Ludovica Montanucci

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MOTIVATION A basic question in protein science is to which extent mutations affect protein thermostability. This knowledge would be particularly relevant for engineering thermostable enzymes. In several experimental approaches, this issue has been serendipitously addressed. It would be therefore convenient providing a computational method that predicts when(More)
Asparagine N-Glycosylation is one of the most important forms of protein post-translational modification in eukaryotes. This metabolic pathway can be subdivided into two parts: an upstream sub-pathway required for achieving proper folding for most of the proteins synthesized in the secretory pathway, and a downstream sub-pathway required to give variability(More)
Recombination varies greatly among species, as illustrated by the poor conservation of the recombination landscape between humans and chimpanzees. Thus, shorter evolutionary time frames are needed to understand the evolution of recombination. Here, we analyze its recent evolution in humans. We calculated the recombination rates between adjacent pairs of(More)
BACKGROUND Pathogens have represented an important selective force during the adaptation of modern human populations to changing social and other environmental conditions. The evolution of the immune system has therefore been influenced by these pressures. Genomic scans have revealed that immune system is one of the functions enriched with genes under(More)
Vertebrate visual phototransduction is perhaps the most well-studied G-protein signaling pathway. A wealth of available biochemical and electrophysiological data has resulted in a rich history of mathematical modeling of the system. However, while the most comprehensive models have relied upon amphibian biochemical and electrophysiological data, modern(More)
Phototransduction in vertebrate photoreceptor cells represents a paradigm of signaling pathways mediated by G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which share common modules linking the initiation of the cascade to the final response of the cell. In this work, we focused on the recovery phase of the visual photoresponse, which is comprised of several(More)
Visual perception is initiated in the photoreceptor cells of the retina via the phototransduction system. This system has shown marked evolution during mammalian divergence in such complex attributes as activation time and recovery time. We have performed a molecular evolutionary analysis of proteins involved in mammalian phototransduction in order to(More)
Determining the influence of complex, molecular-system dynamics on the evolution of proteins is hindered by the significant challenge of quantifying the control exerted by the proteins on system output. We have employed a combination of systems biology and molecular evolution analyses in a first attempt to unravel this relationship. We employed a(More)
Both short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) mediate the repression of specific sequences of mRNA through the RNA interference pathway. In the last years several experiments have supported the hypothesis that siRNAs and miRNAs may be functionally interchangeable, at least in cultured cells. In this work we verify that this hypothesis is also(More)
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