[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nowadays we face a globalized market, therefore the need to protect and enhance the “Made in Italy” products
is a priority for the food industry. Scientific research in this field relates to the consumers’ need for high quality,
convenience, safety and taste. Recent advances in genome and proteome research and their potential
biotechnological exploitation offer a unique opportunity to enhance and select food quality as well as fight
fraud in a rational way.
The quality features (conservation, flavor, aging and solubility of milk proteins) of diary products can be
investigated by the analysis of the Protein-Protein Interactions (PPIs) and Protein-Solvent Interactions (PSIs)
that are involved. The complexity of interactions between milk protein (casein and whey protein) during milk
transformation are strongly influenced by the chemical and chemical-physical properties of milk, physical
treatments (i.e. temperature, pressure etc.) and by the enzymes from milk born microorganisms or from
microorganisms added as starter. These interaction, that are specific for each type of traditional food product,
could be the basis of the authenticity signature of the each traditional product. Therefore bioinformatics
approaches could be represent a useful and rapid tool to identify such a signature.
A bioinformatical approach to the analysis of PPIs and PSIs will be devised in terms of inspection of available
large-scale maps of PPIs of different microorganisms present in pasteurized food and PSIs of milk proteins. We
will tackle the problem of food quality and conservation by devising rigorous computational methods that can
extract crucial protein interactions to develop QIs.
These tools will benefit the wider Systems Biology community, because in the last years high-throughput
proteomics has allowed for the drafting of large PPI networks (PPINs) of many taxa. Accurate descriptions of
these assemblies must reflect the cellular context in which they usually operate and the many factors that may
have conditioned their evolution and function. PPINs derived from large-scale experiments portrait a global
picture of the proteins’ connectivity and offer an intricate and comprehensive picture of the detected
The detailed analysis of a particular function necessary for food control and quality may benefit from the study
of smaller and accurately selected sub-networks, containing high confidence interactions resulting from the
cross-mapping of multiple sources of information for the nodes (proteins), such as gene expression data, domain
profiles and structural information. By reducing further the scale of details analysed in a given PPIN, one could
focus only on special proteins in the network, like multi-partner proteins ('hubs'). In particular, we will
concentrate on protein hubs that have a resolved 3D-structure and for which we know accurate binding details.
For the study of PSIs we have already devised computational methods for the analysis of interaction with water
for the Prion food-borne pathologies and for the role of solvent in conformational changes and aggregation.
Aggregation has been shown to be involved in the solubility loss in milk concentrate powder, therefore we will
apply the same methodology to proteins critical for the production of cheese.
Convegno ALTRIFORMAGGI - Autenticità, Legislazione, TRadizione e Innovazione per la valorizzazione delle produzioni casearie, Avellino (ITALY); 12/2012
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phytochemical reinvestigation of Tabebuia argentea leaves and Catalpa bignonioides petioles extracts (Bignoniaceae) allowed to isolate two compounds not described before: one glycosylated lignan and one phenolic glycoside characterized as 5-hydroxysesamin 5-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 2)-[β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 6)]-β-d-glucopyranoside (1) and 1-benzyl-[6-p-hydroxybenzoyl]-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 3)-β-d-glucopyranoside (2), respectively. Their structural characterization was obtained on the basis of extensive NMR spectral studies. Five known phenolic glycosides along with six flavonol glycosides were also isolated and characterized.