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Nanotechnologies, Drug Discovery & Chemical Proteomics (ProNanoDrug)  

 Permanent staff: Prof. Sergio Romeo

Chemical proteomics: development of perfluorinated probes for the recognition and non-covalent isolation of proteins
We are developing new perfluorinated probes capable of non-covalently binding proteins useful as a tool for protein recognition and isolation. Perfluorinated organic compounds (PFCs) are biocompatible, bioavailable and bio-orthogonal species that possess the unique ability to separate from polar and non-polar solvents producing a compact fluorophilic phase. In our strategy, both fluorophilic extraction and bio-recognition of a selected protein occur successfully through the formation of reversible and selective interactions.
For further information:
Ivan Bassanini, Corinna Galli, Erica E. Ferrandi, Fabiana Vallone, Annapaola Andolfo, and Sergio Romeo Bioconjugate Chem. 2020, 31, 3, 513–519 https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.9b00846

Development of theranostic nanoparticles
This project aims to develop gold nanoparticles for tumor targeting and thermal therapy. Using specific peptides for certain receptors over expressed in cancer cells and anchored to gold nanoparticles, it was possible to integrate the diagnostic method with a specific therapeutic intervention. This approach was tested using gold nanocages functionalized with peptides derived from neuropeptide Y. The conjugates thus obtained were found to be cytotoxic only for prostate cancer cells after irradiation with pulsed laser light at 808 nm.
For further information: S. Avvakumova, E. Galbiati, L. Sironi, S.A. Locarno, L. Gambini, C. Macchi, L. Pandolfi, M. Ruscica, P. Magni, M. Collini, M. Colombo, F. Corsi, G. Chirico, S. Romeo, D. Prosperi, Theranostic Nanocages for Imaging and Photothermal Therapy of Prostate Cancer Cells by Active Targeting of Neuropeptide-Y Receptor, Bioconjug. Chem. 27 (2016).

Development of new antimalarials:
This project is aimed at the design and synthesis of new derivatives characterized by a powerful antimalarial activity. The study is focused on the optimization of a new pharmacophore derived from oxybisbenzoic acid to improve its bioavailability while maintaining antiprotozoal activity. The design is driven by a combination of in silico pharmacophoric mapping and phenotypic screening.
For further information: I. Bassanini, S. Parapini, C. Galli, N. Vaiana, A. Pancotti, N. Basilico, D. Taramelli, S. Romeo, Discovery and pharmacophore mapping of a new low nanomolar inhibitor of P. falciparum growth, ChemMedChem. (2019) doi:10.1002/cmdc.201900526.

Research Network Participation: CIRM (Centro Interuniversitario Ricerca sulla Malaria)

Main Collaborations:

  • Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano (Prof.ssa S. Parapini)
  • Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Chirurgiche e Odontoiatriche, Università degli Studi di Milano (Prof.ssa N. Basilico)
  • Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari, Università degli Studi di Milano (Prof.ssa D. Taramelli)
  • Istituto di Chimica del riconoscimento Molecolare del CNR (Dr. I. Bassanini).
  • Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze, Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca (Prof. D. Prosperi)

ERC panels
PE5_18 Medicinal chemistry
PE5_17 Organic chemistry
PE5_11 Biological chemistry and chemical biology
LS7_3 Nanomedicine

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