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Main page | Structure | Departments | Department of Biochemistry | About department

About department

The Department of Biological Chemistry of the Crimea medical institute (at present, the Crimea State Medical University) was organized in 1932. Its first Head was Professor Krivisnkiy Yu. L. (1932 – 1937). Then the department was headed by Professor Mikhlin M. S. (1937 – 1951). From 1951 to 1988 the Head of the department was Professor Troitskiy G. V., corresponding member of the Academy of Science of Ukraine, honorary worker of science of Ukraine. From 1988 to 1998 Professor Kiryukhin I. F. was the Head of the department. Since 1999 Professor Efetov K. A., honorary worker of science and engineering of Ukraine, is the Head of the department.

The foundation of the Crimean biochemical school was connected with the Professor Troitskiy German Vasilyevich, Doctor of Biological Science, honorary worker of science of Ukraine, Laureate of Palladin’s prize, corresponding member of the Academy of Science of Ukraine. The studies that he began with his students in 1951 concerned with the structural changes of serum proteins in pathology were internationally recognized.

Corresponding member of the Academy of Science of Ukraine, Professor Troitskiy G. V. was the Head of the Department of Biological Chemistry from 1951 to1988.

Troitskiy G. V. developed the theory asserting the existence of 2 types of periodic structures in globular proteins and first in the world using the data about spectropolarimetric studies Troitskiy proved that beta folds make up the basis of periodic part of the most globular proteins along with alpha helix. At present, this is confirmed by the method of X-ray analysis in the scientific laboratories of different countries.

Other facts studied thoroughly were profound structural changes of blood albumin, which exists in the form of several conformers in pathology. These modifications of protein structure are important both for diagnostics and prognosis.

Finally, these studies resulted in the development of general theory concerning early protective reactions of the organism – immune responses. The central idea of Troitskiy G. V. is that there are correspondences in the organization of protective reactions both in the evolutionary and in the individual  timescale.

Along with the development of theoretical statements under the Troitskiy’s guidance the researchers constantly worked on the development of new research methods important for the further development of science as well as having practical significance for medicine. They include spectropolarimetry, isofocusing, differential spectrophotometry, electrophoresis. The constructed at the department spectropolarimeter was the first in Europe. The department staff developed absolutely new method of isoelectrical focusing in borat-poliol complexes which is widely used in many laboratories of the world. Moreover, this method was used in the space experiment according to the program «Taurida» for the division of proteins and receiving particular pure preparations under zero-g conditions.

Serebrov A. and Savitskaya S. are responsible for the experiment in space carried out on the facility created at the Department of Biochemistry.

These experiments in space were started at the space station «Salute-7» by cosmonauts Berezov A. and Lebedev V. and then were continued at the orbital complex «Salute-7» - «Salute-Т-5» - «Salute-Т-7» by cosmonauts Serebrov A. and Savitskaya S. in 1982.

In 1986 the National Committee on Science and Engineering and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR provided earmark financing requiring the competitive tender. This allowed to create the hybrid laboratory at the department and to organize receiving of monoclonal antibodies.

Several times Troiskiy G. V. participated in the international conferences and symposia in Sweden (1957), USA (1958), Czech Republic (1968), Bulgaria (1971), Poland (1972), German Democratic Republic (1975), Hungary (1978). His studies were published in Canada and Poland.

There is a number of Doctors of Science among his followers: Tarasova L. S., Shylko N. A.,  Sorkina D. A., Kobozev G. V., Okulov V. I., Selivanova K. F., Kiryukhin I. F., Zav’yalov V. P., Azhytskiy G. Yu., Borisenko S. N., Kosik O. G., Efetov K. A. and over 50 Ph. D. theses were defended.

The results of Troitskiy’s studies are there in his monographs «Electrophoresis of Proteins» (Troitskiy G. V., 1962), «Pathological Anatomy of Proteins» (Troitskiy G. V., 1983), «Isoelectrical Focusing of Proteins» (Troitkiy G. V., Azhytskiy G. Yu., 1984), «Defective Proteins» (Troitskiy G. V., 1991).

In his last monograph Troitskiy G. V. thoroughly studied the early protective response of body  – preexisting immunity. Some the key molecules involved in the mechanisms of preexisting immunity are lectins (lectin receptors) capable to recognize and specifically link oligosaccharide chain associated with other macromolecules and supramolecular complexes. Studying related literature, German Vasilyevich found the information about the specific interaction of oligosaccharides and lectins playing significant role in the regulation of metamorphosis of insects. That is why beginning with the 90-s  the department staff became interested in studying this group of living organisms. Except this, they decided to study the interaction between proteins and peptides of insects (e.g., amphiphilic peptide from bee venom – melittin) with human immunoglobulins with the purpose of modeling conformational changes of the latter in pathology. Efetov K. A. was engaged with the study of entomological objects, since during the last years he studied evolutionary biology and systematics of insects along with biochemistry.

Professor Efetov K. A., the Head of the Department of Biochemistry, works at the hybrid laboratory.

Since 1992 he headed the laboratory of biotechnology at the Department of Biochemistry, and since 1999 he is the Head of the department. Professor Efetov K. A., Doctor of Biological Science, the Honoured Master of Sciences and Engineering of Ukraine, Laureate of State Prize and 2 Prizes of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. During this period of time in the laboratory and at the department along with the study of protein modification in pathology they began to use hybridoma technology together with the traditional morphological and biochemical methods to solve the problems of evolutionary biology and biosystematics. To collect biological material there was a number of international expeditions in Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Spain, France, Armenia, Turkey, Italy. Many times Efetov K. A. and his colleagues reported about the received results at the international forums in Finland (1992), Germany (1993, 1997, 2003), Czech Republic (1994), Spain (1996), Great Britain (1996), Belgium (1998), Austria (2000, 2012), Denmark (2002), Italy (2005), France (2006), Bulgaria (2008), Turkey (2010), Luxemburg (2011).

Professor Efetov K. A. carried out his studies in many scientific centers of the world: Institute of Nuclear Physics (St. Petersburg), Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (Moscow), Institute of Protein Research (Pushchino-on-Oka), Institute of Biochemistry named after Palladin A. V. (Kiev), British Natural History Museum (London), National Museum of Natural History (Paris), universities of Berlin, Bonn, Copenhagen, Moscow (MSU), St. Petersburg, Kiev, as well as the leading scientific research establishments of Vienna, Innsbruck, Munich, Helsinki, Brussels. At present, Professor Efetov is the Head of the international scientific project concerning the study of DNA called «ZYGMO», carried out in cooperation with the University of Guelph in Canada, as well as the scientists from Austria, France, Germany and other countries.

The results of these studies are contained in the publications devoted to the descriptions of 30 species of animals earlier unknown. In addition, due to these studies over 250 publications in the national and foreign periodicals (England, Germany, Japan and others), 11 monographs (including 8 in English) were written and 12 intention’s patents were obtained.

The new approaches of Efetov K. A. to the study of evolutionary biology of several systematic groups of animals inspired the scientists from Spain, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, South Korea, Japan, and New Zealand to undertake special expeditions for gathering factual evidence. The obtained findings of these studies completely corroborated theoretical statements suggested by the department staff in recent years.

At present, the department works are working in several research areas. Within the traditional theme “Identification of Modified due to Pathology  Immunoglobulins and the Causes of Their Modification” it was determined that comparing with the blood immunoglobulines of healthy people, in patients with malignant growth blood immunoglobulins have higher conformational stability. This is caused by the ligation of immunoglobulines by the waste products from tumor tissue.

First in the world the study of human proteins in health and disease was carried out using the molecular probes from living organisms (for example, insects), that distantly related to human being. It helped to avoid the cross-reactions between human proteins and antibody molecules used in the experiment for the recognition of molecular probes. For the studies concerning insects (Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera) they gather biological material, then in laboratory excrete the molecules of peptides and proteins from it. Then using hybridoma technology they create new malignant growth synthesizing monoclonal antibodies, which particularly “recognize” the insect protein. With the help of molecular probes and antibodies to them it is possible to study the characteristics of human proteins in health and pathology.

These studies were started in biothechnical laboratory in 1990, and the first publication appeared in 1993. With the help of hybridoma technology the department staff produced monoclonal antibodies for immunoglobulins, peptide melittin and lipoglycochromoprotein lipophorin. The use of these antibodies helps to study the structural and functional characteristics of immunoglobulines in health and disease that play an important role in the understanding of mechanisms of humoral immunity and its disturbances in different pathological conditions.

Another research area of the department is  «Use of the Methods of Molecular Immunology and Molecular Biology Along with Traditional Approaches solving the Issues of Biosystematics». This theme resulted from the initiation of a new research direction – monoclonal immuntosystematics. First in the world the idea of using monoclonal antibodies for the studies of revolutionary relationships (i.e., the degree of distance) between different biological species was suggested by Efetov K. A. in 1993. He initiated the studies resulting in creation of hybridomas synthesizing antibodies interacting with the proteins of insects  – lipophorin. The use of these monocloncal antibodies helped to settle a number of biosystemic issues. First these findings were reported at the 10th European lepidopterological congress in Madrid in 1996. In the same year there was the first publication in Spain. At present, this new direction is developing throughout the world. For example, there are recent similar studies of Australian scientists published in 2000. Now the department received new panel of hybridomas for the proteins of insects, the studies go on.

In 2000 the department organized new lectinohystochemical laboratory. Using lectins the scientists study carbohydrate components of purified human proteins and tissues in health and pathology. They carried out a number of studies in cooperation with other clinical departments (neurosurgery, skin and veneral diseases, therapy, otolaryngology, surgical dentistry, etc.)

Scientific work at the department of biochemistry is the single diagnostic center in the Crimea identificating paraproteins in the biological liquids. The given study is essential for the diagnostics of paraproteinemic hemoblasts. Except the customary approaches the department of biochemistry used precipitating monoclonal antibodies for identification of M-gradient. They also develop special software for the assessment of paraproteins in the biological liquids.

In cooperation with the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding the department of biochemistry of CSMU carries out the study concerning the DNA sequence analysis and СОI Zygaenidae. 

760 sequences of nucleotides of 190 biological species were studied by 2013 (most of them – for the first time).

Since 2006 Tkacheva N. Yu., Associate Professor, Ph. D. in Medicine, has been practicing IVF in the embryological laboratory of CSMU clinic, and since 2007 – intracytoplasmic sperm injections. Over 1500 procedures of IVF and ICSI have been done so far, while the approximate efficacy makes up 46% proved by the sonogram.

Cooperating with the department of natural history of Tirol state museum (Austria) the department of biochemistry of CSMU carries out the studies within the program “Synthesis and Study of Pheromon Molecules” that resulted in the invention of cheap and easy method receiving sex attractants for crop pests. The testing conducted within the field works in 2012 concerning the received substances proved their efficiency. Synthesized substances are planned to use for the identification and monitoring of quantity of crop pests as well as for the development of ecologically pure method for pest control. This will reduce the use of insecticides and improve the ecological environment and health data.

The main criteria for scientific products are not their quantity, but their quality. The quality parameter for the scientific publications is the number of their citation. Over 150 studies of written by the department staff were cited 700 times by the scholars from 25 countries of the world (including Australia, Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Iran, Spain, Italy, China, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, USA, Turkey, France, Switzerland, Japan) in 9 languages (English, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Japanese, Russian and Ukrainian).

In recognition of the international authority of the department of biochemistry scientists from Austria, Russia, Ukraine and France named five biological species in the name of Professor Efetov K. A. (Etroga efetovi, Zygaenoprocris efetovi, Chrysartona efetovi, Pseudarbudas efetovi, Turquoise d’Efetov), as well as the subgenus of living organisms  (Efetovia).

The findings received by the department staff are fixed in 800 scientific publications, including 15 monographs, 20 patents and author’s certificates. 14 post-doctoral and 55 Ph. D. theses were defended. At present, 1 post-doctoral and 3 Ph. D. theses are being written.

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