Massimiliano Meli

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It is assumed that modern life forms arose from a molecular ancestor in which RNA molecules both stored genetic information and catalyzed biochemical reactions. In modern cells, these functions are carried out, respectively, by DNA and proteins, but diverse cellular RNAs are also involved in key cellular functions. In this paper, we review the cellular RNAs(More)
BACKGROUND The conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into the infectious form (PrP(Sc)) is the key event in prion induced neurodegenerations. This process is believed to involve a multi-step conformational transition from an alpha-helical (PrP(C)) form to a beta-sheet-rich (PrP(Sc)) state. In addition to the conformational difference, PrP(Sc)(More)
BACKGROUND Mutations in the cellular prion protein associated to familial prion disorders severely increase the likelihood of its misfolding into pathogenic conformers. Despite their postulation as incompatible elements with the native fold, these mutations rarely modify the native state structure. However they variably have impact on the thermodynamic(More)
The self-organization of peptides into amyloidogenic oligomers is one of the key events for a wide range of molecular and degenerative diseases. Atomic-resolution characterization of the mechanisms responsible for the aggregation process and the resulting structures is thus a necessary step to improve our understanding of the determinants of these(More)
Recent studies indicate that extracellular vesicles are an important source material for many clinical applications, including minimally-invasive disease diagnosis. However, challenges for rapid and simple extracellular vesicle collection have hindered their application. We have developed and validated a novel class of peptides (which we named venceremin,(More)
Mx proteins are large GTPases, which play a pivotal role in the interferon type I-mediated response against viral infections. The human MxA inhibits the replication of several RNA viruses and is organized in oligomeric structures. Using two different experimental approaches, the mammalian two-hybrid system and an interaction dependent nuclear translocation(More)
Human serum albumin (HSA) is involved physiologically in heme scavenging; in turn, heme-albumin (HSA-heme-Fe) displays globin-like properties. Here, the allosteric effect of ibuprofen and warfarin on the local atomic structure around the ferric heme-Fe (heme-Fe(III)) atom of HSA-heme-Fe (HSA-heme-Fe(III)) has been probed by Fe-K edge X-ray absorption(More)
In this paper, we investigate the dynamic aspects of the molecular recognition between a small molecule ligand and a flat, exposed protein surface, representing a typical target in the development of protein-protein interaction inhibitors. Specifically, we analyze the complex between the protein Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 (FGF2) and a recently discovered(More)
PARP-1 inhibition has been studied over the last decades for the treatment of various diseases. Despite the fact that several molecules act as PARP-1 inhibitors, a reduced number of compounds are used in clinical practice. To identify new compounds with a discriminatory PARP-1 inhibitory function, explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations using(More)
Herein we investigate the molecular bases of DNA polymerase I conformational dynamics that underlie the replication fidelity of the enzyme. Such fidelity is determined by conformational changes that promote the rejection of incorrect nucleotides before the chemical ligation step. We report a comprehensive atomic resolution study of wild type and mutant(More)