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LABORATORY OF PHOTOBIOCHEMISTRY



Head of Laboratory:

    Vitaly Viktorovich Nikandrov, Ph.D.,
    tel.:  +7(495)-954-4008
    e-mail: nikandrov AT inbi.ras.ru

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General description of the Laboratory:
    The laboratory was established in 1945 by the initiative of Academicians A.N. Bach and A.N. Terenin. Professor A.A.Krasnovsky, Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences was the head of the laboratory until 1993.
    The studies on molecular mechanisms of light energy conversion in model systems performed in the laboratory of photobiochemistry formed a basis for a new line in biocatalysis research - photocatalysis under the coupled action of photochemical and enzymic systems. The other problems facing the laboratory are the elucidation of the mechanisms biosynthesis of inorganic semiconductor, obtaining information on the photo-physical and photochemical properties of biosynthesized semiconductor nanocrystals and on the participation of the inorganic semiconductors in the constructive and destructive photoprocesses taking place in biochemical and biological systems. The studies of the mechanisms of the photobichemical reactions involving inorganic semiconductors are important for the search of new methods of solar energy accumulation, light regulation of the intracellular processes, the methods of protection against the destructive action of light, for the development of the new nanophototechnologies and technologies of the synthesis of nanosized photobiocatalysts.
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Areas of interest:
    1. Biocatalysis under the mediatorless coupled action of semiconductor nanocrystals and enzymes. Synthesis and characterization of nanosized biophotocatalysts. Study of the photocatalytic properties of the complexes of semiconductor nanocrystals with enzymes.
    2. Preparation and characterization of the complexes of semiconductor nanocrystals with proteins
    3. Study of the mechanisms of biosynthesis of inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals. Study of photo-physical and photochemical properties of biosynthesized semiconductor nanocrystals
    4. Study of light action on the microorganisms synthesizing of semiconductor nanocrystals.
    5. Study of the mechanisms of phototodynamic action of semiconductor nanocrystals.
    6. Study of the mechanisms of photoreactions with participation of ferritin.

    Main projects:
    -Inorganic semiconductor nanoparticles as photosensitisers in biochemical and biological systems (2002-2004)
    -The photocatalytic properties of peptide- and protein-capped inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals (2001-2005)

    Current projects:
    -Development of photobiocatalytic technologies on the basis of pigment -protein complexes, semiconductor nanoparticles and enzymes
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Main achievements:
    1. A new phenomenon- photocatalysis under the mediatorless coupled action of a semiconductor and an enzyme was discovered. Hydrogen photoproduction and NAD+, NADP+ photoreduction were shown under the coupled action of inorganic semiconductors (TiO2, ZnO, CdS) and oxydoreductases (hydrogenase or dehydrogenase). It was found that the system inorganic semiconductor - enzyme is able to catalyze oxidation-reduction reactions due to semiconductor-photosensitized oxidation of the electron donor and enzyme-catalyzed reduction of the substrate-electron acceptor with the use of the electrons photogenerated in the conductivity zone of the semiconductor. It was found that metals (Cd, Pb, Ag), photodeposited on CdS crystals activated of the transfer of electrons from the semiconductor to oxydoreductases. Photocatalytic systems for light energy conversion into hydrogen including inorganic semiconductors (TiO2, ZnO, CdS) as photosensitizers and hydrogenase or bacterial cells as H2-producing catalysts have been developed.
    2. It was found that cadmium and lead metals could be used by oxydoreductases as substrate - electron donors. The new mechanism for the action of hydrogenases in metal corrosion was proposed. According to the proposed mechanism, hydrogenase accelerates the corrosion of a metal through the catalysis of hydrogen production coupled to the metal oxidation. (Performed in collaboration with the laboratory of engineering enzymology).
    3. The photocatalytic properties of mammalian ferritin were investigated. It was shown that ferritin sensitized the photoreduction of cytochrome c and viologens as well as the photooxidation of carboxylic acids and thiol compounds. The photochemically active element of ferritin is its mineral semiconductor core. The transient absorption spectra in the region from 400 nm up to 900 nm and the relaxation dynamics in the femtosecond and picosecond time domain of the ferritin mineral core and α- iron oxides nanoparticles were reported.
    4. It was revealed, that cadmium sulfide nanocrystals could be synthesized using some proteines and enzymes as capping and stabilizing agents. The photochemical activity of protein-capped CdS nanocrystals was shown.
    5. The biosynthesis of inorganic semiconductor cadmium sulfide in the culture of Nostoc muscorum was discovered. Microcrystals and nanoparticles of CdS are produced on the mucilaginous capsules at the presence of cadmium ions in the culturel medium. The heterotrophic bacterium associated to slimy sheath of cyanobacterium Nostoc muscorum were isolated. On the basis of 16S ribosomal RNA sequence analysis the bacterium was identified as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. S. maltophilia is cadmium tolerant. The data indicating the ability of S. maltophilia to produce CdS semiconductor nanoparticles were obtained.
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Cooperates:
    The laboratory cooperates with research teams both in Russia an abroad, in particular with Laboratory of laser spectroscopy, Institute of Chemical Physics, RAS , Prof. O.M.Sarkisov, Laboratory of kinetic spectroscopy of elementary processes, Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics RAS, Dr. Nadtochenko V. A., Biophysics Department, Moscow State University, Dr. P.P. Knox, Laboratory of biochemistry and biotechnology of phototrophic microorganisms, Institute of Basic Biological Problems, RAS, Prof. Gogotov I. N., Dr. Zorin N.A., Laboratory for Photonics and Interfaces, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Prof. Michael Gratzel, Dr. John Kiwi, Prof. Jaques-E. Moser.
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Main grants:
    02.435.11.2018
    Development of photobiocatalytic technologies on the basis of pigment -protein complexes, semiconductor nanoparticles and enzymes, (2005-2006).
    RFBR 02-04-49131.
    Inorganic semiconductor nanoparticles as photosensitisers in biochemical and biological systems (2002-2004).
    RFBR 99-04-49428.
    Mechanisms of photoreactions with the participation of inorganic semiconductors in biological systems (1999-2001).
    INTAS 2000-0554.
    The photocatalytic properties of peptide- and protein-capped inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals (2001-2004).
    INTAS-94-0642.
    Optimization of parameters intervening in the construction of an ergonomic reactor efficient in the degradation of industrial pollutants (1995-1998).
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Last review: 17 June, 2006
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