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Hajnsdorf E.,University Paris Diderot | Boni I.V.,RAS Shemyakin Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry
Biochimie | Year: 2012

In all organisms, RNA-binding proteins participate in modulating all the steps in the life cycle of RNA, including transcription, folding, translation and turnover. In bacteria, RNA-binding proteins may be specific for a few RNA targets (e.g., several ribosomal proteins that recognize both rRNA during ribosome assembly and their own mRNAs when acting as highly specific autogenous repressors) or function as global regulators implicated in numerous regulatory networks. Some RNA-binding proteins combine all these features, and this particularly concerns the ribosomal protein S1 and the Sm-like protein Hfq. S1 is a key mRNA-binding protein in gram-negative bacteria; it recognizes mRNA leaders and provides binding of diverse mRNAs to the ribosome at the initiation step of translation. Moreover, S1 is a highly specific autogenous repressor that is able to distinguish its own mRNA from all the others. Hfq is recognized as a global regulator that facilitates small RNA-mRNA interactions in bacteria; it thereby controls the expression of many mRNAs either positively or negatively. In addition, these two proteins were reported to affect transcription, RNA degradation and other processes. Although they have no sequence specificity, Hfq and S1 preferentially bind A/U-rich single-stranded RNA regions; despite this, they nevertheless carry out very different tasks in the cell. This review is focused on the diversity of functions that can be performed by these abundant RNA-binding bacterial proteins. © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Glinka E.M.,RAS Shemyakin Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry
Plasmid | Year: 2012

Cancer gene therapy is a promising direction for the treatment of cancer patients. A primary goal of all cancer therapies is to selectively target and kill tumour cells. Such therapies are administered via different approaches, including both viral and non-viral delivery; however, both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Transcriptional targeting enables genes encoding toxic proteins to be expressed directly in cancer cells. Numerous vectors have been created with the purpose of killing cancer cells, and some have successfully suppressed malignant tumours. Data concerning the function of vectors bearing genes that encode cytotoxic proteins under the control of different promoters, including tissue/tumour specific and constitutive promoters, is summarised here. This review focuses on vectors that bear genes encoding diphtheria toxin, Pseudomonas exotoxin A, caspases, gef, streptolysin, and melittin. Data describing the efficacy of such vectors have been summarised. Notably, there are vectors that killed cancer cell lines originating from the same type of cancer with differential efficiency. Thus, there is differential inhibition of cancer cell growth dependent on the cell line. In this review, the constructs employing genes whose expression induces cell death and the efficiency with which they suppress cancer cell growth will be summarised. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Dubovskii P.V.,RAS Shemyakin Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry
European Biophysics Journal | Year: 2012

E5 is a 20-residue-long analog of the fusion peptide from influenza hemagglutinin (GLFEAIAEFIEGGWEGLIEG). It has been suggested that two of its five glutamates, Glu11and Glu15, are critical in its pH-dependent membrane perturbation. To reveal their specific involvement, a pair of analogs with substitution of either Glu11 or Glu15 for Ala were synthesized. By analysis of the pH-dependence of the chemical shifts of protons of these peptides bound to dodecylphosphocholine micelles we found: (1) the peptides adopt an amphiphilic alpha-helical structure within residues 2-18, similar to the parent peptide; (2) the helix is significantly more disordered at neutral pH than at acidic pH for E5 peptide only; and (3) in E5 and mutant peptides the Glu11 and 15 residues have similar pK a values, higher than those of the other glutamates. This excludes their mutual interaction in E5, being a source of the elevated pK a values. We attribute this phenomenon to the presence of minor states caused by deepening of the Glu11 and 15 side-chains in the hydrophobic environment of the membrane. As the mid-pH of membrane-perturbation activity of E5 matches the pK a value of these glutamates, we conclude their presence contributes to the plasticity of the peptide and determines the pH-dependence of membrane perturbation caused by E5. © 2012 European Biophysical Societies' Association.

Sverdlov E.D.,RAS Shemyakin Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry
Current Gene Therapy | Year: 2011

The approaches now united under the term "gene therapy" can be divided into two broad strategies: (1) strategy using the ideology of molecular targeted therapy, but with genes in the role of agents targeted at certain molecular component(s) or pathways presumably crucial for cancer maintenance; (ii) strategy aimed at the destruction of tumors as a whole exploiting the features shared by all cancers, for example relatively fast mitotic cell division. While the first strategy is "true" gene therapy, the second one, as e.g. suicide gene therapy, is more like genetic surgery, when a surgeon just cuts off a tumor being not interested in subtle genetic mechanisms of cancer emergence and progression. This approach inherits the ideology of chemotherapy but escapes its severe toxic effects due to intracellular formation of toxic agents. Genetic surgery seems to be the most appropriate approach to combat cancer, and its simplicity is paradoxically adequate to the super-complexity of tumors. The review consists of three parts: (i) analysis of the reasons of tumor supercomplexity and fatally inevitable failure of molecular targeted therapy, (ii) general principles of the genetic surgery strategy, and (iii) examples of genetic surgery approaches with analysis of their drawbacks and the ways for their improvement. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers.

Navolotskaya E.V.,RAS Shemyakin Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry
Biochemistry (Moscow) | Year: 2014

Antibodies (immunoglobulins, Ig) are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects and are responsible for antigen-binding and effector functions. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the major serum immunoglobulin of a healthy human (∼75% of the total Ig fraction). The discovery in 1970 of the endogenous tetrapeptide tuftsin (Thr-Lys-Pro-Arg, fragment 289-292 of the CH2-domain of the heavy (H) chain of IgG), possessing both immunostimulatory and neurotrophic activities, was an impetus for the search for new biologically active peptides of immunoglobulin origin. As a result, fragments of the H-chain of IgG produced as a result of enzymatic cleavage of IgG within the antigen-antibody complex were discovered, synthesized, and studied. These fragments include rigin (341-344), immunorphin (364-373), immunocortin (11-20), and peptide p24 (335-358) and its fragments. In this review the properties of these peptides and their role in regulating the immune response are analyzed. © 2014 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.

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