This research project integrates different levels of study of the reaction of biological systems to the presence of physiological and/or xenobiotic metals. The research focuses both on individual elements of this response (Metallothioneins (MTs) (...)) and also on global reaction networks (Metallomics) and their connection to cellular metabolism pathways (Metabolomics) (...). First of all, at a first level of analysis, we will deepen in the MT characterization (...). Second, it is essential to define the chemical features and biological implications related to the presence of sulfide ligands in the metal-MT complexes we have recently discovered in all the recombinant metal-MT clusters analyzed. In an initian step we will undertake the study of their possible presence in native MTs (...). Subsequently, the chemical and structural analysis of the sulfide-containing metal-MT clusters will be carried out. Finally, the possible use of recombinant MTs as nucleation centres for metal-S\super 2-\nosuper nanoparticle growth will be evaluated (Nanobiotechnology). At a second level, our project goes beyond the individual response to metals to focus on the determination of the protein interactions carried out by MTs with distinct partners, in different organs and under diverse physiological conditions (...) The third level of research proposed lies in the genomic analysis of the response networks thart are triggered in organisms by anomalous metal exposure, due to type or dose, and which alter their homeostatic equilibrium (Metallomics) (...). Our biotechnology application purposes will be specifically i) the construction and study of several ptentiometric biosensors and facilitated transport membranes, ii) the use of recombinant MTs as centres of nucleation for the synthesis of photoluminiscent and photoredox nanocrystals of interest, by taking advantage of the biomineralitzation processes associated with the presence of sulfide in their clusters (...)
|Effective start/end date||1/10/06 → 30/09/09|
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