Secretariat Time Programme
Daily
12:00 - 13:30

sfe

Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology
The Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology was created in 2003. Today, it has three faculty members who participate in 5 undergraduate and 5 post-graduate courses and supervise the research work of three post-doctoral fellows, three postgraduate students and the diploma work of several undergraduate students.
We are in close collaboration with several Universities and Research Institutes, both national and international. We are performing research in aspects related to Immunology, Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology, Genetics and Pharmacogenomics, which are funded from several research programs.

Research Team
Faculty members
George Patrinos, Assoc. Prof.  (Pharmacogenetics) ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , tel 2610-962339  962368)
Konstantinos Poulas, Assoc. Prof. (Biochemistry) ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , tel: 2610 969953  962354)
Post-Doctoral Researchers: 3
Graduate Students: 4

Molecular Biology & Neurobiology Group
(K. Poulas)

The group is working mainly on the human nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) and on diseases in which these receptors are involved. AChRs are a family of membrane proteins located in many synapses, either in the nervous system (central and peripheral) or in the neuromuscular junctions, mediating neuromuscular transmission. Their importance in physiology and pathology and the fact that they have been extensively studied, renders the AChRs a model for neurotransmitter receptor molecules.

Research Activities/Expertise
Understanding the autoimmune disease Myasthenia Gravis; Heterologous expression of AChR domains; Structure and function of nAChR; Structural studies of the extracellular domains of human AchR’s; Mass production and purification of recombinant proteins; Crystallization and crystallographic analysis of proteins; Molecular modeling.

Funded Projects

  • Ministry of education, «PITHAGORAS» Structural studies of recombinant extracellular domains of AChR, 2004-2006, (In collaboration with G. Spyroulias)
  • Ministry of Employment, EQUAL II: Development of a distance learning platform for people suffering from myasthenia gravis, 2005 – 2007
  • University of Patras, Project «Karatheodoris»: Structural studies of AChR, 2005 – 2007
  • MDA-Hellas. Myasthenia gravis studies, 2004 - 2006
  • PENED 2003 Study of extracellular domains of AChR, 2005-2008
  • PEP W. GREECE Innovative therapeutics, 2006-2008 (In collaboration with P. Cordopatis, A. Papapetropoulos and G. Spyroulias)


Recent Publications

  • P. Zisimopoulou, G. Lagoumintzis, K. Poulas and S. Tzartos, Antigen-specific apheresis of anti-AChR antibodies from MG patients’ sera using E.coli-expressed AChR domains, J. Neuroimmmunol., 200: 133 (2008).
  • M. Zouridakis, P.  Zisimopoulou, E. Eliopoulos, K. Poulas ans S.J. Tzartos, Design and expression of human α7 AChR extracellular domain mutants with enhanced solubility and ligand-binding, BBA, 1794:355 (2009).
  • M. Konstantakaki, S.J. Tzartos, K. Poulas, and E. Eliopoulos, Molecular modeling of the complex between Torpedo acetylcholine receptor and anti-MIR Fab198, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 356:569 (2007).
  • S. Sideris, G. Lagoumintzis, G. Kordas, K. Kostelidou, A. Sotiriadis, K. Poulas and S.J. Tzartos,Isolation and functional characterization of anti-acetylcholine receptor subunit-specific autoantibodies from myasthenic patients: receptor loss in cell culture, J. Neuroimmunol., 189:111 (2007).
  • V. Avramopoulou, A. Mamalaki and S.J. Tzartos, Soluble, oligomeric and ligand-binding extracellular domain of human alpha7 acetylcholine receptor expressed in yeast. Replacement of the hydrophobic cys-loop by the hydrophilic loop of ACh-binding protein enhances protein solubility, J. Biol. Chem., 279: 38287 (2004).
  • S. Poea-Guyon, P. Christadoss, R. Lepanse, T. Guyon, M. De Baets, A. Wakkach,  J. Bidault, S. Tzartos, and S. Berrih-Aknin, Effects of cytokines on AChR expression. Implications for myasthenia gravis, J. Immunol., 174: 5941 (2005).

 

Genetics & Pharmacogenomics Group
(G. Patrinos)

Our long-term goal is to identify the genes involved in differentially increasing Hb F levels upon HU treatment in groups of β-thalassemia patients, categorized based on the levels of Hb F levels induction upon HU treatment in order to: (a) provide insights as to which genes and regulatory pathways are involved in the differentially elevated Hb F levels in the two groups of patients and (b) lead to the identification of new protein factors, which bind to the γ-globin promoter or other regulatory regions in the human β-globin gene locus, and hence are involved in the up- or down-regulation of the γ-globin genes expression, which will initiate further studies and larger-scale clinical trials to develop alternative β-thalassemia therapeutics. Similarly, we aim to identify putative pharmacogenetic markers to determine response to lithium treatment in bipolar disease patients.  Finally, we continue to pursue development of National/Ethnic genetic databases to document the vast genetic heterogeneity of various populations worldwide.
The group is in constant collaboration with the Erasmus University Medical Center (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), the University of Cagliari (Cagliari, Italy), the University of Athens, the University of Malta Medical School (Malta) and the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (Nicosia, Cyprus).

Research Activities/Expertise

  • Pharmacogenomics of response to HU treatment in hemoglobinopathies patients
  • Pharmacogenomics of response to lithium treatment in bipolar disease patients
  • Developmental regulation of human fetal globin genes expression
  • Development of National/Ethnic genetic databases.


Funded Projects

  • FP7-2008-HEALTH, “GEN2PHEN” (200574) Partner 9, Co-investigator and Steering committee member.
  • RPF-2006, HU-PHARMGKB (ΠΔΕ-02), Principal investigator.
  • FP6-2006-INFRA, “ITHANET” (026539), Partner 8, Co-investigator.


Recent publications

  • Z. Polymenidis and G.P. Patrinos, Towards a hybrid model for the cryopreservation of umbilical cord blood stem cells, Nature Rev. Cancer, 8: 823 (2008).
  • Z. Chen, H.Y. Luo, R.K. Basran, T.H. Hsu, D.W. Mang, L. Nuntakam, C.G. Rosenfield,  G.P. Patrinos, R.C. Hardison, M.H. Steinberg and D.H. Chui, A T>G transversion at nt –567 upstream of HBG2 in a GATA-1 binding motif is associated with elevated Hb F. Mol. Cell. Biol., 28: 4386 (2008).
  • J.M. Chen, D.N. Cooper, N. Chuzhanova, C. Ferec and G.P. Patrinos, Gene conversion: Mechanisms, evolution and human disease, Nature Rev. Genet, 8: 762 (2007).
  • S. van Baal, P. Kaimakis, M. Phommarinh, D. Koumbi, H. Cuppens, F. Riccardino, M. Jr Macek, C.R. Scriver and G.P. Patrinos, FINDbase: A relational database recording frequencies of genetic defects leading to inherited disorders worldwide, Nucleic Acids Res., 35: D690, (2007).