The research developed by the Laboratory of Structural Biology and Protein Engineering focuses on functional and structural characterization of proteins with emphasis in proteins with potential for biomedical and biotechnological applications.

The laboratory set up includes modern infrastructure for production and purification of recombinant proteins, molecular and biochemical assays to assess protein function.

The Laboratory has facilities and equipment for spectroscopic characterization of proteins in solution (circular dichroism, fluorescence, DLS, microscale thermophoresis) and determination of the three-dimensional structure of proteins by crystallography.

The team has extensive experience in Molecular Biology, Protein Biochemistry, Structural Biology and X-ray Crystallography.

This project involves development of expression systems for antigens and antibodies in laboratory and pilot scales, isolation synthetic antibodies for detection of pathogens and molecular markers for cancer and characterization of the mechanism of antigen-antibody interactions.

Researchers involved: Nilson Zanchin

Ribosomes of trypanosomatids exhibit unique structural features as compared to other eukaryotes. In order to understand the origin of these differences we are investigating the ribonucleases involved in processing of the ribosomal RNA precursor molecule by applying a set of complementary methods including structural analysis by crystallography, in vitro biochemical assays and in vivo phenotypic characterization of T. brucei mutants generated by RNA interference.

Researchers involved: Beatriz Guimarães e Nilson Zanchin

The components and interaction pattern of translation factors from Trypanosomatid parasites display important differences relative to their hosts. In this project we plan to explore these differences in order to develop inhibitors that act selectively on the parasite factors without affecting protein synthesis of host cell. This project is being conducted in collaboration with the Laboratory of Regulation of Gene Expression of Carlos Chagas Institute – FIOCRUZ, with Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Center of (Warwick, UK) and the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology at the University of Leeds (UK) and with the Pasteur Institute (Paris, France).

Researchers involved: Nilson Zanchin and Beatriz Guimarães

Chromatin modifying proteins are essential for a variety of processes and have a direct impact on transcription and DNA repair and metabolism. This project involves characterization and validation of Trypanosoma cruzi histone modifying enzymes as targets for the development of novel inhibitors against this parasite.

Researchers involved: Gisele Picchi and Nilson Zanchin