Time filter

Source Type

Improta R.,CNR Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging | Barone V.,Normal School of Pisa
Topics in Current Chemistry

We review the most significant results obtained in the study of isolated nucleobases in solution by quantum mechanical methods, trying to highlight also the most relevant open issues. We concisely discuss some methodological issues relevant to the study of molecular electronic excited molecular states in condensed phases, focussing on the methods most commonly applied to the study of nucleobases, i.e. continuum models as the Polarizable Continuum Model and explicit solvation models. We analyse how the solvent changes the relative energy of the lowest energy excited states in the Franck–Condon region, their minima and the Conical Intersections among the different states, interpreting the experimental optical spectra, both steady state and time-resolved. Several methods are available for accurately including solvent effects in the Franck–Condon region, and for most of the nucleobases the solvent shift on the different excited states can be considered assessed. The study of the excited state decay, both radiative and non-radiative, in solution still poses instead significant theoretical challenges. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014. Source

Improta R.,CNR Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging | Barone V.,Normal School of Pisa
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition

The excited states of (dA) 4 oligonucleotides (A=adenine), including the phosphoribose backbone, were studied in water at a fully quantum mechanical level, providing an atomistic description of the main decay paths and a comprehensive interpretation of the experimental data (see picture). After absorption to exciton states delocalized over multiple A bases, the behavior of the excited state is ruled by the interplay of a number of species responsible for different spectral features. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Improta R.,CNR Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging
Journal of Physical Chemistry B

We here report a fully quantum mechanical study of the main photochemical and photophysical decay routes in aqueous solution of thymine deoxy-dinucleotide (TpT- and TpTNa) and of its analogue locked in C3-endo puckering, characterizing five different representative backbone conformers and discussing the chemical physical effects modulating the yield of the different photoproducts. Our approach is based on time-dependent DFT calculations, using the last generation M052X functional, whereas solvent effects are included by means of the polarizable continuum model. Especially when at least one of the sugars adopts C3-endo puckering, a barrierless path on the bright ππ* excitons leads to the S1/S0 crossing region corresponding to the formation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer. Charge transfer excited states involving the transfer of an electron from the 5′ Thy toward the 3′ Thy are involved in the formation of the oxetane intermediate in the path leading to 6-4 pyrimidine pyrimidinone adducts. A non-negligible energy barrier is associated with this latter pathway, which is possible only when one of the two nucleotides adopts C2-endo puckering. Monomer-like decay pathways, involving ππ* or nπ* excited states localized on a single base, are shown to be operative also for loosely stacked bases. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source

De Simone G.,CNR Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging | Supuran C.T.,University of Florence
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics

Isoform IX of the zinc enzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC, CA IX, is a transmembrane protein involved in solid tumor acidification through the HIF-1α activation cascade. CA IX has a very high catalytic activity for the hydration of carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and protons, even at acidic pH values (of around 6.5), typical of solid, hypoxic tumors, which are largely unresponsive to classical chemo- and radiotherapy. Thus, CA IX is used as a marker of tumor hypoxia and as a prognostic factor for many human cancers. CA IX is involved in tumorigenesis through many pathways, such as pH regulation and cell adhesion control. The X-ray structure of the catalytic domain of CA IX has been recently reported, being shown that CA IX has a typical α-CA fold. However, the CA IX structure differs significantly from the other CA isozymes when the protein quaternary structure is considered. Thus, two catalytic domains of CA IX associate to form a dimer, which is stabilized by the formation of an intermolecular disulfide bond. The active site clefts and the proteoglycan (PG) domains are located on one face of the dimer, while the C-termini are located on the opposite face to facilitate protein anchoring to the cell membrane. As all mammalian CAs, CA IX is inhibited by several main classes of inhibitors, such as the inorganic anions, the sulfonamides and their bioisosteres (sulfamates, sulfamides, etc.), the phenols, and the coumarins. The mechanism of inhibition with all these classes of compounds is understood at the molecular level, but the sulfonamides and their congeners have important applications. It has been recently shown that both in vitro, in cell cultures, as well as in animals with transplanted tumors, CA IX inhibition with sulfonamides lead to a return of the extracellular pH to more normal values, which leads to a delay in tumor growth. As a consequence, CA IX represents a promising antitumor target for the development of anticancer agents with an alternative mechanism of action. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Musumeci D.,University of Naples Federico II | Roviello G.N.,CNR Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging | Montesarchio D.,University of Naples Federico II
Pharmacology and Therapeutics

HMGB1 (High-Mobility Group Box-1) is a nuclear protein that acts as an architectural chromatin-binding factor involved in the maintenance of nucleosome structure and regulation of gene transcription. It can be released into the extracellular milieu from immune and non-immune cells in response to various stimuli. Extracellular HMGB1 contributes to the pathogenesis of numerous chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, chronic kidney disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as well as cancer pathogenesis. Interaction of released HMGB1 with the cell-surface receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is one of the main signaling pathways triggering these diseases. It has been also demonstrated that the inhibition of the HMGB1-RAGE interaction represents a promising approach for the modulation of the inflammatory and tumor-facilitating activity of HMGB1. In this review we describe various approaches recently proposed in the literature to inhibit HMGB1 and the related inflammatory processes, especially focusing on the block of RAGE-HMGB1 signaling. Several strategies are based on molecules which mainly interact with RAGE as competitive antagonists of HMGB1. As an alternative, encouraging results have been obtained with HMGB1-targeting, leading to the identification of compounds that directly bind to HMGB1, ranging from small natural or synthetic molecules, such as glycyrrhizin and gabexate mesilate, to HMGB1-specific antibodies, peptides, proteins as well as bent DNA-based duplexes. Future perspectives are discussed in the light of the overall body of knowledge acquired by a large number of research groups operating in different but related fields. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Discover hidden collaborations