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Patrícia S. Lima

Research overview


Our research is focused on the cathepsins of the psyllid Diaphorina citri, vector of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter spp., the causative agent of Huanglongbing disease (HLB).

We propose the identification, recombinant production and characterization of Diaphorina citri cathepsins (L-like and B-like), as well as enzymatic inhibition assays using synthetic inhibitors and citrus cystatins, aiming the validation of these enzymes as possible targets for insect control. The characterization of these enzymes, and the search for their inhibitors, may lead, in the future, to the production of transgenic plants overexpressing inhibitors capable of delaying the development and proliferation of the insect. In addition, gene silencing techniques of these enzymes may be developed.


Student advisor: Prof. Dra. Adriana Karaoglanovic Carmona

Co-advisor: Prof. Dra. Andrea Soares Fuentes (UFSCar)

Patricia S. Lima:

Tel 55 (11) 55764450


CV lattes:

Âncora 1

Gabriel Silva Santos

Research overview

Synucleinophaties (e.g. Parkinson's disease) are neurodegenerative conditions that have the presence of insoluble aggregates, mostly composed of alpha synuclein (a-Syn), in intraneuronal inclusions called Lewy bodies (LBs) and Lewy neurites (LNs). Many studies studies have shown that PREP (or POP) interacts with a-Syn and accelerates its aggregation. Our studies have shown that prolyl oligopeptidase-like (PREPL) also interacts with a-Syn facilitating the seeding of the oligomerization-aggregation process. Interestingly, blocking the activity of these enzymes somehow this leads to a decrease of the a-Syn aggregation, and consequently, POP inhibitors have gained attention as potential drugs to treat Parkinson´s disease. 


In this way, we are using several Biophysical and Biochemical techniques to understand the structural mechanism of the PREP and PREPL effects on the aggregation of a-Syn, which is still unknown.

Student advisor: Dr. Vitor Oliveira

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