Research Topics:



Signaling in Insects

We established a strong collabration with the Laboratory of Insect Evolutionary Molecular Biology to investigate insect chemoreception and signaling at the biochemical and structural level. Our methods for recombinant protein production proved highly suitable for these investigations and we are currently exploring how the broad diversity in protein sequences and architectures correlates with specific insect physiological functions.

Overview of the three-dimensional structure of CcapOBP22/CcapOBP69a from the mediterranean fruit fly <i>Ceratitis capitata</i>. Our structural and biochemical investigations revealed a possible binding mode for (E,E)-alpha-farnesene in the ligand-binding pocket of this protein, modelled with sticks and semi-transparent vdW spheres in the figure. Overview of the three-dimensional structure of CcapOBP22/CcapOBP69a from the mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata. Our structural and biochemical investigations revealed a possible binding mode for (E,E)-alpha-farnesene in the ligand-binding pocket of this protein, modelled with sticks and semi-transparent vdW spheres in the figure.

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This research received support from:

  • Programmi di Ricerca di Interesse Nazionale (PRIN) from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR)
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Science for Peace and Security program (SPS)
  • University Institute of Superior Studies, Pavia (IUSS)
  • Dipartimenti di Eccellenza Program from MIUR