Instytut Biologii Medycznej PAN

Research topics

 

  1. Chemistry of nucleosides, nucleotides and nucleic acids for molecular medical diagnostics and therapy.

  2. Molecular basis of human cytomegalovirus (hCMV) and other viruses infections.

 

Synthetic nucleic acids find broad and diverse applications in molecular biology, genetic engineering, medical diagnostics and therapy. Applications of nucleic acids in emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biosensing or biocomputing illustrate their expanding potential as novel and versatile biomaterial

 

The major scope of our research is chemistry of nucleic acids focused on the development of methods for the synthesis of carborane- and metallacarborane-containing nucleosides, nucleotides and DNA-oligomers and physicochemical and biological evaluation of the obtained molecules. The important feature of this novel modification is combining the biological constituent bearing information (nucleic acid) with inorganic module bearing function (boron clusters and their complexes with metals). The unique properties of  boron clusters support many practical applications of boron modified oligomers.

 

 

Chemical, physicochemical and biological properties of the synthesized molecules are studied. These include antiviral activity, purynergic receptors’ modulating activity, antisense oligonucleotides with potential antiviral and anticancer activity, boron carriers for boron neutron capture therapy of cancers (BNCT), application of boron cluster modified DNA-oligomers as electrochemically and IR detectable molecular probes.

 

Human cytomegalovirus and other herpesviruses. Human cytomegalovirus (hCMV) is a widely spread beta-herpesvirus in human population. It is the most common cause of viral intrauterine infection and an important pathogen in immunocompromised patients, including organ or bone marrow recipients, oncological patients undergoing chemotherapy, and patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). There is increasing evidence that viral strains with different genotypes may have different virulence. However, knowledge about determinants of virulence in congenital strains is still poor and concerns mainly glycoproteins: B (UL55), N (UL73), O (UL74), and H (UL75). HCMV codes for more than 50 glycoproteins including a 12 of envelope glycoproteins. An envelope glycoprotein genes has been the focus of many studies, since they are essential for binding to receptors, penetration and cell fusion.

 

The aims of research in Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Biological Chemistry are: 1) hCMV genetic variability, 2) innate immunity, 3) the role of cytokines in congenital hCMV infections, 4) the relevance of PRRs polymorphism to symptomatic herpesvirus infection (hCMV, EBV), 5) the role of PRRs in viral infection. Our research interests concern also viral mechanisms for immune evasion and interaction with the host immune system.

 

Key words: nucleosides, nucleotides, oligonucleotides, molecular probes, antisense, antiviral, anticancer agents, purinergic receptors modulators, BNCT, boron, boron clusters, carboranes, metallacarboranes, cytomegalovirus (hCMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), genetic polymorphisms among hCMV strains, hCMV envelope glycoproteins, innate immunity of placenta, congenital and postnatal hCMV infections, cytokines, hCMV opportunistic infections, Toll-like and RIG-I-like receptors.