My scientific interests are related to the study of membrane transporters. These proteins are fundamental for cell homeostasis under both physiological and pathological conditions. The functional and kinetic characterization of proteins is achieved by combining Different Experimental systems:
- Reconstitution into liposomes of proteins extracted in native form or produced in heterologous systems such as E.coli or P.pastoris;
- Intact cells with endogenous or overexpressed proteins;
These strategies are conditio sine qua non for the study of transporters using substrates labelled with radioisotopes or fluorescent molecules. By combined approaches of bioinformatics and site-directed mutagenesis, structure/function relationships studies are possible, to identify critical residues for protein activity. Moreover, cell biology approaches allow performing studies on transporter trafficking and expression levels in normal and cancerous tissue clarifying aspects still unknown. One of the main purposes of application of this research is the identification of new therapeutic targets; the localization of these proteins, in fact, makes them very interesting from a pharmacological point of view. The research activities are aimed at drawing protocols for large-scale screening of drugs in order to improve drug design.