Start date – January 2017
Main focus of the group is identification and analysis of antibiotics acting on the ribosome. The group of P. Sergiev created a reporter strain of E.coli that contains two sensors of antibiotic action. The red fluorescent protein gene is induced upon DNA damage, caused by antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones. The far red fluorescent protein gene Katushka2S is induced if cells are treated with inhibitors of protein biosynthesis. The system is well suited for high throughput screening of new antibiotics with the immediate recognition of the molecular target of antibiotic action. Application of this system allowed us to study mechanism of action of several antibiotics.
Work in collaboration with K. Severinov laboratory (Skoltech) and Yury Polikanov laboratory (University of Illinois) lead us to identification of new peptide antibiotic with unusual binding mode. This antibiotic, klebsazolicin binds peptide tunnel in a folded conformation, blocking progression of the nascent peptide.
Our laboratory is also focused on the modification of ribosomal RNA in a range of species. We are working on identification of putative methyltransferase genes that act on rRNA. These enzymes modulate translation and are essential for proper function of several gene expression control mechanisms.