Anton A Komar, Ph.D.
A_KOMAR.jpg
 Title: Dir, GRHD and Professor
CMMS Director
 Dept: Biology, Geology, Environmental Science
 Office: SR 259, 258
 Phone: 216-687-2516
 Fax: 216-687-6972
 Email: A.KOMAR@csuohio.edu
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. SR 259, 258, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught

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Research Keywords:
Protein synthesis, ribosome structure and function, protein-folding, co-translational protein folding, de novo design of proteins, protein structure/function relationships, protein misfolding, yeast prion-like proteins, initiation of protein translation, internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements, silent (synonymous) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), codon usage, genetic code
 
Education:
M.S., Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Moscow State University, 1985
Ph.D., Molecular Biology, Moscow State University, 1991
 
Brief Bio:
I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Department of Molecular Biology at Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia). Since then my research was focused on various aspects of protein biosynthesis and folding.
 
Honors and Awards:
1985 Honors Diploma (summa cum laude), Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
1992 ISF (International Science Foundation) grant of support
1994 FEBS YTF (Youth Travel Fund) grant award to participate in the 3d Meeting "Young Scientist's View of Molecular Biotechnology" Ascona, Switzerland (February 13-19, 1994).
1994-1995 EMBO and FEBS short-term fellowships (awards) to work in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Rainer Jaenicke, University of Regensburg, Germany.
1995 ESF (European Science Foundation) support grant award to participate in the European research conference: "Protein Folding and Stability (Theoretical and experimental approaches)", San Feliu De Guixols, Spain, (April 8-13, 1995)
1995 Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) support grant award to participate in the "First European Symposium of the Protein Society", Davos, Switzerland (May 28 - June 1, 1995)
1998-2000 FRM (Medical Research Foundation) award to work at the CNRS Molecular Genetic Center, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
2006-2007 Reviewer of the grant proposals submitted to CRDF (U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation)
2007 American Heart Association (AHA) Southern & Ohio Valley Study Group Member
2007 Reviewer of the grant proposals submitted to Cancer Research UK
2007 Cleveland State University Merit Recognition Award in Research
2007-2011 Cleveland State University, Research Council Member
2008-2009 Editor, 2d edition, Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms - Methods and Protocols, in the "Methods in Molecular Biology" series, Springer/Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.
2008    American Heart Association (AHA) Grand Rivers Affiliate, Basic Cell & Molecular Biology Study Group Member
2008-present Reviewer of the grant proposals submitted to NSF (Biomolecular Systems Cluster, Cellular Systems Cluster, Genes and Genome Systems Cluster)
2008    Cleveland State University College of Science Outstanding Research Award
2009 Cleveland State University Merit Recognition Award in Research
2010 Reviewer of the grant proposals submitted to the California Department of Food and Agriculture  (CDFA)
2010-2011 American Heart Association (AHA) National and Affiliates Basic Cell - Proteins and Crystallography (PC) 1 Study Group Member
2010-2011 Reviewer of the grant proposals for the German Ministry of Education and Science and the NewEurasia Foundation
2011 Reviewer of the grant proposals for Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
2011 Reviewer of the grant proposals for the Czech National Academy of Sciences
2012 Reviewer of the grant proposals for the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)
2012 Reviewer of the grant proposals for the Foundation for Polish Science
2012 American Heart Association (AHA) National and Affiliates Basic Cell - Proteins and Crystallography (PC) 2 Study Group Member
2012-   "Translation" Editorial board member
2013 American Heart Association (AHA) National and Affiliates Basic Cell - Proteins and Crystallography (PC) 5 Study
 
Research Interests:
Our research is concerned with protein synthesis, protein folding and translational control of gene expression in eukaryotic cells. Research in the laboratory has 3 major foci:

1. We are interested in protein structure/function relationships and the rational protein design. Proteins are constructed in many cases from a number of structurally and/or functionally conserved modules that are genetically mobile and used repeatedly in the course of evolution. These modules may be sufficiently large so as to constitute an entire protein domain or as small as a short peptide composed of a few amino acids. We are in interested in the design of chimeric proteins with novel properties.

2. A large body of work in the laboratory is concerned with the mechanism of protein synthesis and translational control of gene expression in eukaryotic cells. Recent studies have pointed to the key role of translational control in regulating gene expression during development, differentiation, cell cycle progression, cell growth, apoptosis, and stress. Regulation of translation is mainly exerted at the initiation step of protein synthesis, thus allowing rapid modification of the overall rate of translation as well as post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression due to changes in the relative selection of different mRNA species utilizing different mechanisms of translation initiation. Assembly of the 80S ribosome at a start codon within the majority of eukaryotic mRNAs involves recruitment of the 40S ribosome (and associated initiation factors) to the mRNA 5'-end followed by ribosome scanning (in search of the initiation codon). However, it was shown that some mRNAs can be translated via internal initiation, a process that is generally independent of the recognition of the 5'-mRNA end and involves direct recruitment of the 40S ribosome to the vicinity of the initiation codon (directed by internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements). We are interested in the mechanism of the initiation of protein synthesis, the IRESs function and factors that affect IRESs activity. We are in particular interested in the structure and function of certain ribosomal proteins that may affect initiation of protein synthesis.

3. The research in the laboratory is further devoted to the co-translational protein folding and the impact of synonymous mutations on gene function and phenotype. The journey of nascent polypeptides from synthesis at the peptidyl transferase center of the ribosome  to full function involves multiple interactions, constraints, modifications and folding events. Each step of this journey impacts the ultimate expression level and functional capacity of the translated protein. It has become clear that the kinetics of protein translation is predominantly modulated by synonymous codon usage along the mRNA, and that this provides an active mechanism for coordinating the synthesis, maturation and folding of nascent polypeptides.
 
Teaching Areas:
Protein translation, protein folding. Protein misfolding and disease. Methods to study proteins and nucleic acids.
 
Professional Affiliations:
Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease and the
Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115
Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106
Center for RNA Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106
Department of Molecular Genetics, Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195
 
Professional Experience:
1987-1996 Research Scientist, Department of Molecular Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
1994-1995 EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) and FEBS (Federation of European Biochemical Societies) Fellow, University of Regensburg, Germany
1995 Consultant, (3 months), Pharmacia-Biotech, Moscow, Russia
1995-1996 Research Associate, Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia
1996-2007 Senior Research Scientist, Department of Molecular Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
1996-1998 Research Associate, CNRS Molecular Genetic Center, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
1998-2000 FRM (Medical Research Foundation) Fellow, CNRS Molecular Genetic Center, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
2000-2001 Assistant (I-class), Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bern, Bern Switzerland
2001-2005 Senior Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
2005- Consultant/Member, Healthcare Council, Gerson Lehrman Group Inc., New York, NY
2005-present Adjunct Professor, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
2005-2013 Associate Professor, Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences, Cleveland State University, OH
2008-present Co-founding member, Member of the planning committee, Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-2214.
2008-present Biology Graduate Program Director, Director of the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Specialization of the joined graduate programs between Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland State University.
2010-present Adjunct member Center for RNA Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
2010-2012 Associate Chair, Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences, Cleveland State University, OH
2011-present Adjunct Staff, Department of Molecular Genetics, Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic
2013-present Professor, Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences, Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease, Cleveland State University, OH
 
University Service:
2005-2006 Organizer of the Departmental seminar series "Fluorescence and Autoradiography Imaging on Typhoon: Principles and Applications"
2006 Member, Search Committee for BGES Asst Professor Position (Cell Molecular Search).
2006 Member, Search Committee Fenn College of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Asst Professor Position, (BioSensors).
2006 Judge Student Interdisciplinary Symposium April 29, 2006 (CSU/CCF, Case, Kent, Akron).
2006-2007 Coordinator, Cell and Molecular Biology Seminar
2007 Member, Search Committee Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship (CSU BGES).
2007  Member, Search Committee College of Science Grant Writer/Administrator Search
2007- Cleveland State University, Research Council Member
2007  Member, Search Committee Cleveland State University Vice President for Research
2008  Member, Cleveland State University Committee Task Force on Excellence and Engagement
2008-2010 Member, Cleveland State University Senate (since 2009 member of the steering committee)
2010-2012 Cleveland State University, Member of the Research Challenge Committee appointed by VP of Research.
2010-2012 Chair Peer Review Committee (PRC) for promotion and tenure, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
 
Professional Service:
Ad hoc reviewer: Amino Acids, Bioinformatics, Biophysical Journal, Biotechnology Journal, BMC Genomics, BMC Microbiology, BMC Structural Biology, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, Cell Cycle, Clinical Medicine, Chemical Communications, FEBS Journal, Integrative Biology, Journal of American Chemical Society, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of General and Molecular Virology, Molecules, Molecular Biology Reports, Molecular Biosystems, Molecular Biotechnology, Nature Reviews Genetics, Nucleic Acids Research, Oncogene, Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine, PloS One, RSC Advances, RNA, RNA biology, Science, Translation
 
Research Grants:
Active:

American Heart Association (2013-2015): Komar A.A. PI
"Comparative study of nonsynonymous and synonymous mutations causing hemophilia B".

HFSP RGP0024 (2010-2014): Komar A.A. PI, Rodnina M.V. (Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany) Co-PI, Schwalbe H. (Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Germany), Co-PI.
"Structure of nascent peptides and kinetic control of co-translational folding on the ribosome"


Recently completed:

Ohio Third Frontier | Ohio Research Scholars Program (ORSP) 2010-2012: Komar A.A. PI , Sen G. PI (Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic) "Functional characterization of the human viral stress-induced proteins P56 and P54 - key players in host defense against viral infection able to cause acute Myocarditis"


American Heart Association (2007-2010): Komar A.A. PI
"Novel approach to create chimeric proteins for therapeutic applications".