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Leone SerenaResearcher
Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms (BEOM)

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Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

All vital processes rely on the interaction between different classes of biological macromolecules, which are made possible by the complementarity of molecular sites on the structure of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. My research interests comprise the study of the interplay between biological macromolecules produced by marine organisms, from their isolation and structure characterization, to the definition of structure-function relationships. My main goal is understanding the role of specific protein families in mediating the fundamental processes of chemocommunication and interaction among marine organisms, through the application of bioinformatic and “omics” techniques. The understanding of these mechanisms is fundamental to expand our knowledge of marine organisms and to highlight potential industrial, pharmacological and biotechnological applications of these peculiar molecules.

Selected Publications

Murano, C., Zuccarotto, A., Leone, S., Sollitto, M., Gerdol, M., Castellano, I., Palumbo, A. A Survey on the Distribution of Ovothiol and ovoA Gene Expression in Different Tissues and Cells: A Comparative Analysis in Sea Urchins and Mussels. Marine Drugs 20, 268 (2022).

Vingiani, G.M., Leone, S., De Luca, D., Borra, M., Dobson, A.D.W., Ianora, A., De Luca, P., Lauritano, C. First identification and characterization of detoxifying plastic-degrading DBP hydrolases in the marine diatom Cylindrotheca closterium. Science of The Total Environment 812, 152535 (2022).

Delfi, M., Leone, S., Emendato, A., Ami, D., Borriello, M., Natalello, A., Iannuzzi, C. & Picone, D. Understanding the self-assembly pathways of a single chain variant of monellin: A first step towards the design of sweet nanomaterials. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 152, 21–29 (2020).

Donnarumma, F., Leone, S., Delfi, M., Emendato, A., Ami, D., Laurents, D. V., Natalello, A., Spadaccini, R. & Picone, D. Probing structural changes during amyloid aggregation of the sweet protein MNEI. The FEBS Journal, 15168 (2019).

Leone, S., Fonderico, J., Melchiorre, C., Carpentieri, A. & Picone, D. Structural effects of methylglyoxal glycation, a study on the model protein MNEI. Mol Cell Biochem 451, 165–171 (2019).

Emendato, A., Guerrini, R., Marzola, E., Wienk, H., Boelens, R., Leone, S. & Picone, D. Disordered Peptides Looking for Their Native Environment: Structural Basis of CB1 Endocannabinoid Receptor Binding to Pepcans. Front. Mol. Biosci. 5, (2018).

Pica, A., Leone, S., Di Girolamo, R., Donnarumma, F., Emendato, A., Rega, M. F., Merlino, A. & Picone, D. pH driven fibrillar aggregation of the super-sweet protein Y65R-MNEI: A step-by-step structural analysis. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects 1862, 808–815 (2018).

He, Y., Liu, S., Kling, D. E., Leone, S., Lawlor, N. T., Huang, Y., Feinberg, S. B., Hill, D. R. & Newburg, D. S. The human milk oligosaccharide 2′-fucosyllactose modulates CD14 expression in human enterocytes, thereby attenuating LPS-induced inflammation. Gut 65, 33–46 (2016).

Leone, S., Pica, A., Merlino, A., Sannino, F., Temussi, P. A. & Picone, D. Sweeter and stronger: enhancing sweetness and stability of the single chain monellin MNEI through molecular design. Scientific Reports 6, 34045 (2016).

Leone, S. & Picone, D. Molecular Dynamics Driven Design of pH-Stabilized Mutants of MNEI, a Sweet Protein. PLOS ONE 11, e0158372 (2016).

Leone, S., Sannino, F., Tutino, M. L., Parrilli, E. & Picone, D. Acetate: friend or foe? Efficient production of a sweet protein in Escherichia coli BL21 using acetate as a carbon source. Microbial Cell Factories 14, 106 (2015).

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