Renato Gennaro
Renato Gennaro
affiliation: Università di Trieste - Dip. di Scienze della Vita
research area(s): Immunity And Infection, Chemical Biology
Course: Molecular Biomedicine
University/Istitution: Università di Trieste
Since 1997: Full Professor of Biochemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Trieste.
1990-1997: Full Professor of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Udine
1989-1990: Associate Professor of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Udine
1987 Visiting scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
1983-1988: Associate Professor of General Biology, School of Medicine, University of Trieste
1979-1980 Research fellow at the Pre-clinical Research Unit, Wander-Sandoz Research Institute in Berne, Switzerland
1976-1983 Research fellow, Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Trieste;
1976: University of Trieste, Italy, Degree in Biological Sciences with honours.

Co-author of over 100 papers, mostly in international refereed journals, of several invited reviews in the area of antimicrobial peptides, of four patents (3 Italian and 1 European) concerning such peptides, and of over 200 communications to National and International Workshops, Congresses and Symposia. Authored papers have been cited over 3700 fold, as inferred from the Journal of Citation Reports, and his h-index is 34.
Invited speaker in numerous national and international Workshops, Congresses and Symposia on innate immunity and peptide biology and technology.
Referee for numerous international journals and for national and international grant applications.
Research interests have always been focused to host-defence mechanisms, in particular in the following research fields: i) biochemistry and physiology of phagocytes, with emphasis to the mechanisms of cellular activation and of innate immune defence; ii) identification of novel antimicrobial peptides from leukocytes, characterization of their structure and biological activity, and chemical synthesis of peptide-derived fragments and analogues for structure/activity relationship studies; iii) in vitro and in vivo activity of natural and synthetic antimicrobial peptides against drug-resistant clinical isolates of bacteria and fungi; iv) identification of new bacterial molecular targets for the development of innovative antibiotics; v) investigation of the mode of action of Pro-rich and alpha-helical peptides via selection of resistant mutants obtained by chemical mutagenesis or transposon insertion; vi) chemical aspects of peptide synthesis.
Major achievements of these studies have been: i) the role of Ca2+ and protein kinase C-dependent phosphorylation in the activation of the NADPH oxidase and of secretion in neutrophils; ii) the discovery and characterization of the cathelicidin family of antimicrobial peptides, which is the most important in mammalian host defence, together with defensins; iii) more recently, the possible mechanism of entry of proline-rich antimicrobial peptides into Gram-negative bacteria by means of a plasma membrane uptake system belonging to the ABC superfamily of proteins.
Scocchi, M., Tossi, A., & Gennaro, R. (2011) Proline-rich antimicrobial peptides: converging to a non-lytic mechanism of action. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 68:2317-2330.
Benincasa, M., Pacor, S., Wu, W., Prato, M., Bianco, A. & Gennaro, R. (2011) Antifungal activity of Amphotericin B conjugated to carbon nanotubes. ACS Nano 5:199-208.
Kosma" M., Koren S., Giachin G., Stoilova T., Gennaro R., Legname G. & "urin Šerbec V. (2011) Epitope mapping of a PrP(Sc)-specific monoclonal antibody: Identification of a novel C-terminally truncated prion fragment. Mol. Immunol. 48:746-750.
Comegna, D., Benincasa, M., Gennaro, R., Izzo, I. & De Riccardis, F. (2010) Design, synthesis and antimicrobial properties of a cationic alpha-cyclopeptoids. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 18:2010-8.
Benincasa M., Pelillo C., Zorzet S., Garrovo C., Biffi S., Gennaro R. & Scocchi M. (2010) The proline-rich peptide Bac7(1-35) reduces mortality from Salmonella typhimurium in a mouse model of infection. BMC Microbiol. 10:178.
Benincasa M., Pacor S., Gennaro R. & Scocchi M. (2009) Rapid and reliable detection of antimicrobial peptide penetration into Gram-negative bacteria based on fluorescence quenching. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 53:3501-4.
Scocchi M., Luthy C., Decarli P., Mignogna G., Christen P. & Gennaro R. (2009) The Proline-rich Antibacterial Peptide Bac7 Binds to and Inhibits in vitro the Molecular Chaperone DnaK. Int. J. Pept. Res. Ther. 15:147-155.
Benincasa M., Mattiuzzo M., Herasimenka Y., Cescutti P., Rizzo R. & Gennaro R. (2009) Activity of antimicrobial peptides in the presence of polysaccharides produced by pulmonary pathogens. J. Pept. Sci. 15:595-600.
Travan A., Pelillo C., Donati I., Marsich E., Benincasa M., Scarpa T., Semeraro S., Turco G., Gennaro R. & Paoletti S. (2009) Non-cytotoxic silver nanoparticle-polysaccharide nanocomposites with antimicrobial activity. Biomacromolecules. 10:1429-35.
Gobbo M., Benincasa M., Bertoloni G., Biondi B., Dosselli R., Papini E., Reddi E., Rocchi R., Tavano R. & Gennaro R. (2009) Substitution of the arginine/leucine residues in apidaecin Ib with peptoid residues: Effect on antimicrobial activity, cellular uptake, and proteolytic degradation. J. Med. Chem. 52:5197"5206.
Scocchi M., Mattiuzzo M., Benincasa M., Antcheva N., Tossi A. & Gennaro R. (2008) Investigating the mode of action of proline-rich antimicrobial peptides using a genetic approach: a tool to identify new bacterial targets amenable to the design of novel antibiotics. Methods Mol. Biol. 494:161-76.
Mattiuzzo M., Bandiera A., Gennaro R., Benincasa M., Pacor S., Antcheva N. & Scocchi M. (2007) Role of the Escherichia coli SbmA in the antimicrobial activity of proline-rich peptides. Mol. Microbiol. 66:151-163.
Benincasa, M., Scocchi M., Pacor S., Tossi A., Nobili D., Basaglia G., Busetti M. & Gennaro, R. (2006) Fungicidal activity of five cathelicidin peptides against clinically isolated yeasts. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 58:950-9.
Wu, W., Wieckowski, S., Pastorin, G., Benincasa, M., Klumpp, C., Briand, JP., Gennaro, R., Prato, M., & Bianco, A. (2005) Delivery of Amphotericin B to Cells by Using Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 44:6358-6362.
Project Title:
Development and optimization of peptides as cell- and bacterial-penetrating vehicles for the intracellular delivery of therapeutic agents.
Specific research projects will be discussed with interested applicants

Project Title:
Searching for novel bacterial intracellular targets of natural antibiotic peptides.
Specific research projects will be discussed with interested applicants