Laboratory of Molecular Basis of Antibacterial Immunity

Head of the Lab
Viktoria Davydova, Ph.D.

Lab staff:
Tamara Solov’eva (chief researcher, Dr. Sci., professor), Irina Yermak (chief researcher, Dr. Sci.), Olga Novikova (leader researcher, PhD), Valentina Khomenko (senior researcher, PhD), Gennadiy Naberezkhnykh (senior researcher, PhD), Vladimir Gorbach (senior researcher, PhD), Svetlana Bakholdina (senior researcher, PhD), Olga Portnyagina (senior researcher, PhD), Evgeniy Sidorin (researcher, PhD), Dmitriy Chistyulin (junior researcher), Alexandra VolodТko (junior researcher), Anna Kravchenko (PhD student).

Proteins and lipopolysaccharides (LPS), macromolecular components of a cell envelope of bacteria pathogenic to humans and animals play a crucial role in a host-parasite relationship. They are the major antigens and virulence factors. The study of these biopolymers provides a basis for understanding the molecular mechanisms of bacterial infections extension, and in practical terms, opens up the possibility of developing new fundamental approaches in the fight against infectious diseases and creating the basis for design of diagnostic and vaccine preparations.

Widely available polysaccharides of marine origin possess a broad spectrum of physiological activity including anticancer, anticoagulant, antihyperlipidemic, antiviral, immunomodulatory and antioxidant activities. Consequently, these compounds represent a promising source of drugs and dietary supplements.

The subjects of our laboratory research include investigation of structure, function and biological properties of outer membrane proteins (mainly porins) of Gram-negative bacteria of Yersinia genus and several species of marine bacteria. Other trends of our investigation are isolation, establishing the structure and characterization of physiological properties of marine polysaccharides.

The main goals:
Relationship between the structure and biological/functional properties of biologically active macromolecules (bacterial proteins and marine polysaccharides)
The work is carried out in several directions:
Cell wall proteins from terrestrial and marine Gram-negative bacteria: structure and their biological activity as antigens and virulence factors.
Polysaccharides of marine origin - carrageenans and chitosan, their low molecular weight and hydrophobic derivatives: structure, physicochemical properties, biological activity.
Polyelectrolyte complexes of chitosan-carrageenan and chitosan – LPS: preparation, structure and biological activity.

Highlights and perspectives:
Establishment of structural features of biopolymers (proteins and polysaccharides) determining their biological activity.
Design new composites with pronounced antibacterial, immunomodulatory, antiviral and reparative properties based on polysaccharides and their complexes for medical use.