Anton A Komar, Ph.D.
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 Title: Dir, GRHD and Professor
CMMS Director
 Dept: Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
 Office: SR 259, 258
 Phone: 216-687-2516
 Fax: 216-687-6972
 Email: A.KOMAR@csuohio.edu
 Web: http://www.csuohio.edu/grhd/faculty/anton-komar
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. SR 259, 258, Cleveland, OH 44115

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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
1994-1995 EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) and FEBS (Federation of European Biochemical Societies) Fellowships/Awards.
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, (8-13 April, 1995)
1998-2000 FRM (French Medical Research Foundation) Fellowship Award
2007 Cleveland State University Merit Recognition Award in Research
2008 Cleveland State University, College of Science Outstanding Research Award
2009 Cleveland State University, Merit Recognition Award in Research
2013 Cleveland State University, Merit Recognition Award in Research
2016 Cleveland State University, Merit Recognition Award in Research
 
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
Genomic Medicine Institute, Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195
 
Professional Experience:
1987-1996 Research Scientist, Department of Molecular Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, USSR
1994-1995 EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) and FEBS (Federation of European Biochemical Societies) Fellow, University of Regensburg, Germany
1995-1996 Research Associate, Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Moscow Region, 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 to Prof. Dr. Hans Trachsel, 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
2005-2008 Associate Professor, Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
2005- Adjunct Faculty, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
2008-2013 Associate Professor with tenure, Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
2008- Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, DAPCEL, Inc. Cleveland, OH.
2008- Co-founding Member, Member of the planning committee Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
2010- 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, Cleveland, OH
2011-2015 Adjunct Staff, Department of Molecular Genetics, Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
2013- Professor, Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences, Cleveland State University, OH
2013 Fall Sabbatical: Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
2014- Director, Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
2015- Adjunct Staff, Genomic Medicine Institute, Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
 
University Service:
2008-2013 Graduate Program Director, Regulatory Biology
2008-present Director of the Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMMS) Specialization
2009-present Member of the Research Challenge Committee (RCC), Cleveland State University
2010-2012 Associate Chair, Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences
2010-2013 Chair Peer Review Committee (PRC) for promotion and tenure, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
 
Professional Service:
2012- Editorial Board Member: "Translation"
2014- Editorial Board Member: "Scientific Reports" Nature Publishing Group (NPG) journal
 
Research Grants:
Active:
NSF HRD 1306185 (2015-2019) Komar A.A. (Co-PI):
"Collaborative Research: AGEP-T: Northern Ohio AGEP Alliance (NOA-AGEP)"

NIH HL121779    (2014-2017) Komar A.A. (PI)
"Understanding the impact of disease causing mutations in FIX"

AHA GIA 13GRNT17070025 (2013-2016): Komar A.A. (PI)
"Comparative study of nonsynonymous and synonymous mutations causing hemophilia B".

Recently completed:
HFSP RGP0024 (2010-2014): Komar A.A. (PI), Rodnina M.V. (Max Planck Institute for 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"

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"

AHA SDG 0730120N (2007-2010): Komar A.A. (PI)
"Novel approach to create chimeric proteins for therapeutic applications".