Human Ribonucleases involved in host defence
Our lab is working on the development of novel antibiotics based on the structure-functional knowledge of human secretory RNases.
Novel drugs are urgently needed to combat the emergence of multiresistant pathogen species. Understanding and targeting antimicrobial resistance is one of the global health surveillance priorities. Our research group has a longstanding consolidated experience in the structure-functional characterization of human secreted RNases, a family of small cytotoxic proteins expressed by epithelial and blood cells upon infection. Host defence RNases belonging to a unique vertebrate specific gene family, show an unusual rapid evolution rate, a trait characteristic of innate immunity proteins, providing adaptation to an ever-changing pathogen exposed environment. Antimicrobial proteins have thus been selected through evolution to work as anti-infective agents against a wide variety of pathogen intruders.
Our research involves the following projects:
- Design of novel antimicrobial agents against biofilms and macrophage intracellular bacteria
- Search for structural recognition patterns for pathogen RNA targeting
- Characterization of RNase activities on single- stranded RNA viruses
- Search for novel antibiotics to fight antimicrobial resistance