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The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Faculty & Staff

Alla Kostyukova, PhD

Alla Kostyukova

Alla Kostyukova, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Regulation of actin dynamics by actin-binding proteins; protein structure and protein-protein interactions; protein engineering; circular dichroism

Office: 340D Wegner Hall πŸ“ž509-335-1888

The Gene and Linda Voiland
School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
1505 Stadium Way, Room 105
P.O. Box 646515
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6515

Research Associates

Dr. Dmitri Tolkatchev, Assistant Research Professor (2014-present)

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Dr. Natalia Moroz (2011-2015)

Current Graduate Students

Garry Smith
Kyle Swain
Balaganesh Kuruba

Undergraduate Students

Stephen Bone
Joshua Foley
Kaitlin Smith

Former Graduate Students

Mert Colpan (University of Arizona)
Kevin Gray (University of Maryland)
Tanzila Islam (Intel)
Thu (Lily) Ly (AGC Biologics)

Biographical Information

Alla Kostyukova received her M.Sc. in Biophysics from St. Petersburg State University, Russia, and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences & Moscow State University. She worked as a Research Associate in the Institute of Protein Research, Russia, and as a Senior Research Associate in RIKEN Harima Institute at SPring8, Japan, before moving to the USA. Before joining the Washington State University Voiland School faculty she worked for 4 years as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Circular Dichroism Facility in Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ.

Research Interests

  1. Regulation of actin dynamics in cytoskeleton of muscle and non-muscle cells. Playing a critical role in muscle contraction, cell movement, and cell morphology, actin filaments form vastly different structures in different cell types and different locations within the cell. Regulation of the dynamics at actin’s ends is of central importance in the assembly of these various structures. The major goal of our research is to determine the mechanisms of this fine-tuned regulation necessary to understand processes existent in living cells, such as myocytes and neurons.
  2. Protein structure, protein-protein interactions and protein engineering. Important part of our research is studying structure of proteins and formation of protein complexes as well as engineering proteins with desired properties. These studies are parts in our ongoing projects as well as incollaborative projects.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • NIH RO1 GM120137, 06/01/2017-05/31/2021
    Regulation of the actin filament pointed end dynamics in health and disease.

List of Recent Publications

(full list of publications: )

  1. Ly T, Pappas CT, Johnson D, Schlecht W, Colpan M, Galkin VE, Gregorio CC, Dong WJ, Kostyukova AS. Effects of cardiomyopathy-linked mutations k15n and r21h in tropomyosin on thin filament regulation and pointed-end dynamics. Mol Biol Cell. 2019; 30(2):268-281. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E18-06-0406.
  2. Gray KT, Stefen H, Ly TNA, Keller CJ, Colpan M, Wayman GA, Pate E, Fath T, Kostyukova AS. ETropomodulin’s Actin-Binding Abilities Are Required to Modulate Dendrite Development. Front Mol Neurosci. 2018; 11:357. DOI: 10.3389/fnmol.2018.00357
  3. Tolkatchev D, Elnatan D, Nogara L, Ly T, Naber N, Haak K, Meech R, Cooke R, Kostyukova AS. Piperine, an alkaloid inhibiting the super-relaxed state of myosin, binds to the myosin regulatory light chain. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2018; 659:75-84. DOI: 10.1016/
  4. Arslan B, Colpan M, Gray KT, Abu-Lail NI, Kostyukova AS. β€œCharacterizing interaction forces between actin and proteins of the tropomodulin family reveals the presence of the N-terminal actin-binding site in leiomodin.” Arch Biochem Biophys. 2017. 638:18-26. DOI: 10.1016/
  5. Ly T, Krieger I, Tolkatchev D, Krone C, Moural T, Samatey FA, Kang C, Kostyukova AS. β€œStructural destabilization of tropomyosin induced by the cardiomyopathy-linked mutation R21H.” Protein Sci. 201. DOI: 10.1002/pro.3341.
  6. Colpan, M., Ly, T., Grover, S., Tolkatchev, D., Kostyukova, A.S. β€œThe cardiomyopathy-associated K15N mutation in tropomyosin alters actin filament pointed end dynamics.” Arch Biochem Biophys. 2017. 630:18-26. DOI: 10.1016/
  7. Barker, C.S., Meshcheryakova, I.V., Kostyukova, A.S., Freddolino, P.L., Samatey, F.A. β€œAn intrinsically disordered linker controlling the formation and the stability of the bacterial flagellar hook.” BMC Biol. 2017. 15(1):97. DOI: 10.1186/s12915-017-0438-7.
  8. Gray, K.T., Kostyukova, A.S., Fath, T. β€œActin regulation by tropomodulin and tropomyosin in neuronal morphogenesis and function.” Mol Cell Neurosci. 2017. pii: S1044-7431(16)30207-X. DOI: 10.1016/j.mcn.2017.04.002.
  9. Colpan, M., Ly, T., Grover, S., Tolkatchev, D., Kostyukova, A.S.. β€œThe cardiomyopathy-associated K15N mutation in tropomyosin alters actin filament pointed end dynamics.” Arch Biochem Biophys. 2017. 630:18-26.
  10. Ly, T., Moroz, N.A., Pappas, C.T., Novak, S.M., Tolkatchev, D., Wooldridge, D., Mayfield, R.M., Helms, G., Gregorio, C.C., Kostyukova, A.S. β€œThe N-terminal tropomyosin- and actin-binding sites are important for leiomodin 2’s function.” Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2016. 27:16 2565-2575. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E16-03-0200.
  11. Gray, K.T., Suchowerska, A.K., Bland, T., Colpan, M., Wayman, G., Fath, T., Kostyukova, A.S. β€œTropomodulin isoforms utilize specific binding functions to modulate dendrite development.” Cytoskeleton, 2016. 73(6):316-28. DOI: 10.1002/cm.21304.
  12. Colpan, M., Moroz, N.A., Gray, K.T., Cooper, D.A., Diaz, C.A., Kostyukova, A.S. β€œTropomyosin- and actin-binding properties of tropomodulins modulate their competition for binding at the pointed end of actin filaments.” Arch Biochem Biophys. 2016. 600:23-32. DOI: 10.1016/
  13. Arslan, B., Colpan, M., Ju, X., Zhang, X., Kostyukova, A.S., Abu-Lail, N. β€œThe effects of noncellulosic compounds on the nanoscale interaction forces measured between carbohydrate-binding module and lignocellulosic biomass.” Biomacromolecules. 2016. 17(5):1705-15. DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.6b00129.
  14. Colpan, M., Tolkatchev, D., Grover, S., Helms, G.L., Cort, J., Moroz, N.A., Kostyukova, A.S. β€œLocalization of the Binding Interface between Leiomodin-2 and Ξ±-Tropomyosin.” Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016. 1864(5):523-30.
  15. van Dijk, S.J., Kooiker, K.B., Mazzalupo, S., Yang Y., Kostyukova, A.S., Mustacich, D.J., Hoye, E.R., Stern, J.A., Kittleson, M.D., Harris, S.P. β€œThe A31P missense mutation in cardiac myosin binding protein C alters protein structure but does not cause haploinsufficiency.” Arch Biochem Biophys. 2016. 601:133-140.

Research Team

Alla Kostyukova with her students looking at a figure on a computer monitor
Alla Kostyukova and her current graduate students (l to r): Dr. Alla Kostyukova, Tanzila Islam, Garry Smith, Kyle Swain, and Thu Ly
Dr. Dmitri Tolkatchev working with students in Alla Kostyukova's lab
Dr. Dmitri Tolkatchev working in the lab with graduate students, Kyle Swain and Thu Ly
(front, l to r) Samantha Grover, Natalia Moroz, Thu Ly, Kevin Gray; (back, l to r) Mert Colpan, Dimitri Tolkatchev, Dillon Cooper
Team photo from 2015 (front, l to r) Samantha Grover, Natalia Moroz, Thu Ly, Kevin Gray; (back, l to r) Mert Colpan, Dmitri Tolkatchev, Dillon Cooper