Biocomputing pEptide Analytical Microsystems (BEAM) Lab Biocomputing Group
Istituto di Chimica del Riconoscimento Molecolare
Via Mario Bianco, 9 – 20131- Milano
Tel. +39 02 285.000.20
Membri del Laboratorio
Permanent Staff: Massimiliano Meli, Giulia Morra
7 Post-docs and one Undergrad student
The Biocomputing pEptide Analytical Microsystems (BEAM) Lab at ICRM-CNR is the result of a shared vision between three distinct research teams within the institute operating in the field of immunology at different levels. Aiming to predict the antibody-binding regions of a protein, the Biocomputing group at ICRM have developed a new approach based on the integrated analysis of the dynamical and energetic properties of antigens, to identify non-optimized, low-intensity energetic interaction networks in the protein structure isolated in solution. The method is based on the idea that recognition sites may correspond to localized regions with low-intensity energetic couplings with the rest of the protein, which allows them to undergo conformational changes, to be recognized by a binding partner, and to tolerate mutations with minimal energetic expense. We are currently exploring possible implications of the methodology in vaccine design and in the targeting of protein-protein interactions.
Insights gained from these methods are used in our lab to design peptidic epitope mimics that could be used to elicit antibodies able to recognize the original full-length proteins and/or to be used as new diagnostic probes. Peptides are in fact powerful and versatile tools for diagnostic applications; for example, epitope collections can be exploited to unreveal the amount of immunological information contained in serum, profiling personalized immuno-response to infection, vaccination, allergens and autoimmunity and providing hints on new biomarkers for cancer or neurodegenerative diseases.
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