Membrane LIPIDOMICS and lipid BIOMARKERS OF RADICAL STRESS
Free radicals react with unsaturated lipids causing chemical transformations that can act in a dual role: as signal or as damage, leading to different cellular responses. The conservation of cis geometry in the lipid double bonds has a crucial significance for cell membrane properties and functions. We discovered that, together with the previously known peroxidation process, lipid isomerization can occur endogenously due to free radical stress from sulfur-centered radicals.
STRATEGIES of DNA DAMAGE and REPAIR
Damage by free radicals to nucleic acids is indicated as a major cause of aging and cancers in humans. Our group has published detailed investigations into the chemical changes in DNA caused by free-radical damage by examining reactions of the purine moieties with HO• radicals producing purine 5’,8-cyclo-2’-deoxynucleosides.
BIOMIMETIC MODELS and NANOMEDICINE APPLICATIONS
The complexity of free radical reactivity in living organisms can be modeled by biomimetic systems, carefully designed to allow mechanisms and kinetics to be studied in an environment, which – while simplified – is well correlated with the real conditions.
Our research group has developed expertise in designing biomimetic models for the radical-based chemical mechanisms involved in cellular stress, as well as in analytical procedures to identify biomolecule modifications, and to isolate and characterize the products.
Radical-chain reactions provide an enormous range of versatile and selective chemical transformations that have been applied to key industrial processes like polymerizations and oxidations, as well as for atom or group transfers, radical cascades and redox processes. The radical reagent tris(trimethylsilyl)silane developed by Dr. Chatgilialoglu has proved an efficient, non-toxic reagent that equals, or exceeds in some applications, the gold-standard (but toxic) reagent tributyltin hydride; for this discovery Dr. Chatgilialoglu was awarded the Fluka “Reagent of the Year 1990” Prize.
RADIATION STUDIES OF BIOMOLECULAR SYSTEMS
The interaction of radiation with bio-molecular systems is used to evaluate that with living organisms. This field of multidisciplinary research has attracted interest from the biosciences because it can be correlated with human mutations, pathologies and aging. Low doses of radiation can trigger cellular defenses toward stress, and measuring these effects is critical to our understanding of these basic processes in life sciences.
SCIENCE INNOVATION TO MARKET INNOVATION: LIPINUTRAGEN
The multidisciplinary approach taken by our group has proven effective for industrial and commercial application, producing results that are applicable to society’s needs. This approach is perfectly aligned with Horizon2020’s goals for innovation, and turning research output into economic growth within the EU. The main strategic knowledge and technology transferred to market are represented with the company LIPINUTRAGEN located in Bologna and born as a spin-off of Chatgilialoglu & Ferreri’s research in lipidomics, officially recognized by the CNR (approval #101 July 13, 2005 from the CNR Board of Directors).