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UNIFESP - EPM - Department of Biophysics

Enzymology Lab

We study key enzymes linked to human health, plant diseases and biotechnology” 


Key enzyme in blood pressure regulation. ACE inhibitors are  the most important drugs to treat hypertension. We patented a specific ACE substrate used to measure the activity of this enzyme in blood samples. The ACE activity level is an important bio-marker for hypertension.

Angiotensin converting enzyme 1

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PREP accelerates the alpha-synuclein aggregation. PREP inhibitors blocks this effect being potential drugs for synucleinopathies (e.g. Parkinson Disease). We are investigating this interaction by NMR and spectroscopic probes placed at specific sites of the PREP structure   by the amber codon suppression technology.



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The NS2B/NS3 protease process the viral poly-protein through cleavages at the cytosolic side. This enzyme is essential for the intracellular viral replication. We are studying the proteases from Dengue and Zika viruses. We aim to develop inhibitors selected by a new method we constructed, witch consist of an in cell high-throughput screening.

Proteases from flaviviruses

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Currently the Cathepsins B and L from Diaphorina  citri, vector of the Candidatus Liberibacter spp are being cloned and studied. This bacteria is the causative agent of Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, the most destructive disease for citric plantation.

Lysossomal cathepsins

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TOP is involved in the intracellular metabolism of peptides ,being important for the MHC class I antigen presentation route (i.e. cellular immunity). We are developing methods to detect the activity of this enzyme inside living cells to better understand which factors regulate its activity into the intracellular medium. 



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Falcipain-2 is a cysteine peptidase from Plasmodin flaciparum (the causative agent of malaria). It is involved in the hemoglobin digestion by the parasite when it is infecting a red blood cell.

Proteases from P. falciparum

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Bound to GNP proteins aquire different properties. We are coupling different proteases to GNP and characterizing these nanoproducts obtained, aiming to develop more stable proteases for biotechnological applications.

Proteases in Gold Nanoparticles

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Peptidases and their peptide substrates or products involved in angiogenesis are being studied using cellular models coupled with microscopy.

Proteases and peptides

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Meet The Team

Associate Professor

PREP, TOP and viral proteases.

Full Professor

ACE-1, Cathepsins and Malaria projects.

Associate Professor

Proteases and new peptides that regulates angiogenesis.


Involved in the research projects on angiogenesis and malaria.


Helps all scientifc projetcs of the Lab.


Responsible for the Gold Nano Particles project. Involved in the projects on TOP and Cathepsins.

Post Doc

Studies the cell signaling cascade involved in cell differentiation. 

Post Doc

Involved in the research projects on malaria.

PhD stduent

Works in the cloning and characterization of Diaphorina citri cathepsins, for use as molecular targets in combating the insect, vector of Huanglongbing disease.

PhD stduent

 Studies the influence of PREP and PREPL on the alpha-synuclein aggregation.

PhD stduent

Works on the development of the in cell high trought put screening methods for intracellular protease inhibitors.

PhD student

Works on the development of allosteric inhibitors for NS2-NS3 protease from Zika Virus

PhD student

Correlation of the malignancy of leukemia cells with the activity and expression of peptidases.

Master student

Studies HPV infected cells aiming to better understand the relationship among the resultant oxidative stress with TOP activity and the MHC class I expression.

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