Giuseppe Nicastro

Learn More
The Josephin domain plays an important role in the cellular functions of ataxin-3, the protein responsible for the neurodegenerative Machado-Joseph disease. We have determined the solution structure of Josephin and shown that it belongs to the family of papain-like cysteine proteases, sharing the highest degree of structural similarity with bacterial(More)
Joseph-Machado is an incurable neurodegenerative disease caused by toxic aggregation of ataxin-3, a ubiquitin-specific cysteine protease, involved in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and known to bind poly-ubiquitin chains of four or more subunits. The enzymatic site resides in the N-terminal josephin domain of ataxin-3. We have characterized the(More)
Expansion of the polyglutamine (polyQ) region in the protein ataxin-3 is associated with spinocerebellar ataxia type 3, an inherited neurodegenerative disorder that belongs to the family of polyQ diseases. Increasing evidence indicates that protein aggregation and fibre formation play an important role in these pathologies. In a previous study, we(More)
Ataxin-3, the disease protein in the neurodegenerative disorder Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 or Machado Joseph disease, is a cysteine protease implicated in the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. It contains multiple ubiquitin binding sites through which it anchors polyubiquitin chains of different linkages that are then cleaved by the N-terminal catalytic(More)
The structural bases that render the third intracellular loop (i3) of the rat angiotensin II AT1A receptor one of the cytoplasmic domains responsible for G-protein coupling are still unknown. The three-dimensional structures of two overlapping peptides mapping the entire i3 loop and shown to differently interact with purified G-proteins have been obtained(More)
The availability of new and fast tools in structure determination has led to a more than exponential growth of the number of structures solved per year. It is therefore increasingly essential to assess the accuracy of the new structures by reliable approaches able to assist validation. Here, we discuss a specific example in which the use of different(More)
The 64 amino acid hirudin-like peptide HM2 (Hirudinaria manillensis) is one of the agents known to specifically block the blood-clotting enzyme thrombin, and therefore is used as a potential pharmacological tool for the treatment of arterial and venous thrombosis. This peptide and its derivatives provide a new set of probes for studies aimed at elucidating(More)
Angiotensin II AT1A receptor is coupled to G-protein, and the molecular mechanism of signal transduction is still unclear. The solution conformation of a synthetic peptide corresponding to residues 300-320 of the rat AT1A receptor, located in the C-terminal cytoplasmic tail and indicated by mutagenesis work to be critical for the G-protein coupling, has(More)
The PcF protein from Phytophthora cactorum is the first member of the "PcF toxin family" from the plant pathogens Phytophthora spp. It is able to induce withering in tomato and strawberry leaves. The lack of sequence similarity with other proteins hampers the identification of the molecular mechanisms responsible for its toxicity. Here, we show that the six(More)
Let-7 is an important tumor-suppressive microRNA (miRNA) that acts as an on-off switch for cellular differentiation and regulates the expression of a set of human oncogenes. Binding of the human KSRP protein to let-7 miRNA precursors positively regulates their processing to mature let-7, thereby contributing to control of cell proliferation, apoptosis and(More)