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Contract number
Time span of the project

As of 30.01.2020

Number of staff members
scientific publications
Objects of intellectual property
General information

Name of the project: Identification of genes responsible for brain functions and pathologies based on experimental research and bioinformatics reconstruction of genetic networks of neurobiological processes

Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development Priority Level: в

Goals and objectives

Research directions: Neurobiology, genetics, bioinformatics, evolutionary genomics, psychiatry

Project objective: Identifying genes and polymorphic variations of genes responsible for and central nervous system (CNS) functions and pathologies based on experimental research and bioinformatics reconstruction of genetic networks of neurobiological processes

The practical value of the study

  • For the first time we have sequenced the full genome of fox and conducted reconstruction of the full genome sequence of fox genome. We have conducted primary sequencing of genomes of foxes with friendly and aggressive behavior towards humans and comparison of levels of expressions of their genes. We have isolated candidate genes carrying mutations or expression changes in brains of foxes with changes of behavior.
  • Our researchers have conducted genome and functional analysis of a member of a special groups of maritime animals – comb jellies (in collaboration with the University of Florida and international group of scientists). Result of this research have laid a basis for a new perception of evolutionary formation and development of nervous system in living organisms (formation of «mini-brain») and formation of the most ancient (basal) phylogenetic branch of the animal world.
  • For the first time we have found a group of animals that do not have classical regulators – microRNA. Results of this work were published in the Nature journal.
  • We have conducted investigation of mitochondrial DNA extracted from skeletons of ancient humans found in Siberia. Our team has come to a conclusion that Indians of North America originated from Siberian ancestors. Results of this work were published in the Nature journal.
  • Our researchers have analyzed microRNA genes of «archaic» members of the Homo genus: «Denisovans» and «Neanderthals» using methods of bioinformatics. We have found mutations in microRNA genes regulating activity of specific genes in prenatal and postnatal periods of brain development. Differences in regulation of these genes could potentially contribute to biological and cultural differences between the modern Homo sapiens sapiens and archaic people.
  • We have proposed an approach to analysis of «plasticity» of gene promoters and their evolution using methods of bioinformatics. On the basis of analysis of promoters of all the genes expressed in brain neurons we have come to a conclusion concerning specific evolution of promoters towards increase of «plasticity» (or norm of reaction) of regulation of activity of these genes specifically in the human line but not in other primates.

Education and career development:

  • We have developed 3 new courses for postgraduates: «Human genetics», «Bioinformatics», «Mathematical biology».

Collaborations: University of Massachusetts Medical School (USA), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (Germany), Centre for Genomic Regulation (Spain): joint research.

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Gunbin K.V., Ponomarenko M.P., Suslov V.V., Gusev F., Fedonin G.G., Rogaev E.I.
Evolution of Brain Active Gene Promoters in Human Lineage Towards the Increased Plasticity of Gene Regulation. Molecular Neurobiology 55(3): 1871–1904 (2018).
Ponomarenko P., Chadaeva I., Rasskazov D.A., Sharypova E, Kashina E.V., Drachkova I., Zhechev D., Ponomarenko M.P., Savinkova L.K., Kolchanov N.
Candidate SNP Markers of Familial and Sporadic Alzheimer's Diseases Are Predicted by a Significant Change in the Affinity of TATA-Binding Protein for Human Gene Promoters. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 9: 231 (2017).
Andreeva T.V., Tyazhelova T.V., Rykalina V.N., Gusev F.E., Goltsov A.Y., Zolotareva O.I., Aliseichik M.P., Borodina T.A., Grigorenko A.P., Reshetov D.A., Ginter E.K., Amelina S.S., Zinchenko R.A., Rogaev E.I.
Whole Exome Sequencing Links Dental Tumor to an Autosomal-Dominant Mutation in ANO5 Gene Associated with Gnathodiaphyseal Dysplasia and Muscle Dystrophies. Scientific Reports 6(26440): 10–1038 (2016).
Stefanova N.A., Maksimova K.Yi., Kiseleva E., Rudnitskaya E.A., Muraleva N.A., and Kolosova N.G.
Melatonin Attenuates Impairments of Structural Hippocampal Neuroplasticity in OXYS Rats During Active Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease-Like Pathology. Journal of Pineal Research 59(2): 163–177 (2015).
Other laboratories and scientists
Hosting organization
Field of studies
Invited researcher
Time span of the project
Laboratory of Revolutionary Trophology

A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of RAS - (IEE RAS)



Gisbert Enric Casas



Laboratory for Statistical Multi-omics and Bio-informatics

Ufa Federal Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences



Prokopenko Inga Anatoliyevna

United Kingdom


Research Laboratory «‎Regulatory Genomics»

Kazan Federal University - (KFU)



Hayashizaki Yoshihide