Octavio Luiz Franco

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Insect pests and pathogens (fungi, bacteria and viruses) are responsible for severe crop losses. Insects feed directly on the plant tissues, while the pathogens lead to damage or death of the plant. Plants have evolved a certain degree of resistance through the production of defence compounds, which may be aproteic, e.g. antibiotics, alkaloids, terpenes,(More)
Plant alpha-amylase inhibitors show great potential as tools to engineer resistance of crop plants against pests. Their possible use is, however, complicated by observed variations in specificity of enzyme inhibition, even within closely related families of inhibitors. Five alpha-amylase inhibitors of the structural 0.19 family were isolated from wheat(More)
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are widely distributed defense molecules and represent a promising alternative for solving the problem of antibiotic resistance. Nevertheless, the experimental time required to screen putative AMPs makes computational simulations based on peptide sequence analysis and/or molecular modeling extremely attractive. Artificial(More)
Infections caused by pathogenic bacteria could cause an expressive negative impact on human health. A significant enhance in resistance to commercial antibiotics has been observed in all kinds of pathogenic bacteria. In order to find novel approaches to control such common infections, a wide number of defense peptides with bactericidal properties have been(More)
This review focuses on the first plant defense protein class described in literature, with growth inhibition activity toward pathogens. These peptides were named gamma-thionins or defensins, which are small proteins that can be classified into four main subtypes according to their specific functions. Gamma-thionins are small cationic peptides with different(More)
Evolutionary and closer structural relationships are demonstrated by phylogenetic analysis, peptide prediction and molecular modelling between Solanum tuberosum apyrase, Schistosoma mansoni SmATPase 2 and Leishmania braziliensis NDPase. Specific protein domains are suggested to be potentially involved in the immune response, and also seem to be conserved(More)
Gram-positive and -negative bacteria are dangerous pathogens that may cause human infection diseases, especially due to the increasingly high prevalence of antibiotic resistance, which is becoming one of the most alarming clinical problems. In the search for novel antimicrobial compounds, snake venoms represent a rich source for such compounds, which are(More)
Obesity is a multifactor disease associated with cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension. Recently, gut microbiota was linked to obesity pathogenesisand shown to influence the host metabolism. Moreover, several factors such as host-genotype and life-style have been shown to modulate gut microbiota composition. Exercise is a well-known agent used for(More)
Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is an important agricultural commodity, which is attacked by several pests such as the cotton boll weevil Anthonomus grandis. Adult A. grandis feed on fruits and leaf petioles, reducing drastically the crop production. The predominance of boll weevil digestive serine proteinases has motivated inhibitor screenings in order to(More)