Laboratory of Protein Biochemistry and Pathology of Protein Misfolding
Protein misfolding diseases are becoming a prominent category of human diseases and include Alzheimer’ disease, prion protein diseases, systemic amyloidosis. Our research group has a long tradition of protein biochemistry, established by our master and former director Prof. Giuseppina Ferri, and is now fully dedicated to the characterization of the structural bases of pathologic conversion of human globular protein into amyloid fibrils. This research requires a wide technological approach that includes: 1) all the techniques necessary for basic protein biochemistry, production of recombinant proteins and their chemical characterisation 2) a large number of spectroscopic techniques for protein function and folding studies at the equilibrium or in fast dynamic conditions 3) the access to the laboratories of colleagues in the University of Udine for carrying out NMR spectra of proteins in solution. Through this approach the laboratory was able in last few years to elucidate a few structural, kinetic and thermodynamic aspects of the mechanism of fibril formation of three prototypic amyloidogenic human proteins such as lysozyme, beta 2-microglobulin and apolipoprotein A-I. The laboratory is now involved in a project dedicated to the characterisation of the mechanism of tissue specificity of amyloid diseases in which proteomic studies on natural proteins are linked to the biophysical investigation of isolated proteins or protein in complex with natural ligands. The characterization of new molecular targets is parallel to the identification of new synthetic ligands of potential pharmaceutical interest for the treatment of systemic amyloidosis. The identification of specific protein ligands of potential pharmaceutical interest is carried through the access to a chemical library shared with the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and the collaboration with an USA company.
Department of Biochemistry-Biotechnology
Laboratories IRCCS San Matteo
|___Progetto grafico e realizzazione a cura del Dr.Fabio Pecora|