Valentyn Oksenych

Image of Valentyn Oksenych
Norwegian version of this page
Visiting address Sognsvannsveien 20 Rikshospitalet 0372 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 4950 Nydalen OUS HF Rikshospitalet 0424 Oslo
Other affiliations Faculty of Medicine (Student)

Academic interests

DNA in our cells is constantly damaged by various internal and external factors. To maintain genomic stability, the cells developed multiple DNA repair pathways. Mutations in DNA repair genes lead to disorders in humans. Non-Homologous End-Joining (NHEJ) fixes the DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) throughout the cell cycle. NHEJ is required for the development of the immune and nervous systems and to suppress medulloblastoma.

NHEJ consists of Ku70, Ku80, XLF, XRCC4, DNA Ligase 4, DNA-PKcs, Artemis, XLS/PAXX, APLF, Mri/Cyren. There is a complex genetic interaction between the NHEJ factors (e.g., Oksenych et al., PNAS, 2013; Xing et al., DNA repair, 2017; Castaneda-Zegarra et al., DNA repair, 2019; Xing and Oksenych, FEBS open bio, 2019; Castaneda-Zegarra et al., Aging, 2020;  Castaneda-Zegarra et al., Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, 2020). 

In response to DNA damage, there is a complex process that includes the activation of multiple enzymes and modifications of proteins, such as histones surrounding the DSBs. This process is called the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway. It is facilitated by protein kinases ATM and DNA-PKcs, scaffold proteins MDC1 and 53BP1, ubiquitin-ligases RNF8 and RNF168, and many other proteins. During the DDR, histones are phosphorylated, ubiquitylated, methylated, acetylated, SUMOylated, NEDDylated, etc (Zha et al., Nature, 2011; Oksencyh et al., PNAS, 2012; Kumar et al., DNA repair, 2014; Beck et al., Biomolecules, 2020). I am attempting to understand the complexity of DDR, as well as its role in the development of the immune system and in cancer suppression.

Both NHEJ and DDR pathways are involved in immune system development, including the V(D)J recombination in developing B and T lymphocytes, and the Class Switch Recombination (CSR) in mature B cells.

Translocations associated with V(D)J recombination and class switch recombination (CSR) can be detected using High Throughput Genome-Wide Translocation sequencing (HTGTS). I collaborate with researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Harvard Medical School to develop HTGTS-based assays using primary human B cells.

Several drug candidates were identified to be used in cancer and immune disease treatments. I collaborate with researchers at UiO and local Hospitals to validate and select the best options for further translation to the clinic. 


2020-Now       Researcher. University of Oslo, Norway

2020:              Researcher. University of Tromsø, Norway

2018-2020      Research visit. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

2015-2020      Researcher, principal investigator. NTNU - Trondheim, Norway

2014-2015      Postdoc. University of Copenhagen, Denmark

2010-2014      Postdoc. Harvard Medical School, USA

2005-2009      PhD candidate. IGBMC, University of Strasbourg, France

Past projects and awards

2020-2021      Karolinska Institutet (KI Stiftelser och Fonder)

2020-2021      Health Authority of Central Norway

2019-2022      PhD position (SO), award in innovation, NTNU, Norway

2018-2019      NTNU PES and POS grants, Norway

2018-2019      Research Council of Norway, FRIPRO

2017-2021      Outstanding Academic Fellow Award, NTNU, Norway

2017-2020      Norwegian Cancer Society, Open call

2016-2019      Research Council of Norway, FRIMEDBIO

2016-2018      Research Council of Norway, FRIPRO

2016-2018      Health Authority of Central Norway

2015-2017      Lundbeck Fellowship, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

2009               Anti-Cancer Research Association (ARC), France

2008               Anti-Cancer Research Association (ARC), France

2005               Mobility grant, IBB - Academy of Science, Warsaw, Poland

Tags: B cells, DNA repair, Genetics, Immunology, mouse models, DNA damage


  • Oksenych, Valentyn; Su, Dan & Daniel, Jeremy A (2021). Acetyltransferases GCN5 and PCAF Are Required for B Lymphocyte Maturation in Mice. Biomolecules. ISSN 2218-273X. 12(1), p. 1–10. doi: 10.3390/biom12010061.
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Yao, Rouan; Zusinaite, Eva; Lello, Laura Sandra; Wang, Sainan & Jo, Eunji [Show all 28 contributors for this article] (2021). Synergistic interferon-alpha-based combinations for treatment of sars-cov-2 and other viral infections. Viruses. ISSN 1999-4915. 13:2489(12), p. 1–18. doi: 10.3390/v13122489.
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Yao, Rouan; Lysvand, Hilde; Grødeland, Gunnveig; Legrand, Nicolas & Oksenych, Valentyn [Show all 10 contributors for this article] (2021). Nafamostat–interferon-α combination suppresses sars-cov-2 infection in vitro and in vivo by cooperatively targeting host tmprss2. Viruses. ISSN 1999-4915. 13(9), p. 1–8. doi: 10.3390/v13091768.
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Yao, Rouan; Zusinaite, Eva; Lysvand, Hilde; Oksenych, Valentyn & Tenson, Tanel [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2021). Active components of commonly prescribed medicines affect influenza a virus–host cell interaction: A pilot study. Viruses. ISSN 1999-4915. 13(8), p. 1–14. doi: 10.3390/v13081537.
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Yao, Rouan; Biza, Svetlana; Zusinaite, Eva; Mannik, Andres & Kivi, Gaily [Show all 26 contributors for this article] (2020). Identification and Tracking of Antiviral Drug Combinations. Viruses. ISSN 1999-4915. 12(10). doi: 10.3390/v12101178. Full text in Research Archive
  • Gago-Fuentes, Raquel & Oksenych, Valentyn (2020). Non-Homologous End Joining Factors XLF, PAXX and DNA-PKcs Maintain the Neural Stem and Progenitor Cell Population. Biomolecules. ISSN 2218-273X. 11:20(1), p. 1–13. doi: 10.3390/biom11010020. Full text in Research Archive
  • Castaneda Zegarra, Sergio Miguel ; Zhang, Qindong; Alirezaylavasani, Amin; Fernandez Berrocal, Marion; Yao, Rouan & Oksenych, Valentyn (2020). Leaky severe combined immunodeficiency in mice lacking non-homologous end joining factors XLF and MRI. Aging. ISSN 1945-4589. 12(23), p. 23578–23597. doi: 10.18632/aging.202346. Full text in Research Archive
  • Ragunathan, Kalaiyarasi; Esnardo Upfold, Nikki Lyn & Oksenych, Valentyn (2020). Interaction between Fibroblasts and Immune Cells Following DNA Damage Induced by Ionizing Radiation . International Journal of Molecular Sciences. ISSN 1422-0067. 21:8635(22), p. 1–15. doi: 10.3390/ijms21228635. Full text in Research Archive
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Kulesskiy, Evgeny; Krpina, Klara; Lou, Guofeng; Aman, Yahyah & Bugai, Andrii [Show all 27 contributors for this article] (2020). Chemical, Physical and Biological Triggers of Evolutionary Sonserved Bcl-xL-Mediated Apoptosis. Cancers. ISSN 2072-6694. 12(6), p. 1–19. doi: 10.3390/cancers12061694. Full text in Research Archive
  • Castaneda Zegarra, Sergio Miguel ; Fernandez Berrocal, Marion; Tkachov, Max; Yao, Rouan; Esnardo Upfold, Nikki Lyn & Oksenych, Valentyn (2020). Genetic interaction between the non‐homologous end joining factors during B and T lymphocyte development: in vivo mouse models. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology. ISSN 0300-9475. 92:e12936(4), p. 1–9. doi: 10.1111/sji.12936. Full text in Research Archive
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Yao, Rouan; Fenstad, Mona H.; Biza, Svetlana; Zusinaite, Eva & Reisberg, Tuuli [Show all 20 contributors for this article] (2020). Potential Antiviral Options against SARS-CoV-2 Infection. Viruses. Viruses. ISSN 1999-4915. doi: 10.3390/v12060642. Full text in Research Archive
  • Anderssen, Petter Inge; Ianevski, Aleksandr; Lysvand, Hilde; Vitkauskiene, Astra; Oksenych, Valentyn & Bjørås, Magnar [Show all 13 contributors for this article] (2020). Discovery and development of safe-in-man broad-spectrum antiviral agents. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. ISSN 1201-9712. 93, p. 268–276. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.02.018.
  • Beck, Carole; Castaneda Zegarra, Sergio Miguel ; Huse, Camilla; Xing, Mengtan & Oksenych, Valentyn (2020). Mediator of DNA Damage Checkpoint Protein 1 Facilitates V(D)J Recombination in Cells Lacking DNA Repair Factor XLF. Biomolecules. ISSN 2218-273X. 10(60). doi: 10.3390/biom10010060. Full text in Research Archive
  • Castaneda Zegarra, Sergio Miguel ; Huse, Camilla; Røsand, Øystein; Sarno, Antonio; Xing, Mengtan & Gago-Fuentes, Raquel [Show all 14 contributors for this article] (2019). Generation of a mouse model lacking the non-homologous end-joining factor Mri/Cyren. Biomolecules. ISSN 2218-273X. 9:798(12), p. 1–13. doi: 10.3390/biom9120798. Full text in Research Archive
  • Bösl, Korbinian; Ianevski, Aleksandr; Than, Thoa T.; Anderssen, Petter Inge; Kuivanen, Suvi & Teppor, Mona [Show all 25 contributors for this article] (2019). Common nodes of virus-host interaction revealed through an integrated network analysis. Frontiers in Immunology. ISSN 1664-3224. 10. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02186. Full text in Research Archive
  • Xing, Mengtan & Oksenych, Valentyn (2019). Genetic interaction between DNA repair factors PAXX, XLF, XRCC4 and DNA-PKcs in human cells. FEBS Open Bio. ISSN 2211-5463. 9(7), p. 1315–1326. doi: 10.1002/2211-5463.12681. Full text in Research Archive
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Zusinaite, Eva; Shtaida, Nastassia; Kallio-Kokko, Hannimari; Valkonen, Mia & Kantele, Anu [Show all 21 contributors for this article] (2019). Low temperature and low UV indexes correlated with peaks of influenza virus activity in Northern Europe during 2010-2018. Viruses. ISSN 1999-4915. 11:207(3), p. 1–10. doi: 10.3390/v11030207. Full text in Research Archive
  • Castaneda Zegarra, Sergio Miguel; Xing, Mengtan; Gago-Fuentes, Raquel; Sæterstad, Siri & Oksenych, Valentyn (2019). Synthetic lethality between DNA repair factors Xlf and Paxx is rescued by inactivation of Trp53. DNA Repair. ISSN 1568-7864. 73, p. 164–169. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2018.12.002. Full text in Research Archive
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Zusinaite, Eva; Kuivanen, Suvi; Strand, Mårten; Lysvand, Hilde & Teppor, Mona [Show all 34 contributors for this article] (2018). Novel activities of safe-in-human broad-spectrum antiviral agents. Antiviral Research. ISSN 0166-3542. 154, p. 174–182. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2018.04.016.
  • Gago-Fuentes, Raquel; Xing, Mengtan; Sæterstad, Siri; Sarno, Antonio; Dewan, Alisa Elinsdatter & Beck, Carole [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2018). Normal development of mice lacking PAXX, the paralogue of XRCC4 and XLF. FEBS Open Bio. ISSN 2211-5463. 8(3), p. 426–434. doi: 10.1002/2211-5463.12381. Full text in Research Archive
  • Dewan, Alisa Elinsdatter; Xing, Mengtan; Lundbæk, Marie Benner; Gago-Fuentes, Raquel; Beck, Carole & Aas, Per Arne [Show all 11 contributors for this article] (2018). Robust DNA repair in PAXX-deficient mammalian cells. FEBS Open Bio. ISSN 2211-5463. 8(3), p. 442–448. doi: 10.1002/2211-5463.12380. Full text in Research Archive
  • Bulanova, Daria; Ianevski, Aleksandr; Bugai, Andrii; Akimov, Yevhen; Kuivanen, Suvi & Paavilainen, Henrik [Show all 43 contributors for this article] (2017). Antiviral properties of chemical inhibitors of cellular anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins. Viruses. ISSN 1999-4915. 9(10). doi: 10.3390/v9100271. Full text in Research Archive
  • Xing, Mengtan; Bjørås, Magnar; Daniel, Jeremy A.; Alt, Frederick W. & Oksenych, Valentyn (2017). Synthetic lethality between murine DNA repair factors XLF and DNA-PKcs is rescued by inactivation of Ku70. DNA Repair. ISSN 1568-7864. 57, p. 133–138. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2017.07.008. Full text in Research Archive

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Published Nov. 27, 2020 2:20 PM - Last modified Dec. 2, 2020 7:03 PM