Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Address: 344006, 41 Chekhov st, Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Telephone: +7 863 266 77 51
telephone: +7 863 263 77 51 (227), fax: +7 863 266 56 77
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
The laboratory was created in 2005.
Our research is focused on epigenetic factors which induce malignant tumors in humans and elements of signal paths involved in regulation of cell cycle, apoptosis and cell proliferation, i.e. the biological processes whose normal functioning is broken during the oncotransformation of a cell; based on it, we are working on novel methods in diagnostics and therapy of cancer.
Our studies encompass various approaches.
Recent studies indicate that tumor initiation and development are largely caused by epigenetic alterations, which, unlike genetic mutations, are reversible and thus can be targeted for non-surgical treatment of cancer. miRNAs are considered to be a major agent in epigenetic alterations. They control the functioning of a number of genes that determine processes underlying tumor progression, such as cell division [proliferation], apoptosis and genome stability.
Malignant cell growth is caused by aberrant expression of certain miRNAs and having normalized their activities probably leads to a reversal in tumor development. Hence, miRNAs can be used as both markers and a foundation for new therapies. We are working to create specific genetic engineering constructions that could register the efficiency of homologous recombination in somatic mammalian cells.
A major part of our genetic studies is focused on investigating the prognostic role played by the pattern of genetic loci expression in the mononuclear fraction of peripheral blood, which can indicate the oncological transformation.
Proteomic and biochemical approaches
A misbalance of proteases / inhibitors in crucial proteolytic systems is known to contribute to initiation and progression of prostate cancer, and we are working to evaluate its contribution.
Another area of our studies lies in oncoproteomics. We are researching the role of post-translational modifications of a protein called plasminogen in molecular dysfunctions facilitating cancer development in general. According to our findings, presence or lack of certain isoforms of plasminogen is linked to different stages of cancer development.
Theoretical foundation of cancer treatment
We are investigating possibilities for novel approaches to non-surgical treatment of prostate cancer based on miRNAs and products of post-translational modifications in proteins used as markers. In vitro experiments as part of that work are to be carried out in 2012 using cell cultures of various tumor strains. Analysis of expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic genes will provide an insight into the machinery of death of oncotransformed cells.
A peripheral branch of our research addresses the use of intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIGs) for treatment of model tumors in laboratory animals. We performed a series of experiments on the use of IVIGs to treat cancer in mice; the obtained results were rather ambiguous but still encouraging.
We use a system of methods including 2D-PAGE, affinity chromatography, mass spectrometry, genetic engineering, Real time PCR gene expression analysis, light, luminescent, transmission and scanning electron microscopy.
We are open to collaboration with scientific and commercial organizations.