Azzurra Stefanucci

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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)
We report the synthesis and the biological evaluation of two new analogues of the potent dimeric opioid peptide biphalin. The performed modification is based on the replacement of two key structural elements of the native biphalin, namely: the hydrazine bridge which joins the two palindromic moieties and the phenylalanine residues at the 4,4′ positions of(More)
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)
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)
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)
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)
BACKGROUND Monodrug therapy has been used with success to fight various pathologies. When one medicine fails, co-administration of two or more drugs at the same time may be successfully applied in the treatment of infections, hypertension, HIV and in many other fields. DISCUSSION This approach has some weakness related to the pharmacokinetic of the two(More)
Biphalin [(Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-Phe-NH-)2 ] is an octapeptide with mixed μ/δ opioid activity. Its structure is based on two identical enkephalin-like portions linked "tail-to-tail" by a hydrazine bridge. This study presents the synthesis and in vitro and in vivo bioassays of two biphalin analogs that do not present the toxicity connected with the presence of the(More)
Endomorphin-2 (EM-2: Tyr-Pro-Phe-Phe-NH(2)) is an endogenous tetrapeptide that combines potency and efficacy with high affinity and selectivity toward the μ opioid receptor, the most responsible for analgesic effects in the central nervous system. The presence of the Pro(2) represents a crucial factor for the ligand structural and conformational properties.(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)