Ana Luisa Carvalho

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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, but the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. The neurotrophin couples synaptic activation to changes in gene expression underlying long term potentiation and short term plasticity. Here we show that BDNF acutely up-regulates GluR1, GluR2, and(More)
The neurotrophin BDNF regulates the activity-dependent modifications of synaptic strength in the CNS. Physiological and biochemical evidences implicate the NMDA glutamate receptor as one of the targets for BDNF modulation. In the present study, we investigated the effect of BDNF on the expression and plasma membrane abundance of NMDA receptor subunits in(More)
Enzyme systems that attack the plant cell wall contain noncatalytic carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) that mediate attachment to this composite structure and play a pivotal role in maximizing the hydrolytic process. Although xyloglucan, which includes a backbone of beta-1,4-glucan decorated primarily with xylose residues, is a key component of the plant(More)
Spinocerebellar ataxia type-3, also known as Machado-Joseph Disease (MJD), is one of many inherited neurodegenerative disorders caused by polyglutamine-encoding CAG repeat expansions in otherwise unrelated genes. Disease protein misfolding and aggregation, often within the nucleus of affected neurons, characterize polyglutamine disorders. Several evidences(More)
Polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases are a group of nine neurodegenerative disorders caused by an unstable CAG expansion in the codifying region of their respective associated genes. However, each polyQ disease displays a different symptomatic and pathoanatomic profile and the proteins involved share no homology outside the polyQ tract. This suggests that the(More)
Spermadhesins, 12,000-14,000 M(r) mammalian proteins, include lectins involved in sperm-egg binding and display a single CUB domain architecture. We report the crystal structures of porcine seminal plasma PSP-I/PSP-II, a heterodimer of two glycosylated spermadhesins, and bovine aSFP at 2.4 A and 1.9 A resolution respectively.
The utilization of organized supramolecular assemblies to exploit the synergistic interactions afforded by close proximity, both for enzymatic synthesis and for the degradation of recalcitrant substrates, is an emerging theme in cellular biology. Anaerobic bacteria harness a multiprotein complex, termed the "cellulosome," for efficient degradation of the(More)
Clostridium thermocellum is a well-characterized cellulose-degrading microorganism. The genome sequence of C. thermocellum encodes a number of proteins that contain type I dockerin domains, which implies that they are components of the cellulose-degrading apparatus, but display no significant sequence similarity to known plant cell wall-degrading enzymes.(More)
Modular glycoside hydrolases that attack recalcitrant polymers generally contain noncatalytic carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs), which play a critical role in the action of these enzymes by localizing the appended catalytic domains onto the surface of insoluble polysaccharide substrates. Type B CBMs, which recognize single polysaccharide chains, display(More)
BACKGROUND Machado-Joseph Disease (MJD), a form of dominantly inherited ataxia belonging to the group of polyQ expansion neurodegenerative disorders, occurs when a threshold value for the number of glutamines in Ataxin-3 (Atx3) polyglutamine region is exceeded. As a result of its modular multidomain architecture, Atx3 is known to engage in multiple(More)