Our group, mid-between IBB and the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit of the Faculty of BioSciences of UAB, devotes our best efforts to the application of molecular/structural biology, protein engineering, proteomics biotechnology on proteases (in particular metallo-carboxypeptidases) as well us on their inhibitors. In the last years, the group has also specialized in the development of biocompatible nanomaterials and the study of their biological properties and interactions.
Thus, we try to characterize and redesign proteins that naturally control such proteases in nature: i.e. in animals or invertebrates or in plants, or synthesize organopeptidic molecules, to unveil its properties and develop and use them, or derivatives, for potential biomedical or biotechnological uses. Metallo-carboxypeptidases pancreatic-like or regulatory (M14 family, as A1, A2, A3, B, O, D, Z ...) and their small protein inhibitors, as the ones from potato or the marine snail Nerita v., are among the best studied models by us. The experimental approaches used, directly on extracts or on purified molecules, are HPLC, Mass spectrometry, protein & cDNA sequencing & cloning, proteomics, NMR, Xray crystallography and computer-based approaches. We also work in the development of nanomaterials for specific delivery, encapsulation, or nanoconjugation of enzymes/inhibitors and small compounds for biomedical purposes as well as in the assays in cell cultures and in animal models to test their efficacy and safety.
We also intend to develop our own methodologies for affinity proteomics, protein modelling, rational design of ligands and drugs, protein/peptide engineering and in the development and characterization of nanomaterials with biomed/biotech purposes. To efficiently do so and the former goals, we have established collaborations with research groups well recognized at the Catalonia, Spain and international level (i.e. Synchroton Alba, CSIC, ICN2, UCM, PRINCIPE Felipe Res. Inst., MPI-Munich, IJS-Slovenia, Univ. Uppsala, Univ. Cambridge, Univ. Notre-Dame, A. Einstein-NY, Univ. Habana, Univ. LaPlata, Univ. Concepción, UNAM-CostaRica, Universidad Nova de Lisboa), and with the firms CHEMIPOL, ABD Biodesing and Nanonica Europe, ...etc.), with fruitful exchanges. Noteworthy is the formative task, spirit and aims of our group at the Master and PhD levels, with national and foreign students.