Lorenzo Baronti


Lorenzo Baronti graduated in Environmental and Industrial Biotechnologies at the University of Florence in 2012 with thesis on the modelling of the stromal-epithelial metabolic symbiosis in prostatic carcinoma. He continued his master studies in Molecular Biotechnologies within the same University. During his master studies he was involved in a research project in collaboration between CERM and the “Structural Disorder and Molecular Recognition” team within the AFMB laboratory of the University of Aix-Marseille/CNRS during which he developed skills in protein biochemistry and NMR spectroscopy. He completed his studies with a master thesis on the NMR characterisation of viral IDPs and was appointed by BioTalentum Ltd. as a post-graduate research fellow within the IDPbyNMR project.


Lorenzo Baronti
Project Topic

NMR characterisation of the pro-neural bHLH trascription factor HASH1

Project Description

The development of the human brain, during fetal and postnatal stages, relies on the ra- pid division and differentiation of billions of cells with different phenotypes. The pro-neural basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) transcription factors contribute to the specification of distinct neural cell fates. Among these, the Human Achaete-scute Homolog 1 (HASH1) plays a central role in neuronal progenitor cells self-renewal and differentiation. The modular organisation of HASH1 show the central bHLH domain, responsible for hetero-dimerization and DNA binding specificity, being flanked by two extended intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). IDRs have been recently shown to be abundant in the eukaryotic proteome and growing evidences about their functional activities have being proposed. As the structural heterogeneity characterising the bHLH protein family has long been known to affect protein solubility, the production of stable and soluble samples of HASH1 is challenging and a structural description at atomic resolution level is still missing.
In this project we aim at the production of isotopically labeled samples of HASH1 so as to describe the N- and C-terminal IDRs of HASH1 by NMR and unveil the possible functional motifs lying in these domains.
We envisage that in the long term this work will help to shed light onto the biological meaning of the intrinsic disorder in bHLH transcription factors and, from a more general point of view, to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the early stages of human neuronal development.

Project Home
BioTalentum Ltd.
Andras Dinnyes
Starting Date 05/05/2014





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