Alberto Spisni

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By means of 23Na NMR, two ion binding sites were observed in phospholipid-packaged gramicidin channels and the four associated rate constants were approximated. Limits also were placed on a fifth rate constant for an intrachannel ion translocation. By using Eyring rate theory to introduce voltage dependence, these rate constants were used in(More)
To investigate the role of the N-terminal region in the lytic mechanism of the pore-forming toxin sticholysin II (St II), we studied the conformational and functional properties of peptides encompassing the first 30 residues of the protein. Peptides containing residues 1-30 (P1-30) and 11-30 (P11-30) were synthesized and their conformational properties were(More)
Inflammatory peptides display different types of post-transcriptional modifications, such as C-terminal amidation, that alter their biological activity. Here we describe the structural and molecular dynamics features of the mast cell degranulating peptide, eumenine mastoparan-AF (EMP-AF-NH(2)), found in the venom of the solitary wasp, and of its(More)
Trypanosoma cruzi expresses a set of glycoproteins encoded by the gp85/trans-sialidase gene superfamily. In this report a structure model is proposed for a cloned member of the superfamily, the Tc85-11 protein. The structure consists of an N-terminus beta-propeller and a C-terminus beta-sandwich interconnected by an alpha-helix. The recombinant protein,(More)
The Schistosoma mansoni Sm14 antigen belongs to the fatty acid-binding protein family and is considered a vaccine candidate against at least two parasite worms, Fasciola hepatica and S. mansoni. Here the genomic sequence and the polymorphism of Sm14 have been characterized for the first time. We found that the conserved methionine at position 20 is(More)
The ascomcete Ceratocystis fimbriata, the causal agent of “canker stain disease,” secretes a protein of 12.4 kDa that elicits phytoalexin synthesis and plant cell death. This protein, named cerato-platanin (CP), is also located in the cell walls of ascospores, hyphae, and conidia; it contains four cysteines (S-S bridged) and is moderately hydrophobic. The(More)
The structural bases that render the third intracellular loop (i3) of the rat angiotensin II AT1A receptor one of the cytoplasmic domains responsible for G-protein coupling are still unknown. The three-dimensional structures of two overlapping peptides mapping the entire i3 loop and shown to differently interact with purified G-proteins have been obtained(More)
The phytotoxic protein PcF (Phytophthora cactorum-Fragaria) is a 5.6-kDa cysteine-rich, hydroxyproline- containing protein that is secreted in limited amounts by P. cactorum, an oomycete pathogen of tomato, strawberry and other relevant crop plants. Although we have shown that pure PcF triggers plant reactivity, its mechanism of action is not yet(More)
The PcF protein from Phytophthora cactorum is the first member of the "PcF toxin family" from the plant pathogens Phytophthora spp. It is able to induce withering in tomato and strawberry leaves. The lack of sequence similarity with other proteins hampers the identification of the molecular mechanisms responsible for its toxicity. Here, we show that the six(More)
Recent discoveries suggest cysteine-stabilized toxins and antimicrobial peptides have structure-activity parallels derived by common ancestry. Here, human antimicrobial peptide hBD-2 and rattlesnake venom-toxin crotamine were compared in phylogeny, 3D structure, target cell specificity, and mechanisms of action. Results indicate a striking degree of(More)