Danilo Milardi

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An abnormal interaction between copper and the prion protein is believed to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of prion diseases. Copper binding has been mainly attributed to the N-terminal domain of the prion protein, but this hypothesis has recently been challenged in some papers which suggest that the C-terminal domain might also compete for metal(More)
Alzheimer's disease is increased in diabetic patients. A defective insulin activity on the brain has been hypothesized to contribute to the neuronal cell dysregulation leading to AD, but the mechanism is not clear. We analyzed the effect of insulin on several molecular steps of amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing and β-amyloid (Aβ) intracellular(More)
Interest in the 37-residue human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) is related to its ability to form amyloid deposits in patients affected by type II diabetes. Attempts to unravel the molecular features of this disease have indicated several regions of this polypeptide to be responsible for either the ability to form insoluble fibrils or the abnormal(More)
Aggregation of the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) into fibrillar structures is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Thus, preventing self-assembly of the Aβ peptide is an attractive therapeutic strategy. Here, we used experimental techniques and atomistic simulations to investigate the influence of carnosine, a dipeptide naturally occurring in the brain, on Aβ(More)
Although the molecular determinants of Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (FALS) are still largely unknown, previous studies have demonstrated that aggregation of Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) mutants may play a causative role in FALS. It has been proposed that this pathogenic process occurs via a multi-step pathway involving metal loss, dimer(More)
The aim of this study is to verify if water-soluble porphyrins can be used as proteasome inhibitors. We have found that cationic porphyrins inhibit proteasome peptidase activities much more effectively than the corresponding anionic derivatives. The relevance of electrostatics in driving porphyin-proteasome interactions has been confirmed by the observation(More)
Prion diseases are associated with an abnormal conformational transition involving the prion protein and are known to affect mammals. Here, the different mechanical behaviour of two mammalian, human (HuPrP) and Syrian hamster (ShaPrP), and two non-mammalian, chicken (ChPrP) and turtle (TuPrP), prions was assessed by steered molecular dynamics simulations(More)
Disruption of the integrity of the plasma membrane by amyloidogenic proteins is linked to the pathogenesis of a number of common age-related diseases. Although accumulating evidence suggests that adverse environmental stressors such as unbalanced levels of metal ions may trigger amyloid-mediated membrane damage, many features of the molecular mechanisms(More)
Given the similar chemical properties of zinc and cadmium, zinc finger domains have been often proposed as mediators of the toxic and carcinogenic effects exerted by this xenobiotic metal. The effects of zinc replacement by cadmium in different eukaryotic zinc fingers have been reported. In the present work, to evaluate the effects of such substitution in(More)