Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Design, synthesis and development of peptide-based molecules and peptido mimetics for therapeutic and diagnostic

The research activity focuses on the synthesis and the study of peptides that bind oncogenic pre-miRNAs for therapeutic purposes, antimicrobial peptides replacing the antibiotics and peptides based biosensors to develop new diagnostic systems.

The research activity is focused on:
– Structural bases design, synthesis, purification by RP-HPLC and structural characterization by Mass Spectrometry, Circular Dichroism, UV, basic NMR, Dynamic Light Scattering and isothermal titration calorimetry of antimicrobial peptides, to be used as a valid alternative to common antibiotics and peptides binding oncogenic microRNAs in order to modulate their biological functions and peptide based biosensors as new diagnostic systems.
– Rational design of conformationally constrained or unnatural bioactive peptide analogs with improved selectivity, affinity and stability in vivo.
– Functionalization of peptides with molecular probes such as chelating agents and fluorophores by in solution and in solid phase synthesis in order to carry out biological assays in vitro for applications in the biomedical field and for the selective administration of drugs and / or contrast media.
– Structure-activity relationship study through binding Fluorescence and Circular Dichroism experiments of the aforementioned peptides with biological macromolecules such as oligonucleotides, proteins, LPS and binding experiments with gram positive and negative bacteria cells in order to elucidate the mechanism of action underlying these interactions and to improve the action of molecules towards their biological targets.

Reference works

– Caratelli V., S. Fillo, D’Amore N., Rossetto O., Pirazzini M., Moccia M., Avitabile C., Moscone D., Lista F., Arduini F. Biosensors & Bioelectronics, 2021, 183, 13210.
– Avitabile C, D’Andrea Luca Domenico, Romanelli Alessandra 2014. Circular Dichroism studies on the interactions of antimicrobial peptides with bacterial cells. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol. 4, ISSN: 2045-2322, doi: 10.1038/srep04293

Principal Researcher
Other people involved