Miguel A. R. B. Castanho

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common representative of a group of disorders known as synucleinopathies, in which misfolding and aggregation of α-synuclein (a-syn) in various brain regions is the major pathological hallmark. Indeed, the motor symptoms in PD are caused by a heterogeneous degeneration of brain neurons not only in substantia nigra pars(More)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Kyotorphin (KTP; L-Tyr-L-Arg), an endogenous neuropeptide, is potently analgesic when delivered directly to the central nervous system. Its weak analgesic effects after systemic administration have been explained by inability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and detract from the possible clinical use of KTP as an analgesic. In(More)
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are part of the innate immune defense mechanism of many organisms. Although AMPs have been essentially studied and developed as potential alternatives for fighting infectious diseases, their use as anticancer peptides (ACPs) in cancer therapy either alone or in combination with other conventional drugs has been regarded as a(More)
In Alzheimer's disease (AD), besides the characteristic deterioration of memory, studies also point to a higher pain tolerance in spite of sensibility preservation. A change in the normal tau protein phosphorylation is also characteristic of AD, which contributes to the pathogenesis of the disease and is useful in early diagnosis. Kyotorphin (KTP) is an(More)
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important potential alternatives to conventional therapies against bacterial infections. rBPI(21) is a 21 kDa peptide based on the N-terminal region of the neutrophil bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI). This AMP possesses highly selective bactericidal effects on Gram-negative bacteria and have affinity for(More)
The adverse side-effects associated with opioid administration restrain their use as analgesic drugs and call for new solutions to treat pain. Two kyotorphin derivatives, kyotorphin-amide (KTP–NH2) and ibuprofen–KTP–NH2 (IbKTP–NH2) are promising alternatives to opioids: they trigger analgesia via an indirect opioid mechanism and are highly effective in(More)
LJ001 is a lipophilic thiazolidine derivative that inhibits the entry of numerous enveloped viruses at non-cytotoxic concentrations (IC50 ≤ 0.5 µM), and was posited to exploit the physiological difference between static viral membranes and biogenic cellular membranes. We now report on the molecular mechanism that results in LJ001's specific inhibition of(More)
Consensus is gathering that antimicrobial peptides that exert their antibacterial action at the membrane level must reach a local concentration threshold to become active. Studies of peptide interaction with model membranes do identify such disruptive thresholds but demonstrations of the possible correlation of these with the in vivo onset of activity have(More)
Enfuvirtide and T-1249 are two HIV-1 fusion inhibitor peptides that bind to gp41 and prevent its fusogenic conformation, inhibiting viral entry into host cells. Previous studies established the relative preferences of these peptides for membrane model systems of defined lipid compositions. We aimed to understand the interaction of these peptides with the(More)
The tobacco mosaic virus is used as a model molecular assembly to illustrate the basic potentialities of light scattering techniques (both static and dynamic) to undergraduates. The work has two objectives: a pedagogic one (introducing light scattering to undergraduate students) and a scientific one (stabilization of the virus molecular assembly structure(More)