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Structural and functional evaluation of the palindromic alanine rich antimicrobial peptide Pa MAP2
Portugal (PorMSIC) - University of Lisbon, Lisbon
Nuno Santos Lab, Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Mario Felicio and Sonia Goncalves
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Recently, several peptides have been studied regarding the defence process against pathogenic microorganisms, which are able to act against different targets, with the purpose of developing novel bioactive compounds. The urgency in developing new antibiotic molecules have increased in recent years due to the fact that conventional antibiotics are no longer efficient against multi-resistant pathogens, arising as public health threats.
What is the aim of the project?
The present work aims to improve the antibacterial activity of a polyalanine peptide by using rational design techniques based on known sequences, aware that a palindromic sequence may be of key importance. The main modifications will be carried out in the organization of amino acid residues, focusing on physicochemical characteristics such as charge and hydrophobicity, designing a palindromic sequence that may favour a α-helix conformation and, thus, the interaction with the membrane of pathogens. In addition, the peptide obtained will also be structurally characterized and further evaluated on in vitro experiments.
What techniques and methods are used?
Fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism, atomic force microscopy (AFM), dynamic light scattering, zeta potential and other biophysical techniques.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will be inserted in the project of research that is ongoing, in order to fulfill the work schedule. During the research exchange, besides lectures and preliminary readings to give him a background knowledge, the student will repeat some lab experiments to confirm the results already obtained.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Preliminary readings and lectures
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Good understanding of English to read literature.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students
- Ribeiro S.M.; Felicio M.R.; Boas E.V.; Goncalves S.; Costa F.; Samy R.P.; Santos N.C. and Franco O.L.; New frontiers for anti-biofilm drug development (2016); Pharmacology & Therapeutics; 160: 133-144; doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2016.02.006.
- Cardoso M.H.; Ribeiro S.M.; Nolasco D.O.; Fuente-Nez C.; Felicio M.R.; Goncalves S.; Matos C.O.; Liao L.M.; Santos N.C.; Hancock R.E.W.; Franco O.L. and Migliolo L.; A polyalanine peptide derived from polar fish with anti-infections activities (2016); Scientific Reports; 6: 21385; doi: 10.1038/srep21385.
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