Laboratory of Structural Electron Microscopy of Biological Systems

The laboratory uses the state-of-the-art techniques of cryo-electron microscopy and macromolecular X-ray crystallography to solve important biological questions and outstanding challenges in the field of cross-membrane transport. Also it serves as a bridge to coordinate research in the field of biophysics and medicine using cryo-electron microscopy, conducted at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and also in collaboration with Russian and foreign research organizations.

Research interests: solving the structure of SLC1A family neurotransmitter proteins in various conformational states. This will help characterize the transport mechanism of these proteins more accurately, which, in turn, will allow describing their contribution to CNS diseases in more detail and will create the necessary basis for new inhibitors of these proteins (especially important for proteins involved in the transport of the glutamine amino acid in cancer cells). The scientists also plan to solve the first structure of the vitamin B12 transport protein from an important pathogen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as this is the first and necessary step to understand how the virulence of this pathogen is tied to the transport of this vitamin. High-resolution structures will be obtained and signal transmission mechanisms in transmembrane proteins will be determined. Based on obtained structures and revealed mechanism of action of these proteins, it is planned to search for ways to disrupt their work in order to combat microbial and bacterial pathogens and, ultimately, develop new classes of antibiotics. Protocols will be developed for cleaning and structural analysis of the ribosome and its subunits, cloning the main translation factors for the formation of functional complexes of ribosomes in vitro. The obtained experimental models will be used to study inhibitors of ribosome function in the development of antibacterial and antifungal drugs.

The scientific infrastructure of the laboratory includes:

·       The research platform based on the cryoelectron microscope Tecnai Polara G2, which includes all the necessary equipment for efficient and reproducible sample preparation.

·        High-performance computing resources for the implementation of algorithms for the analysis and processing of data obtained using cryoelectronic microscopy.

Dr. Albert Guskov

Head Of The Laboratory

Dr. Andrey Rogachev

Leading Researcher

Ivan Sorokin

Junior Researcher

Marina Volkova

Phd Student

Yury Rizhikau

Phd Student