Alessandro Vannini

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Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a family of enzymes involved in the regulation of gene expression, DNA repair, and stress response. These processes often are altered in tumors, and HDAC inhibitors have had pronounced antitumor activity with promising results in clinical trials. Here, we report the crystal structure of human HDAC8 in complex with a(More)
The quorum sensing system allows bacteria to sense their cell density and initiate an altered pattern of gene expression after a sufficient quorum of cells has accumulated. In Agrobacterium tumefaciens, quorum sensing controls conjugal transfer of the tumour- inducing plasmid, responsible for plant crown gall disease. The core components of this system are(More)
Recent studies of the three eukaryotic transcription machineries revealed that all initiation complexes share a conserved core. This core consists of the RNA polymerase (I, II, or III), the TATA box-binding protein (TBP), and transcription factors TFIIB, TFIIE, and TFIIF (for Pol II) or proteins structurally and functionally related to parts of these(More)
RNA polymerase III (Pol III) transcribes short RNAs required for cell growth. Under stress conditions, the conserved protein Maf1 rapidly represses Pol III transcription. We report the crystal structure of Maf1 and cryo-electron microscopic structures of Pol III, an active Pol III-DNA-RNA complex, and a repressive Pol III-Maf1 complex. Binding of DNA and(More)
Histone deacetylases (HDACs)-an enzyme family that deacetylates histones and non-histone proteins-are implicated in human diseases such as cancer, and the first-generation of HDAC inhibitors are now in clinical trials. Here, we report the 2.0 A resolution crystal structure of a catalytically inactive HDAC8 active-site mutant, Tyr306Phe, bound to an(More)
Haem binding to human serum albumin (HSA) endows the protein with peculiar spectroscopic properties. Here, the effect of ibuprofen and warfarin on the spectroscopic properties of ferric haem-human serum albumin (ferric HSA-haem) and of ferrous nitrosylated haem-human serum albumin (ferrous HSA-haem-NO) is reported. Ferric HSA-haem is hexa-coordinated, the(More)
The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of activation of human heparanase, a key player in heparan sulfate degradation, thought to be involved in normal and pathologic cell migration processes. Active heparanase arises as a product of a series of proteolytic processing events. Upon removal of the signal peptide, the resulting, poorly active(More)
Hemalbumin [i.e., Fe(III)-protoporphyrin IX-human serum albumin; Fe(III)heme-HSA] is an important intermediate in the recovery of heme iron following hemolysis. Relaxometric data are consistent with the occurrence of a hexacoordinated high-spin Fe(III) center with no water in the inner coordination sphere. The relatively high relaxation enhancement observed(More)
TFIIB-related factor 2 (Brf2) is a member of the family of TFIIB-like core transcription factors. Brf2 recruits RNA polymerase (Pol) III to type III gene-external promoters, including the U6 spliceosomal RNA and selenocysteine tRNA genes. Found only in vertebrates, Brf2 has been linked to tumorigenesis but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We have(More)
RNA polymerase I and III are responsible for the bulk of nuclear transcription in actively growing cells and their activity impacts the cellular biosynthetic capacity. As a consequence, RNA polymerase I and III deregulation has been directly linked to cancer development. The complexity of RNA polymerase I and III transcription apparatuses has hampered their(More)