Helen A. Arcuri

Learn More
The biochemical and functional characterization of wasp venom toxins is an important prerequisite for the development of new tools both for the therapy of the toxic reactions due to envenomation caused by multiple stinging accidents and also for the diagnosis and therapy of allergic reactions caused by this type of venom. PLA(1) was purified from the venom(More)
Polybia paulista wasp venom possesses three major allergens: phospholipase A1, hyaluronidase and antigen-5. To the best of our knowledge, no hyaluronidase from the venom of Neotropical social wasps was structurally characterized up to this moment, mainly due to its reduced amount in the venom of the tropical wasp species (about 0.5% of crude venom). Four(More)
BACKGROUND The functional and structural characterisation of enzymes that belong to microbial metabolic pathways is very important for structure-based drug design. The main interest in studying shikimate pathway enzymes involves the fact that they are essential for bacteria but do not occur in humans, making them selective targets for design of drugs that(More)
Hymenoptera venoms are complex mixtures of biochemically and pharmacologically active components such as biogenic amines, peptides and proteins. Polycationic peptides generally constitute the largest group of Hymenoptera venom toxins, and the mastoparans constitute the most abundant and important class of peptides in the venom of social wasps. These toxins(More)
BACKGROUND The peptide Paulistine was isolated from the venom of wasp Polybia paulista. This peptide exists under a natural equilibrium between the forms: oxidised - with an intra-molecular disulphide bridge; and reduced - in which the thiol groups of the cysteine residues do not form the disulphide bridge. The biological activities of both forms of the(More)
The Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium that is the cause of citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC). The shikimate pathway is of pivotal importance for production of a plethora of aromatic compounds in plants, bacteria, and fungi. Putative structural differences in the enzymes from the shikimate pathway, between the proteins of bacterial origin and those of(More)
HCV is prevalent throughout the world. It is a major cause of chronic liver disease. There is no effective vaccine and the most common therapy, based on Peginterferon, has a success rate of ~50%. The mechanisms underlying viral resistance have not been elucidated but it has been suggested that both host and virus contribute to therapy outcome.(More)
Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) have been identified as potential targets for development of drugs, mainly against cancer. These studies generated a vast library of chemical inhibitors of CDKs, and some of these molecules can also inhibit kinases identified in the Plasmodium falciparum genome. Here we describe structural models for Protein Kinase 6 from P.(More)
Peptides isolated from animal venoms have shown the ability to regulate pancreatic beta cell function. Characterization of wasp venoms is important, since some components of these venoms present large molecular variability, and potential interactions with different signal transduction pathways. For example, the well studied mastoparan peptides interact with(More)
BACKGROUND About 130 million people are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) worldwide, but effective treatment options are not yet available. One of the most promising targets for antiviral therapy is nonstructural protein 3 (NS3). To identify possible changes in the structure of NS3 associated with virological sustained response or non-response of(More)