Portuguese Proteomics Network
Rede Proteómica Portuguesa

The intention to create the ProCura network started in the beginning of 2001, when the research group, Grupo de Investigação em Fibrose Quística, Centro de Genética Humana, Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr Ricardo Jorge (coordinated by Deborah Penque and Margarida Amaral) invited two others, Laboratório de Química, Universidade de Aveiro (coordinated by Ferrer Correia and represented by Francisco Amado and Pedro Domingues) and Unidade de Bioinformática, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (coordinated by Pedro Fernandes) to join in a collaborative proteomics research project.
ProCura is conducting now a survey of existing proteomics efforts in Portugal. The aim is to bring together Portuguese laboratories to form a collaborative platform on the functional proteomics technology. Each participating laboratory will have the opportunity to share and use the benefits of proteomics to develop its own basic research programs in different areas, such as molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics and clinical research.

ProCura- Research Institution Members
Cystic Fibrosis Group (CF) – CGH/INSA – Lisbon
Group of Hemoglobinopaties (Hb) – CGH/INSA – Lisbon
Bioinformatic Unit – IGC
Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular do Porto (IBMC) – Departament of Molecular Neurobiology
ITQB/IBET – Mass Spectometry Laboratory
Molecular Biology Laboratory – Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

ProCura-University MembersDepartament of Chemistry, University of Aveiro

ProCura- Research Institution Members

Cystic Fibrosis Group (CF)
Centro de Genética Humana
Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr Ricardo Jorge (CGH/INSA)
1649-016 Lisboa Portugal

The main goal of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Research Group of CGH/INSA is to promote an integrated and multidisciplinary research towards a better understanding of CF pathogenesis, having the great heterogeneity of Portuguese CF mutations as a basis. The work is carried out both in patient-derived materials and in cellular models, using various methodologies, namely, genotyping by detailed DNA analysis; qualitative and quantitative analysis of allele-specific CFTR transcripts; biochemical methods to study CFTR interaction with other protein (e.g., molecular chaperones); conventional and confocal immunocytochemistry to study the CFTR intracellular localization. Recently, the group has implemented proteomics approach to contribute to a better understanding of the CF pathophysiology.
Resoponsibles: Deborah Penque & Margarida Amaral.

Group of Hemoglobinopaties (Hb)
Centro de Genética Humana
Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr Ricardo Jorge (CGH/INSA)
1649-016 Lisboa Portugal

For the last ten years, this group has been actively involved in studying the molecular basis of alfa- and ß-thalassemia in the Portuguese population, by investigating a number of genetic alterations associated with hemoglobin disorders, both at the genomic and functional levels. Presently, our studies are specifically focused on the role of mRNA stability in the control of human globin gene expression. In this context, we are developing the following projects:
1. The study of the mechanism by which human normal ß-globin mRNA is stabilized in erythroid cells.
2. The study of the human ß-globin mRNA nonsense-mediated decay mechanism.
3. The study of the human alfa-globin mRNA nonsense-mediated decay mechanism.
4. The suppression of premature stop codons in the human ß-globin gene induced by pharmacological treatment.
Responsible: Luisa Romão

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (UB/IGC) – Unidade de Bioinformática

The operating team of this Unit is responsible for the Portuguese node of the EMBnet for the last ten years, delivering to many users a service that consists of providing access to periodically updated copies of about 30 databases of sequence data, a suite of correctly installed and documented programs to process them and user support via e-mail or telephone. Specific bridging competence in the genomics/proteomics area is presently one of the major targets of the current investments in both tools and human expertise. The ProCura network is expected to bring in some of the most challenging opportunities to field test and deploy such facilities in full contact with the user community.
Responsible: Pedro Fernandes

Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular do Porto (IBMC) – Departamento de Neurobiologia Molecular

Molecular Neurobiology
Basic and Clinical Neurobiology

Group Leader: Maria João Saraiva , PhD (Biomedical Inst. U.P.)

Principal Investigators:
MR Almeida, PhD (Biomedical Inst. U.P.)
JA Palha, PhD (Health Sc, University of Braga, Adjunct Investigator)
MM Sousa, PhD (IBMC, U.P.)

This unit had its origins in 1997 with a background on studies on familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP), a peculiar form of neuropathy first described by the eminent Portuguese neurologist Corino de Andrade, which is characterized by the deposition of amyloid in special on the peripheral nerves. This autosomal dominant disease is a health problem in the country. The unit is devoted to laboratorial investigation on FAP on epidemiological, biochemical, genetic and pathological aspects, as well as on the biology of transthyretin- TTR (represented in the figure), a serum protein that when mutated is the major defect underlying FAP.
The main objective of the team are the identification and characterization of ethio-physiopathological mechanisms of FAP and the search for preventive, diagnostic and treatment forms. The technologies developed for these purposes are used, however, in studies of other TTR related disorders, in basic research of human physiology specially those associated with transport of thyroid hormones and vitamin A, natural ligands of TTR, and in general with TTR.

ITQB/IBET – Mass Spectometry Laboratory

Coordinator: Ana Coelho, PhD ([email protected])

The ITQB/IBET Mass Spectrometry Laboratory performs internal and external services and related research work. The laboratory installation process started in October 2002 aiming to be certified as a GLP unit. At the moment we perform mass determination, structural and affinity studies for a broad range of chemical compounds, from small organic and organometalic compounds to peptides, oligosacharides, nucleotides and proteins. The information obtained with the powerful mass spectrometry techniques is fundamental for the structural characterization of chemical and biochemical species. Else than precise mass determination it is possible to perform controlled fragmentation of the molecular ions, which allows to get detailed structural information, like comparative identification of organic compounds, peptide and oligosacharide sequencing, characterization of post-translational modifications: these are the so called MS/MS or tandem mass spectrometry experiments. The mass spectrometry results are important, for example, in monitoring chemical synthesis, purification and identification of chemical and biochemical compounds, metabolic and kinetic studies.


Thermofinnigan LCQ ion-trap coupled to an HPLC system with the folowing ion sources:
– ESI (Electrospray Ionisation)
– APCI (Atmosferic Pressure Chemical Ionization)

Bruker Esquire 3000plus ion-trap with the folowing ion sources:
– ESI (Electrospray Ionisation)
– ESI (Nanoelectrospray)
– APCI (Atmosferic Pressure Chemical Ionization)

Applied Biosystem Voyager STR MALDI-TOF with reflectron

ITQB Analytical Services

* Mass Spectrometry

* Protein Sequencing

* Elemental Analysis

* Amino Acid Analysis

* Small Molecule X-ray Crystallography

Molecular Biology Laboratory – Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Rua da Junqueira, 96
1349-008 Lisboa Portugal

The Proteomics of Delta Hepatitis

The Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is the causative agent of one of the most severe forms of virus hepatitis, being endemic in several regions of the world. This virus is the smallest human pathogen known so far. It’s 1,7 Kb, circular, ss RNA genome – strikingly similar to that of plant viroids -encodes for a single protein that is expressed in two forms as a result of an RNA editing mechanism. Despite being so simple, very little is known about the cellular factors involved in virus replication and biogenesis as well as the pathogenic mechanisms that may cause different disease forms: fulminant hepatitis, cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis. In this project we intend to identify changes in cellular gene expression at the protein level, that arise upon HDV infection, and transient transfection of hepatoma cells with cDNAs encoding the HDV components (RNA, and both forms of antigens). Accomplishment of this goal will hopefully help to shad light on the virus life cycle, and identify novel targets for a specific therapy. Project coordinator: Celso Cunha; Molecular Biology Unit, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Lisbon, Portugal ([email protected])

ProCura-University Members

Universidade de Aveiro

Departamento de Química (DQ/UA)

Since its firsts steps in 1975 of the Mass Spectrometer group at the University of Aveiro the members of our lab are interested in a variety of areas of mass spectrometry. Our focuses include research on the gas phase ion chemistry and biological mass spectrometry. Research projects are from the development of the application of ESI and nano-ESI to Proteomics, Oxidative stress, Biogenic amines and Coordenation compounds and to the fundamental studies of ion energetics.


Q-TOF II mass spectometer with the folowing ion sources:
– ESI (Electrospray Ionisation)
– ESI (Nanoelectrospray)
– APCI (Atmosferic Pressure Chemical Ionization)

Mass spectometer AUTOSPEQ (EBEqQ) with the folowing ion sources:
– ESI (Electrospray Ionisation)
– FAB (Fast Atom Bombardment)
– EI (Electronic Impact)
– CI (Chemical Ionization)

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