Miropolskaya Nataliya Aleksandrovna | Institute of Molecular Genetics

Miropolskaya Nataliya Aleksandrovna

Academic degree:
Doctor of Philosophy (Biology)

Academic title:
without academic rank

Division of IMG:
Laboratory of molecular genetics of microorganisms

Senior Researcher



Main research interests

Research interests: bacterial transcription and gene regulation, replication mechanisms and low fidelity eukaryotic DNA polymerases.
The main area of my scientific interests is molecular mechanisms of transcription and its regulation in bacteria. One of the most important directions of research is analysis of the catalytic mechanisms of bacterial RNA polymerase and study of its interactions with nucleic acids at different steps of transcription. In particular, I studied transcription initiation by RNA polymerases from Escherichia coli and Thermus aquaticus and found RNAP elements responsible for interspecific differences in promoter recognition. I also described a novel promoter element that plays an important role in transcription initiation in thermophilic bacteria. I compared catalytic mechanisms of T. aquaticus and D. radiodurans RNAPs and characterized the elements of the active that modulate nucleotide addition and RNA cleavage by these RNAPs. In particular, it was found that changes in the F-loop and the trigger loop can determine inter-specific differences in RNAP catalysis, which can be further modulated by transcription factors.
An important goal of my work is development of aptamers and synthetic ligands to RNA polymerase. I characterized single-stranded DNA aptamers that bind RNA polymerase with high affinity and specificity and inhibit its activity. This makes aptamers promising compounds for the development of new antibacterial agents and therapies.

Awards, achievements, memberships

2015 – stipend L'oreal-UNESCO «For Women in Science»
2012 – Academia Europaea Award for young scientists, Moscow
2012 – grant UMNIK, Science and Innovation Competition for young scientists, Moscow
2010-2011 – scholarship of the Dynasty Foundation for young scientists, Moscow
2008 and 2011 – FEBS short-time fellowships, visiting Institute of Biotechnology, Vilnius
2009 and 2011 – stipend for young researchers of the Foundation "Future of Molecular Genetics", Institute of Molecular Genetics, Moscow


  1. Makarova A.V., Ignatov A., Miropolskaya N., Kulbachinskiy A. 2014. Roles of the active site residues and metal cofactors in noncanonical base-pairing during catalysis by human DNA polymerase iota. DNA Repair (Amst). 22: 67-76.
  2. Miropolskaya N., Esyunina D., Klimašauskas S., Nikiforov V., Artsimovitch I., Kulbachinskiy A. 2014. Interplay between the trigger loop and the F loop during RNA polymerase catalysis. Nucl. Acids Res. 42: 544-552.
  3. Miropolskaya N., Ignatov A., Bass I., Zhilina E., Pupov D., Kulbachinskiy A. 2012. Distinct functions of regions 1.1 and 1.2 of RNA polymerase s subunits from Escherichia coli and Thermus aquaticus in transcription initiation. J. Biol. Chem. 287(28): 23779-23789.
  4. Berdygulova Zh., Esyunina D., Miropolskaya N., Mukhamedyarov D., Kuznedelov K., Nickels B.E., Severinov K., Kulbachinskiy A., Minakhin L. 2012. A novel phage-encoded transcription antiterminator acts by suppressing pausing by bacterial RNA polymerase. Nucleic Acids Res. 40(9): 4052-4063.
  5. Жилина Е.В., Миропольская Н.А., Басс И.А., Бродолин К.Л., Кульбачинский А.В. 2011. Особенности формирования s-зависимых пауз транскрипции РНК-полимеразами Escherichia coli и Thermus aquaticus. Биохимия т. 76: 1348-1358.
  6. Miropolskaya N., Nikiforov V., Klimasauskas S., Artsimovitch I.,  Kulbachinskiy A. 2010. Modulation of RNA polymerase activity through trigger loop folding. Transcription 1: 89 – 94.
  7. Pupov D., Miropolskaya N., Sevostyanova A., Bass I., Artsimovitch I., Kulbachinskiy A. 2010. Multiple roles of the RNA polymerase b¢ SW2 region in transcription initiation, promoter escape, and RNA elongation. Nucl. Acids Res. 38: 5784-5796.
  8. Miropolskaya N., Artsimovitch I., Klimasauskas S., Nikiforov V., Kulbachinskiy A. 2009. Allosteric control of catalysis by the F-loop of RNA polymerase. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 106: 18942-18947.
  9. Barinova N., Kuznedelov K., Severinov K., Kulbachinskiy A. 2008. Structural modules of RNA polymerase required for transcription from promoters containing downstream basal promoter element GGGA. J. Biol. Chem. 283: 22482-22489.
  10. Пупов Д.В., Баринова Н.А., Кульбачинский А.В. 2008. Анализ РНК-расщепляющей активности РНК-полимераз E. coli и D. radiodurans. Биохимия. т. 73: 903 – 908.
  11. Barinova N., Zhilina E., Bass I., Nikiforov V., Kulbachinskiy A. 2008. Lineage-specific amino acid substitutions in region 2 of the RNA polymerase s subunit affect the temperature of promoter opening. J. Bacteriol. 190: 3088-3092.
  12. Sevostyanova A, Feklistov A, Barinova N, Heyduk E, Bass I, Klimasauskas S, Heyduk T, Kulbachinskiy A. 2007. Specific recognition of the -10 promoter element by the free RNA polymerase sigma subunit. J. Biol. Chem. 282: 22033-22039.
  13. Feklistov A., Barinova N., Sevostyanova A., Heyduk E., Bass I., Vvedenskaya I., Kuznedelov K., Merkienė E., Stavrovskaya E., Klimašauskas S., Nikiforov V., Heyduk T., Severinov K., Kulbachinskiy A. 2006. A basal promoter element recognized by free RNA polymerase sigma subunit determines promoter recognition by RNA polymerase holoenzyme. Mol. Cell. 23: 97-107.