ISSN 1022-7954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2008, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 244–245. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2008.
Original Russian Text © the Editorial Board, 2008, published in Genetika, 2008, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 287–288.
Georgy Pavlovich Georgiev is a founder of molecu-
lar biology and molecular genetics of eukaryotes. His
scientiﬁc interests appeared as early as during the stu-
dentship and were connected with completely new and
hard-to-study issue—structure and function of animal
and human hereditary machinery. Having deliberately
chosen the molecular research into genetic machinery
of higher organisms, Georgiev obtained already at the
early stages of his scientiﬁc work many outstanding
results, some of which were only later conﬁrmed by
other researchers. As a scientist, Georgiev was always
attracted by a wide range of problems and, although the
accents changed at different stages of his activities, suc-
ceeded in obtaining impressive results in each ﬁeld.
Georgiev defended his doctor of biology disserta-
tion being 29 years old, headed a laboratory at 30, and
was elected a corresponding member of the USSR
Academy of Sciences at the age of 37 and academician,
at 54. Georgiev was the ﬁrst of the Russian scientists to
be elected to the Academy of Europe; he is also a mem-
ber of the Academy of Leopoldina, Norwegian and
Spanish Academies, an associated member of the Euro-
pean Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and
laureate of the Lenin Prize and State Prizes of the
USSR and Russia.
In no way providing a complete description, we
would like to note the following most essential achieve-
ments of Georgiev that determined the development of
several independent directions in molecular biology
and molecular genetics.
1960: Using electron microscopy, it was for the ﬁrst
time demonstrated that eukaryotic cells contain a
nuclear skeleton (nuclear matrix) to which DNA is
attached; as has been shown later, this DNA corre-
sponds to replicons.
1961: Discovery of high-molecular-weight nuclear
precursors of messenger RNA (pre-mRNA and DNA-
like RNA) and development of the concept of pre-
mRNA conversion into mature cytoplasmic mRNA,
during which the main part of pre-mRNA fragments in
the nucleus degrade.
1965: Discovery of nuclear ribonucleoprotein
(RNP) particles and determination of their native struc-
ture (1968); their organization pattern appeared com-
mon for other structures, in particular, nucleosomes.
1976–1977: Discovery of various classes of mobile
genetic elements in animals, such as drosophila MDG
and mouse B1 and B2 retroposons.
During the recent years, Georgiev concentrated his
research activities on the problems connected with the
molecular basis of tumor metastasis and cancer geno-
1993: Discovery of the gene
and its role in
tumor metastasis; the mechanisms underlying the
metastasis stimulation by the protein product of this
gene were determined. It was found that they com-
prised activation of angiogenesis, increase in cell
mobility due to the interaction with the heavy chain of
nonmuscle myosin, and disaggregation of tumor cells
due to inhibition of the protein E-cadherin production.
2000: Discovery of the family of antitumor defense
genes and their protein products,
(TagL). Introduction of the genetic constructs produc-
ing Tag7 protein into tumor cells drastically slows the
tumor growth and frequently leads to tumor resolution.
The mechanisms underlying the antitumor action of
Tag7 protein were demonstrated. This is a secreted pro-
tein with a chemokine activity towards antigen-present-
ing cells. It stimulates the maturation of dendritic cells,
and, in complex with the heat shock protein HSP-70,
displays a cytotoxic effect on a number of tumor cells.
The interaction between the Tag7 on lymphocyte sur-
Georgy Pavlovich Georgiev:
To the 75th Anniversary