University of Piemonte Orientale at Novara

Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Alimentari, Farmaceutiche e Farmacologiche (DiSCAFF), Via Bovio 6, 28100 Novara
Coordinator: Menico Rizzi e-mail:
tel. +39.0321.375812; fax +39.0321.375821

Unit 2.1: Principal investigator: Menico Rizzi

Research themes
By means of biochemistry and bio-crystallography, the unit 2.5 studies Anopheles and Plasmodium proteins playing key roles in the physiology of the mosquito and the parasite, thus providing a framework for the development of new insecticides and drugs aimed at blocking malaria spread through human population.

Five recent publications
1. Rossi F, Lombardo F, Paglino A, Cassani C, Miglio G, Arcà B, Rizzi M. Identification and biochemical characterization of the Anopheles gambiae 3-hydroxykynurenine transaminase. FEBS J. 2005; 272:5653
2. Rossi F, Garavaglia S, Giovenzana GB, Arcà B, Li J, Rizzi M. Crystal structure of the Anopheles gambiae 3-hydroxykynurenine transaminase. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103:5711
3. Paglino A, Lombardo F, Arcà B, Rizzi M, Rossi F. Purification and biochemical characterization of a recombinant Anopheles gambiae tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase expressed in Escherichia coli. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2008;38:871
4. Rossi F, Schwarcz R, Rizzi M. Curiosity to kill the KAT (kynurenine aminotransferase): structural insights into brain kynurenic acid synthesis. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2008;18:748
5. Rossi F, Valentina C, Garavaglia S, Sathyasaikumar KV, Schwarcz R, Kojima S, Okuwaki K, Ono S, Kajii Y, Rizzi M. Crystal structure-based selective targeting of the pyridoxal 5′-phosphate dependent enzyme kynurenine aminotransferase II for cognitive enhancement. J Med Chem. 2010;53:5684

International collaborations
Vichem Chemie Research Ltd, Budapest, Hungary; Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Yokohama, Japan

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