Molecular control of anhydrobiosis
Anhydrobiosis – is an ability of some organisms to enter ametabolic state upon complete desiccation. In the dry form, these organisms maintain viability for many years, and revive quickly upon rehydration. We study the largest and the most complex anhydrobiotic organism – an African midge Polypedilum vanderplanki (the sleeping chironomid). Using combination of the most advanced technologies, including in vitro cell analysis, NGS, single cell transcriptomics, Hi-C, genome editing metabolomic and proteomics we study molecular background of anhydrobiosis, including gene regulation network, coordinated activity of protective proteins, origin and evolution of tolerance to complete desiccation. We also develop methods and screening system for conferring unique tolerance to stress of anhydrobiotic organisms in other insects and mammalian cells for agriculture and biomedical uses.
Genomics of hereditary cancers
Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) is one of the most frequent monogenic disorders, what led to identification of number of high-penetrance (BRCA1 and BRCA2, PTEN, TP53, CDH1, and STK11), moderate-penetrance (PALB2, ATM, BRIP1, and CHEK2) genes. Rapid development of high throughput sequencing and decrease in cost of the analysis led to the utilization of gene panel sequencing for clinical research and fast accumulation of pathogenic mutations identification. We have launched “Hereditary Oncogenomics Russia” project to study hereditary cancer syndromes in Russian Federation aiming to create the largest biobank of blood samples and mutation database of pathogenic mutations in cancer related genes.
Gene regulatory network in mammalian muscles (FANTOM Muscles initiative)
Skeletal muscle plays an important role in many vital processes and is maintained by numerous pathways regulating protein synthesis and degradation. Loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength induces by the various conditions, including muscle disuse resulted in bed rest or unloading, age-related muscle weakness (sarcopenia), cachexia, multiple muscular dystrophies, myopathies, denervation and etc. Noticeably, muscle atrophy can affect specific fiber types and different muscles have the differential susceptibility to muscle wasting. However, the factors underlying these differences remain to be elucidated. In the frame of international consortium, we are aiming to reconstruct transcriptional network in variety of muscles in normal and atrophic conditions using Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) and Small RNA expression analysis. A part of the study addresses to sport medicine and space biology to understand changes of transcriptional network during spaceflight-induced disuse of the muscles.
Transcriptional regulation of hibernation and embryonic diapause
Ability of some animals and bird to enter hypometabolic states – torpor or diapause is an attractive mode to get new insights about mechanisms of cells and tissues preservation. It is also well-known that, in contrast to humans, muscles of hibernator do not suffer from the atrophy during extended disuse. Using advanced genomic tools, including transcriptomics, single cell transcription analysis and CAGE we study cis-regulatory elements controlling hibernation and torpor in mammals, including mice and dormice. We also analyze gene regulatory network beyond amniote development and diapause of embryos. We are especially interested in genetic background of cold-inducible arrest of development in avian embryos, including those of chicken.
Advanced genomic tools for biomedical studies
We work on the development and implementation of new NGS-based approaches in various biomedical applications, including search for new biomarkers in various pathologies, HLA-typing for bone marrow transplantation and identification of the effect of external stresses on the gene regulatory network.