Augusto Pedro

Augusto Pedro
University of Aveiro | UA · CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials

PhD in Biochemistry
- Junior Researcher, University of Aveiro (Chemistry Department, CICECO), Portugal. - PI (mVACCIL) and co-PI (PureDNA).

About

33
Publications
11,773
Reads
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293
Citations
Introduction
Augusto Q. Pedro (AQP) holds a PhD in Biochemistry (UBI, Portugal) and is currently a Junior Researcher (FCT/CEEC) at University of Aveiro (CICECO, Portugal). His main research interests are the development of bioprocesses for a wide range of biopharmaceuticals (proteins, DNA, RNA), mostly focusing Pichia pastoris, ionic liquids, and aqueous biphasic systems. AQP has been regularly involved in (co)-supervising activities (BSc, MSc, PhD) and in the (co)-coordination of FCT-funded projects (3).
Additional affiliations
September 2010 - February 2016
Universidade da Beira Interior
Position
  • MSc and PhD student
Education
January 2012 - February 2016
Universidade da Beira Interior
Field of study
  • Biochemistry

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
Full-text available
Membrane-bound catechol-O-methyltransferase (MBCOMT), present in the brain and involved in the main pathway of the catechol neurotransmitter deactivation, is linked to several types of human dementia, which are relevant pharmacological targets for new potent and nontoxic inhibitors that have been developed, particularly for Parkinson’s disease trea...
Article
Full-text available
High quality nucleic acids (with high integrity, purity, and biological activity) have become indispensable products of modern society, both in molecular diagnosis and to be used as biopharmaceuticals. As the current methods available for the extraction and purification of nucleic acids are laborious, time-consuming, and usually rely on the use of...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, the lack of reliable strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer makes the identification and characterization of new therapeutic targets a pressing matter. Several studies have proposed the Six Transmembrane Epithelial Antigen of the Prostate 1 (STEAP1) as a promising therapeutic target for prostate cancer. Although structural...
Article
Full-text available
The advent of biopharmaceuticals in modern medicine brought enormous benefits to the treatment of numerous human diseases and improved the well-being of many people worldwide. First introduced in the market in the early 1980s, the number of approved biopharmaceutical products has been steadily increasing, with therapeutic proteins, antibodies, and...
Article
Full-text available
The efficacy of brain therapeutics is largely hampered by the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), mainly due to the failure of most (bio) pharmaceuticals to cross it. Accordingly, this study aims to develop nanocarriers for targeted delivery of recombinant precursor microRNA (pre-miR-29b), foreseeing a decrease in the expression of the BACE1...
Article
Human nucleolin (NCL) is a multifunctional protein that is involved in diverse pathological processes. Recent evidences have shown that NCL is markedly overexpressed on the surface of most human cancer cells when compared to normal cells, being overexpressed in several malignant cells. Based on the exposed, the purpose of this pilot study is to inv...
Article
Full-text available
Nucleic acids are relevant biopolymers in therapy and diagnosis, for which their purity and biological activity are of crucial relevance. However, these features are difficult to achieve by cost-effective methods. Herein, we report the functionalization of a macroporous chromatographic support functionalized with an ionic liquid (IL) with remarkabl...
Article
Protein biopharmaceuticals, among which interferon alpha-2b (IFNα-2b) that can be used in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C and hairy cell leukemia, have become an indispensable product of current medicine. However, their current high costs derived from the lack of cost-effective downstream strategies still limits their widespread use. Polymer-b...
Article
Full-text available
The dysfunction of the tumor suppressor gene TP53 has been associated with the pathogenesis of the majority of the cases of cancer reported to date, leading the cell to acquire different features known as the cancer hallmarks. In normal situations, the protein p53 protects the cells against tumorigenesis. By detecting metabolic stress or DNA damage...
Article
Full-text available
The advent of biopharmaceuticals in modern medicine has brought enormous benefi ts to treat chronic and life-threatening diseases while improving the well-being of humans. Proteins (including antibodies) represent a large fraction of the biopharmaceuticals market, but are still amongst the costliest options due to the lack of cost-eff ective purifi...
Chapter
A growing number of compounds resulting from human activities are continuously released into the environment. Many of these compounds may pose serious environmental threats, reinforcing the need of environmental monitoring to understand their impact on the environment and on human health and to create strategies to revert these risks. Although with...
Article
Full-text available
Membrane proteins (MP) constitute 20–30% of all proteins encoded by the genome of various organisms and perform a wide range of essential biological functions. However, despite they represent the largest class of protein drug targets, a relatively small number high-resolution 3D structures have been obtained yet. Membrane protein biogenesis is more...
Article
The ubiquitous instability of RNA along with issues associated to its purity degree have been preventing its widespread use as low-cost biotherapeutics. Based on the well-known capacity of amino acids to specifically interact with RNA when used as chromatographic ligands, a set of amino-acid-based ionic liquids (AA-ILs) was herein investigated, bot...
Article
Full-text available
RNA is a biopolymer of high relevance in the biopharmaceuticals field and in fundamental and applied research; however, preservation of RNA stability is still a remarkable challenge. Herein, we demonstrate the enhanced potential of aqueous solutions of self-buffering cholinium-based Good's buffers ionic liquids (GB-ILs), at 20 and 50% (w/w), as alt...
Poster
Full-text available
Encoded by the TP53 gene, the p53 protein is considered the guardian of the genome since it protects DNA against problems occurred during DNA replication by two distinct ways: cell cycle arrest, to correct the error during the replication, and by conducting to apoptosis in cases of irreversible problems [1]. In addition to these benefits, it is als...
Article
Full-text available
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an enzyme involved in catecholamine catabolism that is key for the treatment of different neurologic disorders. Actually, there are still unmet needs concerning the development of more selective membrane-bound COMT (hMBCOMT) downstream strategies, envisaging their application in structural and bio-interaction...
Article
Full-text available
RNA interference-based technologies have emerged as an attractive and effective therapeutic option with potential application in diverse human diseases. These tools rely on the development of efficient strategies to obtain homogeneous non-coding RNA samples with adequate integrity and purity, thus avoiding non-targeted gene-silencing and related si...
Article
Full-text available
The present study reports the successful production of human pre-miR-29b both intra- and extracellularly in the marine phototrophic bacterium Rhodovulum sulfidophilum using recombinant RNA technology. In a first stage, the optimal transformation conditions (0.025 μg of plasmid DNA, with a heat-shock of 2 min at 35 °C) were established, in order to...
Article
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, EC 2.1.1.6) has been implicated in several human diseases including Parkinson's disease and the most appropriated therapy depends on the efficacy of the COMT inhibitors applied. Therefore, more effective drugs for COMT inhibition are important, and the development of such inhibitors requires research with recombi...
Article
Full-text available
Affinity chromatography strategies using amino acids as immobilize d ligands have been successfully applied for the purification of different biomolecules from complex mixtures. Therefore, in this work, several supports with immobilized amino acids were applied for the purification of membrane-bound catechol-O-methyltransferase (MBCOMT) from Pichia...
Article
Full-text available
Membrane proteins are important drug targets in many human diseases and gathering structural information regarding these proteins encourages the pharmaceutical industry to develop new molecules using structure-based drug design studies. Specifically, membrane-bound catechol-O-methyltransferase (MBCOMT) is an integral membrane protein that catalyzes...
Article
Full-text available
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, EC 2.1.1.6) is an enzyme that catalyzes the methylation of catechol substrates, and while structural and functional studies of its membrane-bound isoform (MBCOMT) are still hampered by low recombinant production, Pichia pastoris has been described as an attractive host for the production of correctly folded and i...
Article
Full-text available
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, EC 2.1.1.6) plays a crucial role in dopamine metabolism which has intimately linked this enzyme to some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease. In recent years, in the attempt of developing new therapeutic strategies for Parkinson's disease, there has been a growing interest in the search for eff...
Article
Full-text available
The selection of natural and chemical compounds for potential applications in new pharmaceutical formulations constitutes a time-consuming procedure in drug screening. To overcome this issue, new devices called biosensors, have already demonstrated their versatility and capacity for routine clinical diagnosis. Designed to perform analytical analysi...
Article
Full-text available
A rapid and straightforward analytical method, based on the use of RP-HPLC with coulometric detection, was developed and validated for the quantification of metanephrine, anO-methylated product in catechol-O-methyltransferase enzymatic assays. The isocraticseparation was achieved on a reverse column with a mobile phase consisting of 0.1M sodium dih...
Article
The development of new catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitors has led to an improvement in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. However, despite the fact that the soluble isoform has been extensively investigated, few studies have been published concerning membrane isoform chromatographic recovery and bioactivity levels. In this work, chromatogra...
Article
Despite of membrane catechol-O-methyltransferase (MBCOMT, EC 2.1.1.6) physiological importance on catecholamines' O-methylation, no studies allowed their total isolation. Therefore, for the first time, we compare the performance of three hydrophobic adsorbents (butyl-, epoxy- and octyl-Sepharose) in purification of recombinant human COMT (hMBCOMT)...
Article
Full-text available
During the last few decades, it has become evident that the compatibility of the yeast biochemical environment with the ability to process and translate the RNA transcript, along with its capacity to modify a translated protein, are relevant requirements for selecting this host cell for protein expression in several pharmaceutical and clinical appl...
Article
Membrane proteins constitute 20-30% of all proteins encoded by the genome of various organisms. While large amounts of purified proteins are required for pharmaceutical and crystallization attempts, there is an unmet need for the development of novel heterologous membrane protein overexpression systems. Specifically, we tested the application of Br...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrogels are cross-linked hydrophilic polymer networks that find application in biomedical and pharmaceutical industries due to their unique properties. Polyvinyl alcohol is a synthetic polymer, potential biomaterial blended with various materials and compounds, that can provide new options for drug delivery systems. Determination of photochemical...

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