Gabriele Varani

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A major challenge of computational protein design is the creation of novel proteins with arbitrarily chosen three-dimensional structures. Here, we used a general computational strategy that iterates between sequence design and structure prediction to design a 93-residue alpha/beta protein called Top7 with a novel sequence and topology. Top7 was found(More)
Many RNA-binding proteins have modular structures and are composed of multiple repeats of just a few basic domains that are arranged in various ways to satisfy their diverse functional requirements. Recent studies have investigated how different modules cooperate in regulating the RNA-binding specificity and the biological activity of these proteins. They(More)
We have developed an all-atom statistical potential function for the prediction of protein-DNA interactions from their structures, and show that this method outperforms similar, lower-resolution statistical potentials in a series of decoy discrimination experiments. The all-atom formalism appears to capture details of atomic interactions that are missed by(More)
The double-stranded RNA-binding domain (dsRBD) is a common RNA-binding motif found in many proteins involved in RNA maturation and localization. To determine how this domain recognizes RNA, we have studied the third dsRBD from Drosophila Staufen. The domain binds optimally to RNA stem-loops containing 12 uninterrupted base pairs, and we have identified the(More)
Rnt1 endoribonuclease, the yeast homolog of RNAse III, plays an important role in the maturation of a diverse set of RNAs. The enzymatic activity requires a conserved catalytic domain, while RNA binding requires the double-stranded RNA-binding domain (dsRBD) at the C-terminus of the protein. While bacterial RNAse III enzymes cleave double-stranded RNA,(More)
Naf1 is an essential protein involved in the maturation of box H/ACA ribonucleoproteins, a group of particles required for ribosome biogenesis, modification of spliceosomal small nuclear RNAs and telomere synthesis. Naf1 participates in the assembly of the RNP at transcription sites and in the nuclear trafficking of the complex. The crystal structure of a(More)
Coding region and intronic mutations in the tau gene cause frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17. Intronic mutations and some missense mutations increase splicing in of exon 10, leading to an increased ratio of four-repeat to three-repeat tau isoforms. Secondary structure predictions have led to the proposal that intronic(More)
The ribonucleoprotein (RNP) domain is one of the most common eukaryotic protein folds. Proteins containing RNP domains function in important steps of posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression by directing the assembly of multiprotein complexes on primary transcripts, mature mRNAs, and stable ribonucleoprotein components of the RNA processing(More)
One of the first steps in HIV gene expression is the recruitment of Tat protein to the transcription machinery after its binding to the RNA response element TAR. Starting from a pool of 3.2 x 10(6) individual chemical entities, we were able to select a hybrid peptoid/peptide oligomer of 9 residues (CGP64222) that was able to block the formation of the(More)
The solution structure of a 27-nucleotide duplex, including the internal loop E from Xenopus laevis 5S ribosomal RNA, has been studied by two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy, followed by restrained molecular dynamics. The highly conserved internal loop closes to form a G.A base pair and a reverse-Hoogsteen A.U base pair. Extensive interstrand stacking between(More)