes should be done. Zhu and coworkers, as well as most other groups studying vertebrate snoRNAs, give new names to newly described homologs of human snoRNAs, which significantly complicates comparison between different species. It seems necessary to develop a uniform nomenclature for homologs of human snoRNAs in other vertebrates, e.g., human gene names prefixed with several-letter code denoting the vertebrate species. © 2011 Makarova and Kramerov; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Sokolova M.I.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology
The International journal of developmental biology | Year: 2013

Hybrid dysgenesis (HD) syndrome in Drosophila virilis presumably results from the mobilization of several unrelated mobile genetic elements in dysgenic hybrids. Morphogenetic events during oogenesis and spermatogenesis were investigated in detail in the progeny of D. virilis dysgenic crosses. Using germ-cell specific anti-Vasa staining, we monitored the fate of germline cells at different ontogenetic stages in strains of D. virilis and their hybrids. Anti-Vasa staining indicated that the major loss of pole cells occurs in dysgenic embryos at stage 11-14 after primordial germ cells (PGC) pass the midgut wall. At later ontogenetic stages, including larvae, pupae and imagoes, we often observed an abnormal development of gonads in dysgenic individuals with a frequent occurrence of unilateral and bilateral gonadal atrophy. Dysgenic females were characterized by the presence of various sterile ovarian phenotypes that predominantly include agametic ovarioles, while other atypical forms such as tumor-like ovarioles and dorsalized ovariolar follicles may also be present. Testis abnormalities were also frequently observed in dysgenic males. The sterility manifestations depended on the strain, the growing temperature and the age of the flies used in crosses. The observed gonadal sterility and other HD manifestations correlated with the absence of maternal piRNAs homologous to Penelope and other transposons in the early dysgenic embryos. We speculate that gonadal abnormalities mimicking several known sterility mutations probably result from the disturbance of developmental gene expression machinery due to the activation of unrelated families of transposons in early dysgenic embryos.

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