Dmitri Kudryashov

Mentor Faculty
Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry


Research Description:

Actin is one of the most abundant and functionally versatile proteins on the planet. As a major component of the cytoskeleton, actin is involved in muscle contraction, organelle transport, and closure of the contractile ring, as well as in exo- and endocytosis, cell division, migration, invasion, and other cellular processes of high physiological and pathological relevance. One of our projects focuses on deciphering molecular mechanisms of the actin cytoskeleton organization by actin binding proteins (e.g., plastins) into high order structures (e.g., bundles and meshworks) and on the regulation of viscoelastic properties of such actin assemblies (Schwebach et al., 2017, JMB 429: 2490-2508).

As a target for many proteins and small molecule toxins produced by bacterial and viral pathogens, actin is intrinsically involved in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. We seek an in-depth understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the hijacking of the host cell actin cytoskeleton by pathogenic toxins (Heisler et al., 2015 Science. 349:535-9).

Next, we are working on converting bacterial and plant protein toxins into tools for safe and effective targeting cancer cells and tools for cell biology. Finally, we are interested in elucidating mechanisms employed by human immune peptides (defensins) for versatile inactivation of a broad range of bacterial and virus proteins (Kudryashova et al., 2014 Immunity (Cell). 41:709-21).

To accomplish our goals we employ highly interdisciplinary biochemical, biophysical, and cell biology approaches, including but not limited to methods of fluorescence spectroscopy, calorimetry, mass spectrometry, conventional and cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography, and single molecule imaging.

  • Ph.D., Russian Academy of Medical Services, 2000

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