Giuseppe Melacini

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Allostery is a fundamental mechanism of regulation in biology. The residues at the end points of long-range allosteric perturbations are commonly identified by the comparative analyses of structures and dynamics in apo and effector-bound states. However, the networks of interactions mediating the propagation of allosteric signals between the end points(More)
Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) ion channels control neuronal and cardiac electrical rhythmicity. There are four homologous isoforms (HCN1-4) sharing a common multidomain architecture that includes an N-terminal transmembrane tetrameric ion channel followed by a cytoplasmic "C-linker," which connects a more distal cAMP-binding(More)
The dimerization/docking (D/D) domain of the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) holoenzyme mediates important protein-protein interactions that direct the subcellular localization of the enzyme. A kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) provide the molecular scaffold for the localization of PKA. The recent solution structures of two D/D AKAP complexes(More)
The cyclic-AMP binding domain (CBD) is the central regulatory unit of exchange proteins activated by cAMP (EPAC). The CBD maintains EPAC in a state of auto-inhibition in the absence of the allosteric effector, cAMP. When cAMP binds to the CBD such auto-inhibition is released, leading to EPAC activation. It has been shown that a key feature of such(More)
Exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (EPACs) are guanine nucleotide-exchange factors for the small GTPases Rap1 and Rap2 and represent a key receptor for the ubiquitous cAMP second messenger in eukaryotes. The cAMP-dependent activation of apoEPAC is typically rationalized in terms of a preexisting equilibrium between inactive and active states.(More)
The cAMP signaling cascade is one of the most frequently targeted pathways for the development of pharmaceutics. A plethora of recent genetic and pharmacological studies suggest that exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (EPACs) are implicated in multiple pathologies. Selective EPAC inhibitors have been recently developed. One specific inhibitor,(More)
The Regulatory (R) subunit of Protein Kinase A (PKA) inhibits its kinase activity by shielding the Catalytic (C) subunit from physiological substrates. This inhibition is reversed in response to extra-cellular signals that increase cAMP levels in the cytoplasm. Upon cAMP binding to R, C is allosterically released from R, activating a spectrum of downstream(More)
EPAC is a cAMP-dependent guanine nucleotide exchange factor that serves as a prototypical molecular switch for the regulation of essential cellular processes. Although EPAC activation by cAMP has been extensively investigated, the mechanism of EPAC autoinhibition is still not fully understood. The steric clash between the side chains of two conserved(More)
One of the mechanisms that minimize the aberrant cross-talk between cAMP- and cGMP-dependent signaling pathways relies on the selectivity of cAMP binding domains (CBDs). For instance, the CBDs of two critical eukaryotic cAMP receptors, i.e. protein kinase A (PKA) and the exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC), are both selectively activated by cAMP.(More)
Epac (exchange protein directly activated by cAMP) is a critical cAMP receptor, which senses cAMP and couples the cAMP signal to the catalysis of guanine exchange in the Rap substrate. In the present paper, we review the NMR studies that we have undertaken on the CBD (cyclic-nucleotide-binding domain) of Epac1. Our NMR investigations have shown that cAMP(More)