Applied enzymology (2010/2011)

Course code
Paola Dominici
Other available courses
Other available courses
Other available courses
    Academic sector
    Language of instruction
    Teaching is organised as follows:
    Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
    Mod 1 3 II semestre Paola Dominici
    Mod 2 3 II semestre Paola Dominici

    Lesson timetable

    Learning outcomes

    Course Description: The course introduces fundamental tools and techniques currently used to engineer protein molecules. Covers the methods used to analyze the impact of these alterations on different protein functions with specific emphasis on enzymatic catalysis. Uses case studies to reinforce the concepts covered, as well as to demonstrate the wide impact of protein engineering research.
    Course Significance: Protein engineering is an interdisciplinary field where engineering principles and practices are utilized to generate molecules with novel properties.
    The applications of this technology can be found in diverse areas including: drug discovery,
    industrial chemical synthesis, transgenic plant research, and nanotechnology.


    1. Protein Engineering
    • General concepts
    • Which targets can be addressed?
    • How to choose between rational design and evolutive methods.
    2. Generation of mutant libraries
    • Random mutagenesis, DNA shuffling, Error-prone PCR
    • Saturation mutagenesis, SeSaMmethod et
    • Examples for successful applications: Directed evolution of DCase; Directed evolution of alpha amylase
    • Site-directed mutagenesis. Mutagenic primer design.

    3. Emerging principles in protease-based drug discovery. Aspartate proteases inhibitors: inhibitors of HIV protease.
    4. The Tumor Suppressor p53: From Structures to Drug Discovery.
    Structure–function–rescue: the diverse nature of common p53 cancer mutants.
    5. Structure and catalytic mechanism of COX-1 and COX-2. From structure to rational design of selective inhibitors.

    Assessment methods and criteria