Kaspars TARS


TarsK.JPG (7101 bytes)

PhD   Kaspars TARS

Leading Researcher
Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre
Ratsupites street 1
Riga, LV 1067, Latvia

       Phone: + 371 27076237
       Fax: + 371 67442407
       E-mail: kaspars@biomed.lu.lv


  Born: October 25, 1971, Jurmala, Latvia


Languages: Latvian, English, Russian, Swedish.


   1992        BA at Riga Technical University, Faculty of Chemistry

    1993        MSci at Riga Technical University, Faculty of Chemistry, minor discipline: biotechnology

    1999        PhD at Uppsala University, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
        Thesis: "Structure of Small RNA Phages: Implications for Virus Assembly and Evolution"

Work Experience

    1990 - 1993    Technician at University of Latvia Biomedical Research and Study Centre, Riga, Latvia

    1993 - 1996    Research assistant at University of Latvia Biomedical Research and Study Centre

    1996 - 1999    PhD student at Uppsala University, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

    1999 - 2001    Post-doctoral fellow at Uppsala University, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology

    2003 - 2007    Assistant professor at Uppsala University, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology 

    2007 -              Leading   researcher at Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre   

Teaching Experience

    1998 - 2007    Computer practicals and lectures in various bioinformatics, proteinengineering

    2005 - 2007    Responsible for "Molecular Biology"course for bioinformatics program at Uppsala University

    2007 - 2010    Lecturing in "Bioorganic Chemistry" course at Riga Technical University, Faculty of Chemistry

    2007 - 2010    Responsible for "Instrumental Methods for Biologists" course at University of Latvia, Faculty of Biology     

Honors and Awards


Head of current research projects


  Representative Publications:     

  • Tars K, Rumnieks J, Zeltins A, Kazaks A, Kotelovica S, Leonciks A, Sharipo J, Viksna A, Kuka J, Liepinsh E, Dambrova M. Crystal structure of human gamma-butyrobetaine hydroxylase. - Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2010), 398: 634-9.
  • Tars K, Olin B, Mannervik B. Structural Basis for Featuring of Steroid Isomerase Activity in Alpha Class Glutathione Transferases. - J Mol Biol. (2010), 397: 332-340.
  • Plevka P, Kazaks A, Voronkova T, Kotelovica S, Dishlers A, Liljas L, Tars K. The structure of bacteriophage phiCb5 reveals a role of the RNA genome and metal ions in particle stability and  assembly. - J Mol Biol. (2009), 391: 635-47.
  • Rumnieks J, Ose V, Tars K, Dislers A, Strods A, Cielens I, Renhofa R. Assembly of mixed rod-like and spherical particles from group I and II RNA bacteriophage coat proteins. - Virology. (2009), 391: 187-94.
  • Plevka P, Tars K, Liljas L. Structure and stability of icosahedral particles of a covalent coat protein dimer of bacteriophage MS2. - Protein Sci. (2009), 18: 1653-61.
  • Balogh LM, Le Trong I, Kripps KA, Tars K, Stenkamp RE, Mannervik B, Atkins WM. Structural analysis of a glutathione transferase A1-1 mutant tailored for high catalytic efficiency with toxic alkenals. - Biochemistry  (2009), 48: 7698-704.
  • Persson M., Tars K. & Liljas L.The capsid of the small RNA phage PRR1 is stabilized by metal ions. - J.Mol.Biol. (2008), 383: 914-22 .
  • Plevka P., Tars K. & Liljas L.Crystal packing of a bacteriophage MS2 coat protein mutant corresponds to octahedral particles.- Protein Sci. (2008), 10: 1731-9.
  • Hegazy U.M., Tars K., Hellman U. & Mannervik B. Modulating catalytic activity by unnatural amino acid residues in a GSH-binding loop of GST P1-1. - J Mol Biol. (2008), 376: 811-26.
  • Plevka P., Tars K., Zeltins A., Balke I., Truve E., Liljas L. The three-dimensional structure of ryegrass mottle virus at 2.9Å resolution. - Virology (2007), 369: 364-74 .
  • Tars K., Larsson A., Shokeer A., Olin B., Mannervik B., Kleywegt G.J. Structural basis of the suppressed catalytic activity of wild-type human glutathione transferase T1-1 compared to its  W234R mutant. - J.Mol.Biol. (2006), 355: 96-105.
  • Norrgård M., Ivarsson Y., Tars K. & Mannervik B. Alternative mutations of a positively selected residue elicit gain or loss of functionalities in enzyme evolution. - Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2006), 103: 4876-81.
  • Horn W., Tars K., Grahn E., Helgstrand C., Baron A., Lago H., Adams C., Peabody D., Phillips S., Stonehouse N., Liljas L., Stockley P. Structural basis of RNA binding discrimination between bacteriophages Q? and MS2. - Structure (2006), 14: 487-95.
  • Mutulis F., Yahorava S., Mutule I., Yahorau A., Liepinsh E., Kopantshuk S., Veiksina S., Tars K., Belyakov S., Mishnev A., Rinken A., Wikberg J. New substituted piperazines as ligands for melanocortin receptors. Correlation to the X-ray structure of "THIQ". - J. Med. Chem. (2004), 47: 4613-4626.
  • Tars K., Zeltins A. & Liljas L. The three-dimensional structure of cocksfoot mottle virus at 2.7Å resolution. - Virology (2003),  310:  287-297.
  • Helgstrand C., Grahn E., Moss T., Stonehouse N., Tars K., Stockley P. & Liljas L. Investigating the structural basis of purine specificity in the structures of MS2   coat protein RNA translational operator hairpins. - Nucleic Acids Res. (2002), 30: 2678-2685.
  • Grahn E., Moss T., Helgstrand C., Fridborg K., Sundaram M., Tars K., Lago H., Stonehouse N., Davis D., Stockley P. & Liljas L. Structural basis of pyrimidine specificity in the MS2 RNA hairpin-coat-protein complex. - RNA (2001), 7: 1616-27.
  • Tars K., Fridborg K., Bundule M. & Liljas L. Structure determination of phage PP7 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa: from poor data to a good map. - Acta Cryst. (2000),  D56:398-405.
  • Tars K., Fridborg K., Bundule M. & Liljas L. The three-dimensional strucure of bacteriophage PP7. - Virology (2000)  272:331-337.
  • Tito M.A., Tars K., Valegard K., Hajdu J., Robinson C.V. Electrospray Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry of the Intact MS2 Virus Capsid. - J.Am.Chem.Soc.(2000),   122: 3550-3551 (cited by 111).
  • Axblom C., Tars K., Bundule M.,Orna L., Fridborg K., Liljas L. Structure of Phage fr Capsids with a Deletion in the FG loop: Implications for Viral Assembly. - Virology (1998),  248: 80-88.
  • Tars K., Bundule M., Fridborg K., Liljas L. The Crystal Structure of Bacteriophage GA and a Comparison of Bacteriophages Belonging to the Major Groups of
    Escherichia coli Leviviruses. - J. Mol. Biol. (1997),  271:759-773. 

Last update 25.05.2011