Alexander Sergeevich Spirin

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Alexander Sergejewitsch Spirin ( Russian Александр Сергеевич Спирин ; born September 4, 1931 in Koroljow ; † December 30, 2020 ) was a Russian biochemist and molecular biologist .


Spirin studied biochemistry at Lomonossow University with a doctorate in 1957. At the AN Bach Institute for Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences, he was a student of Andrei Nikolajewitsch Belosersky . In 1962 he completed his habilitation (Russian doctorate) and in 1964 he became a professor. He taught at Lomonosov University , where he became head of molecular biology in 1973, succeeding Belozersky, who died in 1972, which he remained until 2012. Until 2001 he was director of the Institute for Protein Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Pushino, which he founded in 1967.

He was one of the pioneers in molecular biology and molecular genetics, and specifically protein biosynthesis, in the Soviet Union. With Beloserski he undertook a comparative study of DNA and RNA in bacteria in 1957 and predicted m-RNA . Also in 1957 he discovered non-coding RNA. From 1959 to 1963 he formulated basic principles for the macromolecular structure of RNA. In the 1960s he discovered structural changes (structure from subunits) in the ribosomes of cells and discovered their artificial self- assembly . In 1968 he proposed a molecular mechanism for the role of ribosomes in protein synthesis and in the first half of the 1970s he studied the synthesis of proteins with modified ribosomes outside of cells with LP Gavrilova and developed a solid-phase translation system in the second half of the 1970s with immobilized matrix. From the late 1980s he developed flow systems for protein biosynthesis outside the cell.


Fonts (selection)

  • Ribosomes, Springer 1999
  • with James Swartz (Ed.): Cell-free protein synthesis: methods and protocols, Wiley-VCH 2008
  • as editor: Cell-Free Translation Systems, Springer 2002

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ List of members of the Leopoldina
  2. a b c d Alexander Spirin - biography. Retrieved September 21, 2018 (Russian).
  3. Member History: Alexander S. Spirin. American Philosophical Society, accessed December 4, 2018 .