Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Biomedical Science Department, National
Research Council, Italy
INPEC node since 2019
Main research line is the study of the structure-function relationship in enzymes from the viewpoint of understanding the determinants that underlay (thermal)stability and the molecular processes which control the substrate recognition, enzyme inhibition and enzyme catalysis. The tasks are approached mainly by studying enzymes from (hyper)thermophilic sources, mainly from Archaea and are also performed by comparison with mesophilic, homologous counterparts, which allow tracing back evolution of enzyme activity by looking at sequence/structure hallmarks and promiscuous activities.
Furthermore, the potential uses of these enzymes in the industry, for the environment and for human health are investigated. Recently focus has been made on some human proteins (PON2, Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex) and their role in many diseases (cancer, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and related complications).
Keywords: enzymes, thermostability, structure-function relationship, protein engineering, hydrolases, pesticides, biosensors, decontamination, post-translational modifications, diseases.