Azzurra Stefanucci

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Neurodegenerative disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, prion diseases, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are often associated with inflammatory process, which involves various components of the immune system in the central nervous system, in particular astrocytes and microglial cells. Inflammation mediators such as cytokines, leukotrienes,(More)
Marine sponges. (e.g., Hyrtios sp., Dragmacidin sp., Aglophenia pleuma, Aplidium cyaneum, Aplidium meridianum.) produce bioactive secondary metabolites involved in their defence mechanisms. Recently it was demonstrated that several of those compounds show a large variety of biological activities against different human diseases with possible applications in(More)
The tripeptide glycine-proline-glutamate (GPE) is the naturally cleaved N-terminal tripeptide of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in brain tissues by an acid protease. Although GPE does not bind to IGF-1 receptors and its mode of action is not clear, in vitro studies have demonstrated its ability to stimulate acetylcholine and dopamine release, as well(More)
Camptothecins are a family of alkaloids originally extracted from the Chinese tree Camptotheca acuminata, Nyssaceae, exhibiting a strong activity against colorectal cancer (CRC). CRC is a common malignancy worlwide. Despite significant developments in the treatment of this disease, it still causes considerable morbidity and mortality. Recent advances(More)
N-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels (CaV 2.2) are located at nerve endings in the central and peripheral nervous systems and are strongly associated with the pathological processes of cerebral ischaemia and neuropathic pain. CaV 2.2 blockers such as the ω-conotoxin MVIIA (Prialt) are analgesic and have opioid-sparing effects. With the aim to develop(More)
INTRODUCTION Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) is a serine protease, which catalyzes the hydrolytic process of the amide bond X-Ala or X-Pro at the N-terminus of peptides. This enzyme is involved in the degradation of two incretin hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucose-dependent-insulinotropic polypeptide, which increase the production and release of(More)
Biphalin (Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-Phe-NH-NH < -Phe < -Gly < -D-Ala < -Tyr) is an opioid octapeptide with a dimeric structure based on two identical pharmacophore portions, derived from enkephalins, joined "tail to tail" by a hydrazide bridge. This particular structure enhances the antinociceptive activity of the native enkephalins with an unknown mechanism, probably(More)
A successful design of peptidomimetics must come to terms with χ-space control. The incorporation of χ-space constrained amino acids into bioactive peptides renders the χ(1) and χ(2) torsional angles of pharmacophore amino acids critical for activity and selectivity as with other relevant structural features of the template. This review describes histidine(More)
Three naturally occurring oxyprenylated diketopiperazines were synthesized and preliminarily tested as growth inhibitory agents in vitro against various cancer cell lines. The compounds were tested on six human cancer cell lines with different sensitivity to proapoptotic stimuli using the MTT colorimetric assay. The data revealed that of the chemicals under(More)
Two novel opioid analogues have been designed by substituting the native d-Ala residues in position 2,2' of biphalin with two residues of d-penicillamine or l-penicillamine and by forming a disulfide bond between the thiol groups. The so-obtained compound 9 containing d-penicillamines showed excellent μ/δ mixed receptor affinities (K i (δ) = 5.2 nM; K i (μ)(More)