Francesca Germani

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Comparative genomic studies have led to the recent identification of several novel globin types in the Metazoa. They have revealed a surprising evolutionary diversity of functions beyond the familiar O(2) supply roles of hemoglobin and myoglobin. Here we report the discovery of a hitherto unrecognized family of proteins with a unique modular architecture,(More)
Caliciviridae are RNA viruses with a single-stranded, positively oriented polyadenylated genome, responsible for a broad spectrum of diseases such as acute gastroenteritis in humans. Recently, analyses on the structures and functionalities of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) from several Caliciviruses have been reported. The RdRp is predicted to play(More)
Cytoglobin (Cygb) was recently discovered in the human genome and localized in different tissues. It was suggested to play tissue-specific protective roles, spanning from scavenging of reactive oxygen species in neurons to supplying oxygen to enzymes in fibroblasts. To shed light on the functioning of such versatile machinery, we have studied the processes(More)
Moderate levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are now recognized as redox signalling molecules. However, thus far, only mitochondria and NADPH oxidases have been identified as cellular sources of ROS in signalling. Here we identify a globin (GLB-12) that produces superoxide, a type of ROS, which serves as an essential signal for reproduction in C.(More)
Extensive in silico search of the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans revealed the presence of 33 genes coding for globins that are all transcribed. These globins are very diverse in gene and protein structure and are localized in a variety of cells, mostly neurons. The large number of C. elegans globin genes is assumed to be the result of multiple(More)
The haem-based sensors are chimeric multi-domain proteins responsible for the cellular adaptive responses to environmental changes. The signal transduction is mediated by the sensing capability of the haem-binding domain, which transmits a usable signal to the cognate transmitter domain, responsible for providing the adequate answer. Four major families of(More)
Human plasma cholinesterase (E.C.3.1.1.8) from 1,594 blood donors was phenotyped on the basis of dibucaïne, fluoride, chloride and succinylcholine differential inhibitions according to the criteria of Brown et coll. The observed gene frequencies are: E1u = 0.970,8, E1a = 0.188,0, E1f = 0.103,0.
We report the structural and biochemical characterization of GLB-33, a putative neuropeptide receptor that is exclusively expressed in the nervous system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This unique chimeric protein is composed of a 7-transmembrane domain (7TM), GLB-33 7TM, typical of a G-protein-coupled receptor, and of a globin domain (GD), GLB-33(More)
The nerve tissue mini-hemoglobin from Cerebratulus lacteus (CerHb) displays an essential globin fold hosting a protein matrix tunnel held to allow traffic of small ligands to and from the heme. CerHb heme pocket hosts the distal TyrB10/GlnE7 pair, normally linked to low rates of O(2) dissociation and ultra-high O(2) affinity. However, CerHb affinity for(More)
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