Pedro R. Figueiredo

Pedro R. Figueiredo
University of Coimbra | UC

MSc in Medicinal Chemistry
PhD Candidate in Enzyme Engineering

About

19
Publications
1,700
Reads
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38
Citations
Introduction
Pedro R. Figueiredo has a Master's in Medicinal Chemistry and a bachelor's in chemistry, both by UMinho. He is currently a PhD Candidate at the UCoimbra developing the project "Enzymatic Synthesis of Biodegradable Amphiphilic Polymer-drugs for Cancer Treatment" in the Rational Protein Engineering group in collaboration with CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials.
Additional affiliations
October 2018 - December 2019
University of Coimbra
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
December 2019 - December 2023
University of Coimbra
Field of study
  • Experimental Biology and Biomedicine
September 2015 - February 2018
University of Minho
Field of study
  • Medicinal Chemistry
September 2011 - June 2015
University of Minho
Field of study
  • Chemistry

Publications

Publications (19)
Article
Full-text available
Biodegradable polymers, obtained via chemical synthesis, are currently employed in a wide range of biomedical applications. However, enzymatic polymerization is an attractive alternative because it is more sustainable and safer. Many lipases can be employed in ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of biodegradable polymers. Nevertheless, the harsh cond...
Article
Our reliance on synthetic polymers (plastics) is causing immeasurable damage to the environment. Better alternatives are actively being sought‐after, such as biodegradable polyesters obtained by enzymatic synthesis. Here we compare in detail the catalytic mechanisms for poly(caprolactone) synthesis by the enzymes Archaeoglobus fulgidus carboxyleste...
Article
Increased hydrolysis of cocaine to nontoxic compounds is a promising way to prevent cocaine-induced toxicity. However, the short half-life of cocaine in the blood and the rapid conversion in the body to the hydrolysis-resistant metabolite benzoylecgonine, limits the therapeutic potential of serum proteins. Therefore, hydrolysis by tissue-specific h...
Article
Short peptides capped on the N -terminus with aromatic groups are often able to form supramolecular hydrogels - self-assembled networks of fibrils able to trap water molecules. Typically, these hydrogelators can...
Article
Enzymatic synthesis of polymeric materials is a powerful approach to make these processes greener, more economical, and safer for scale-up. Herein, we characterized new variants of the hyperthermophilic carboxylesterase from the archaeon Archaeoglobus fulgidus with quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics molecular dynamics simulations. The designed v...
Article
Amanita phalloides is one of the most toxic mushrooms worldwide, being responsible for the majority of human fatal cases of mushroom intoxications. α-Amanitin, the most deleterious toxin of A. phalloides, inhibits RNA polymerase II (RNAP II), causing hepatic and renal failure. Herein, we used cyclosporine A that showed potential to displace RNAP II...
Preprint
Nucleic acid technologies with designed delivery systems have surged as one the most promising therapies of the future, due to their contribution in combating SARS-CoV-2 severe disease. Nevertheless, the emergence of new variants of concern still represents a real threat in the years to come. It is here that the use of small interfering RNA sequenc...
Poster
Full-text available
Increased hydrolysis of cocaine to non-toxic compounds is a promising way to prevent cocaine-induced toxicity. However, the short half-life of cocaine in the blood and the rapid conversion in the body to the hydrolysis-resistant metabolite benzoylecgonine, limits the therapeutic potential of serum proteins. Therefore, hydrolysis by tissue-specific...
Poster
Full-text available
In this work, we investigated the structural changes on the helices α1 and α10’ of the hCE-2 enzyme. These changes are required to grant xenobiotic and endogenous compounds access to the enzyme’s active site. For this purpose, we have employed classical and accelerated Molecular Dynamics calculations.
Preprint
Increased hydrolysis of cocaine to non-toxic compounds is a promising way to prevent cocaine-induced toxicity. However, the short half-life of cocaine in the blood and the rapid conversion in the body to the hydrolysis-resistant metabolite benzoylecgonine, limits the therapeutic potential of serum proteins. Therefore, hydrolysis by tissue-specific...
Preprint
Full-text available
Increased hydrolysis of cocaine to non-toxic compounds is a promising way to prevent cocaine-induced toxicity. However, the short half-life of cocaine in the blood and the rapid conversion in the body to the hydrolysis-resistant metabolite benzoylecgonine, limits the therapeutic potential of serum proteins. Therefore, hydrolysis by tissue-specific...
Article
Full-text available
The development of new synthetic biology circuits for biotechnology and medicine requires deeper mechanistic insight into allosteric transcription factors (aTFs). Here we studied the aTF UxuR, a homodimer of two domains connected by a highly flexible linker region. To explore how ligand binding to UxuR affects protein dynamics we performed molecula...
Article
The development of plant-based synthetic rennets is of high commercial interest, due to the current great consumer demand for animal product alternatives. A previously developed recombinant form of the aspartic protease cardosin B with a three-glycine linker showed great potential due to its good performance in milk coagulation. This enzyme was fou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Enzymatic synthesis of polymeric biobased materials is a powerful approach to make these processes greener, more economical, and safer for scale-up. Herein, we have reengineered a hyperthermophilic carboxylesterase to improve product yield in the synthesis of poly(ε-caprolactone) and triblock poly(ε-caprolactone)-co-poly(ethylene glycol), two impor...
Preprint
The development of new synthetic biology circuits for biotechnology and medicine requires deeper mechanistic insight on allosteric transcription factors (aTFs). Here we studied the aTF UxuR, which is a dimer, with each monomer consisting of two structured domains connected by a highly flexible linker region. In order to explore how ligand binding t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Plastic pollution is causing an immeasurable damage to marine and land eco-systems. Sustainable alternatives are actively being sought-after, such as biodegradable polyesters obtained by enzymatic synthesis. However, wild type enzymes still pose fundamental efficiency limitations that can be circumvented by protein reengineering approaches.Here we...
Article
Full-text available
Accumulation of plastic waste is a major environmental problem. Enzymes, particularly esterases, play an important role in the biodegradation of polyesters. These enzymes are usually only active on aliphatic polyesters, but a few have showed catalytic activity for semi-aromatic polyesters. Because of the importance of these processes, an atomic-lev...
Preprint
Accumulation of plastic waste is a major environmental problem. Enzymes, particularly esterases, play an important role in the biodegradation of polyesters. These enzymes are usually only active on aliphatic polyesters, but a few have showed catalytic activity for semi-aromatic polyesters. Due to the importance of these processes, an atomic level c...
Article
The cascade reaction of N‐aryl‐5‐(((dimethylamino)methylene)amino)‐ 4‐cyanoimidazoles with primary aromatic amines, under reflux in acetic acid, proved to be a general and efficient method for the regioselective synthesis of 6‐arylaminopurines. A selection of these compounds was tested in breast cancer cell models MCF‐7 and Hs578t and three compoun...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This PhD project includes the systematic exploration of polymer-drug conjugates that can be obtained by re-engineering enzyme variants. These will be experimentally assayed and chemically characterised.
Project
This project is focused on the design of customized thermostable enzyme to produce high-value biopolymers for biomedical applications.