Francesca Spyrakis

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Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry, UniVersity of Parma, Via G.P. Usberti 17/A 43100, Parma, Italy, National Institute for Biosystems and Biostructures, Rome, Italy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Institute for Structural Biology & Drug DiscoVery, Virginia Commonwealth UniVersity, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0540, Department of Pharmaceutics,(More)
Cysteine is the final product of the reductive sulfate assimilation pathway in bacteria and plants and serves as the precursor for all sulfur-containing biological compounds, such as methionine, S-adenosyl methionine, iron-sulfur clusters and glutathione. Moreover, in several microorganisms cysteine plays a role as a reducing agent, eventually counteracting(More)
A statistically validated protocol to identify "relevant" water molecules in protein binding sites using HINT score and a geometric descriptor termed Rank is described. In training, conservation/nonconservation was modeled for 86% of the waters. For the test set, 87% of waters were correctly classified (92% when crystallographic resolution was <or=2.0 A).(More)
Ligand binding to the alpha-subunit of the alpha2beta2 complex of tryptophan synthase induces the alphaloop6 closure over the alpha-active site. This conformational change is associated with the formation of a hydrogen bond between alphaGly181 NH group and betaSer178 carbonyl oxygen, a key event for the triggering of intersubunit allosteric signals.(More)
Ligands from a set of 19 protein-ligand complexes were re-docked with AutoDock, GOLD and FlexX using the scoring algorithms native to these programs supplemented by analysis using the HINT free energy force field. A HINT scoring function was calibrated for this data set using a simple linear regression of total HINT score for crystal-structure complexes vs.(More)
Despite decades of investigations, it is not yet clear whether there are rules dictating the specificity of the interaction between amino acids and nucleotide bases. This issue was addressed by determining, in a dataset consisting of 100 high-resolution protein-DNA structures, the frequency and energy of interaction between each amino acid and base, and the(More)
BACKGROUND There is a great interest in understanding and exploiting protein-protein associations as new routes for treating human disease. However, these associations are difficult to structurally characterize or model although the number of X-ray structures for protein-protein complexes is expanding. One feature of these complexes that has received little(More)
Structure-based virtual screening is currently an established tool in drug lead discovery projects. Although in the last years the field saw an impressive progress in terms of algorithm development, computational performance, and retrospective and prospective applications in ligand identification, there are still long-standing challenges where further(More)
The ongoing emergence of bacterial strains resistant to even third- and fourth-generation β-lactam antibiotics is one of the most pressing and challenging issues in clinical therapy. Furthermore, under the pressure of antibiotics used ubiquitously over the last 80 years, functional mutations and new resistances are continuously increasing. Therefore, new(More)
Plants contain three classes of hemoglobins which are not associated with nitrogen fixing bacteria, and have been accordingly termed nonsymbiotic hemoglobins. The function of nonsymbiotic hemoglobins is as yet mostly unknown. A NO dioxygenase activity has been proposed and demonstrated for some of them in vitro. In this context, a sound molecular mechanism(More)