View Full Version : Biochemistry, molecular biology and molecular modeling

Aug 6, 10, 09:37
I am Ciro Leonardo Pierri a Chemist with a PhD in Biochemical and Pharmacological Sciences, working in the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Pharmaco-Biology Dept of the University of Bari. The main interests of my research group focuses on the study of mitochondrial transporters (48 members in the human genome). These proteins transport specific metabolites, nucleotides, vitamins, coenzymes, water and other solutes through biological membranes and their functions are essential for numerous biological processes.

Our research group has expertise in expressing the two family members in heterologous systems (E. coli, S. cerevisiae and L. lactis) and in carrying out their purification. The recombinant proteins are generally reconstituted in lipid vesicles (liposomes) in which membrane transport is measured by monitoring the flux of radioactive substrates. Genetic and metabolic information and bioinformatics tools (from phylogenetic analyses to virtual screening of chemical libraries by docking) will be employed to select proteins and substrates. Subsequent to substrate identification, we will proceed to the characterization of the single reconstituted proteins (antiport/uniport transport mechanism, co-transport with other ions, kinetic constants, influence of pH, phospholipids etc.) and to the study of their physiological role in cell metabolism.

Our group is also endowed with the skills for identifying and determining proteomic profile variations and post-translational modifications of target proteins in cells and/or tissues in different physiopathological states as well as for investigating structure-function relationships by means of site-directed mutagenesis, spectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling. The effect of mutations (found in mitochondrial carriers) on protein function will be evaluated by direct transport measurements in vitro and/or by complementation experiments in cells lacking the investigated protein. The effects of these protein mutations on the metabolism and physiology of patient cells will also be assessed by means of cytofluorimetry and/or spectrofluorimetry. Finally, large-scale purification procedures will be undertaken in order to obtain active and stable proteins for their crystallization. Mitochondrial carriers and relations of their mutated activity in rare diseases, metabolic diseases and cancer are object of study in our lab.

The leader of the laboratory is Prof. Ferdinando Palmieri (farmbiol.uniba.it/doc/fpalmieri/fpalmieri.htm). We are always interested in new patnerships. You are very welcome to contact me if you think we somehow could collaborate in the planning/realization of a project.

Jan 9, 13, 06:24
Well i am interested in that field but i had kind of limited knowledge about that, i got my interest in biochemistry after watching this video