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Raman optical activity: an innovative tool for protein structural analysis

Grant number: 12/16484-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2012
Effective date (End): November 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:Maysa Furlan
Grantee:Andrea Nastri de Luca Batista
Supervisor abroad: Ewan William Blanch
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Manchester, England  
Associated to the scholarship:11/01003-8 - Proteomic studies in Peperomia obtusifolia (Piperaceae), BP.PD


The understanding of biological processes results from detailed knowledge of the structure of biomolecules and the structural changes arising from interactions with the environment. Regarding the biosynthesis of natural products, chemical modifications of a substrate depends on the binding properties conferred by a particular combination of functional groups in the constituent amino acids of the enzymes. Thus, the protein structure plays a crucial role in regulating the formation of secondary metabolites. Among the modern spectroscopic techniques available to study protein structure, special attention has been devoted to Raman optical activity (ROA), which arises from the differential response of a chiral molecule to left versus right circularly polarized radiation during a vibrational transition. This technique is scantily used in Brazil and allows analysis of biomolecules, as well conformational changes, directly in aqueous solution that reflects their biological environment. Furthermore, ROA analysis requires no single-crystals and presents no limits of molecular weight, which makes it advantageous compared to X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy, respectively. Therefore, considering the potential of ROA for three-dimensional studies of macromolecules, this project proposes an internship abroad in one of the world's leading groups in the field, aiming at theoretical and experimental ROA studies of peptides and proteins. The knowledge to be acquired will complement the ongoing proteomic studies in Brazil and will help to consolidate the research line on vibrational optical activity for the characterization of macromolecules within the group of biosynthesis of natural products at IQ-UNESP. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BATISTA, ANDREA N. L.; BATISTA, JR., JOAO M.; ASHTON, LORNA; BOLZANI, VANDERLAN S.; FURLAN, MAYSA; BLANCH, EWAN W. Investigation of DMSO-Induced Conformational Transitions in Human Serum Albumin Using Two-Dimensional Raman Optical Activity Spectroscopy. Chirality, v. 26, n. 9, SI, p. 497-501, SEP 2014. Web of Science Citations: 10.
BATISTA, ANDREA N. L.; BATISTA, JR., JOAO M.; BOLZANI, VANDERLAN S.; FURLAN, MAYSA; BLANCH, EWAN W. Selective DMSO-induced conformational changes in proteins from Raman optical activity. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, v. 15, n. 46, p. 20147-20152, 2013. Web of Science Citations: 29.

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