Barbara Becattini

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Mitochondrial dysfunction and release of pro-apoptotic factors such as cytochrome c or apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) from mitochondria are key features of neuronal cell death. The precise mechanisms of how these proteins are released from mitochondria and their particular role in neuronal cell death signaling are however largely unknown. Here, we(More)
Delayed neuronal cell death occurring hours after reperfusion is a hallmark of ischemic stroke and a primary target for neuroprotective strategies. In the present study, we investigated whether apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF), a caspase-independent proapoptotic protein, is responsible for neuronal cell death after glutamate toxicity and oxygen-glucose(More)
Reverse chemical genetics is an emerging technique that makes use of small molecule inhibitors to characterize how a protein functions. In this regard, we have developed an NMR-based approach (SAR by ILOEs) that enables the identification of high affinity ligands for a given protein target without the need of a specific assay. Our approach is of general(More)
JNK is a stress-activated protein kinase that modulates pathways implicated in a variety of disease states. JNK-interacting protein-1 (JIP1) is a scaffolding protein that enhances JNK signaling by creating a proximity effect between JNK and upstream kinases. A minimal peptide region derived from JIP1 is able to inhibit JNK activity both in vitro and in(More)
Bcl-2 family proteins play a crucial role in tissue homeostasis and apoptosis (programmed cell death). Bid is a proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, promoting cell death when activated by caspase-8. Following an NMR-based approach (structure-activity relationships by interligand NOE) we were able to identify two chemical fragments that bind on the(More)
Bid is a key member of the Bcl-2 family proteins involved in the control of the apoptotic cascade in cells, leading to cell death. Uncontrolled cell death is associated with several human pathologies, such as neurodegenerative diseases and ischemic injuries. Therefore, Bid represents a potential yet unexplored and challenging target for strategies aimed at(More)
Obesity is associated with a chronic low-grade inflammation, and specific antiinflammatory interventions may be beneficial for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related diseases. The lipid kinase PI3Kγ is a central proinflammatory signal transducer that plays a major role in leukocyte chemotaxis, mast cell degranulation, and endothelial(More)
Antiapoptotic Bcl-2-family proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-X(L) have been recently validated as drug discovery targets for cancer. Here, by using a combination of molecular modeling, NMR-based structural analysis, fluorescence polarization assays, and cell-based assays, we have designed and characterized a novel proapoptotic compound targeting these proteins. Our(More)
Inhalation anthrax is a deadly disease for which there is currently no effective treatment. Bacillus anthracis lethal factor (LF) metalloproteinase is an integral component of the tripartite anthrax lethal toxin that is essential for the onset and progression of anthrax. We report here on a fragment-based approach that allowed us to develop inhibitors of(More)
The interplay between hepatic glycogen metabolism and blood glucose levels is a paradigm of the rhythmic nature of metabolic homeostasis. Here we show that mice lacking a functional PER2 protein (Per2 (Brdm1) ) display reduced fasting glycemia, altered rhythms of hepatic glycogen accumulation, and altered rhythms of food intake. Per2 (Brdm1) mice show(More)