Molecular Biology, Institute of

Molecular Biology, Institute of

 

(Institute of Molecular Biology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR [AN SSSR]), the chief research establishment in the USSR in molecular biology.

The Institute of Molecular Biology was organized in 1957. (Until 1965, it was known as the Institute of Radiation and Physicochemical Biology.) Its founder and director is V. A. Engel’gardt. Research done at the institute focuses on the transmission and realization of genetic information, the molecular mechanisms of protein biosynthesis, the chemical and physical bases of enzyme activity, the connection between the structure and functions in the cell of nucleic acids and proteins, and the macromolecular organization of chromosomes. The institute is also involved in developing physical methods of investigating macromolecules.

The primary structure of two transfer ribonucleic acids (tRN A) have been deciphered at the institute, and a theory of the regulation of function of the genome in higher organisms has been formulated and experimentally substantiated there. The order of amino acids in a large enzyme-protein molecule, aspartate aminotransferase, was also determined for the first time in the USSR at the institute. (Researchers at the M. M. Shemiakin Institute of Bio-organic Chemistry of the AN SSSR contributed to this discovery.) New approaches for studying the structure of the active centers of enzymes (inhibitory analysis) and the functional sections of RNA (the “sectioned molecule” method), as well as new methods for investigating the structure of proteins and nucleic acids, have been developed at the Institute of Molecular Biology.

The Institute of Molecular Biology had 13 laboratories by the beginning of 1973. In cooperation with the Scientific Council on Molecular Biology of the AN SSSR, the institute organizes international conferences and symposia. The work of scientists at the institute is published in the journals Molekuliarnaia biologiia (Molecular Biology; since 1967), Biokhimiia (Biochemistry; since 1936), Tsitologiia (Cytology; since 1959), Doklady AN SSSR (Reports of the AN SSSR; since 1933), and Biofizika (Biophysics; since 1956). Research papers by scientists associated with the institute are published abroad in the journals Biochemica et biophysica acta (New York-Amsterdam, since 1947), FEBS Letters (Amsterdam, since 1968), and the European Journal of Biochemistry (Berlin; since 1967). In addition, they are published in collections and as monographs.

REFERENCE

Institut molekuliarnoi biologii. Moscow, 1971.

M. IA. TIMOFEEVA

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