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milito alfonsinaPh. D. Student
Section BEOM

Tel. +39 081 5833276
Fax: +39 081 7641355
e-mail alfonsina.milito(at)virgilio.it

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Research interests

My research interests are related to antioxidant activity of natural compounds. During my master thesis, I investigated the antioxidant and anticancer activities of natural compounds from vegetal sources on different cellular models, such as an immortalized cell line from a Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and human erythrocytes. This interest also continued in the PhD research project which is focused on ovothiol, a powerful antioxidant which is produced by sea urchin eggs as protective mechanism from the high oxidative burst at fertilization. This molecule has shown to have anticancer and neuroprotective properties. Recently, a renewed interest in ovothiols has been raised from the characterization of 5-Histidylcysteine sulfoxide synthase (Ovo), the enzyme that catalyzes the first step of their biosynthesis. In silico analysis of homologous Ovo enzymes revealed that they are encoded in several genomes, predominantly from proteobacteria to animalia, including microalgae. The PhD project will investigate the biological activities of ovothiol in two different marine organisms inhabiting coastal seas, as sea urchin and microalgae i.e. diatoms. The ability of diatoms to produce ovothiol will be investigated in laboratory under different stress conditions and growth phases. In parallel, the pattern of Ovo localization will be examined during development of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus by immunofluorescence. Gene perturbation experiments will be performed on sea urchin and diatoms to assess the functional significance of ovothiol formation in both organisms.

Journal Papers

Spagnuolo C, Napolitano M, Tedesco I, Moccia S, Milito A, Russo GL. Neuroprotective role of natural polyphenols. Accepted on Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry.

Bilotto S, Tedesco I,Russo M, Spagnuolo C, Conte A, Milito A, Durante M, Mita G, Russo GL. Cytotoxicity of carotenoids assembled-micelle on Hepatoma Cell Line (HepG2) THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CELLULAR ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSORS IN BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE: FOCUS ON REDOX REACTION. Poster presentation, JUNE 25-27, 2014, Polo Biochimico, Università di Ferrara, Ferrara (Italy)

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