Emer Ferro received a Ph.D. from Paulista Medical School in 1993 and obtained post-doctoral training both at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. He has directed a laboratory at University of São Paulo, Brazil, since 1996. While a graduate student, he discovered that thimet oligopeptidase can be secreted, which is the key to link this enzyme to the metabolism of neuropeptides. In addition to studies on the secretory mechanisms of cytosolic endopeptidases, his research group has discovered the intracellular peptides and suggested these as a novel class of bioactive molecules acting inside the cells.
Since then, using mass spectrometry more than 400 intracellular peptides (most novel peptides) have been identified in human cells and in mouse brain, and some of these peptides have been shown to function in G-protein coupled receptor signal transduction. Other possible functions for the intracellular peptides are under investigation including a broad function as natural modulators of protein interactions and function. Intracellular peptides have also been suggested to be the corresponding of “proteins micro-RNA”. Dr. Ferro has published more than 60 research articles and reviews in the field of peptides and oligopeptidases.
Title of the talk:
“Intracellular peptides as a novel concept in molecular biology of the cell”