pt en

Castanho, Miguel

Physical Biochemistry of Drugs & Targets

Our goal is to unravel the physical principles that govern interactions at the molecular level of several clinically relevant compounds with model cell systems, with the objectives of developing new drugs and better understand the mechanism of action of already established ones.


  • Research Areas

    • Analgesic peptides
    • Antimicrobial peptides
    • Cell-penetrating peptides
    • Viral fusion inhibitors
    • Anticancer Peptides
  • Research Team

    • Ongoing Research Projects

      • 2016/2019 Peptides for blood-brain barrier transmigration and drug delivery - novel therapies for the central nervous system. Coordinator: Vera Neves. Agency: Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia. Reference: PTDC/BBBNAN/1578/2014.
      • 2016/2018 Towards the development of innovative highly effective dual action anti-HIV peptides. Coordinator: Ana Salomé Veiga. Agency: Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia. Reference PTDC/QEQ-MED/4412/2014.
      • 2016/2018 Cell-cell communication in metastatic breast cancer: a control point that can lead to breast cancer treatment. Coordinator: Diana Gaspar. Agency: Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia. Reference: PTDC/BBB-BQB/1693/2014.
      • 2011/2014 LIPIDENGUE: The role of hepatic lipid membranes and lipid droplets in Dengue virus encapsidation. A gateway to new therapies. Coordinator: Miguel Castanho. Agency: Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia. Reference: PTDC/QUI-BIQ/112929/2009.
      • 2011/2014 Membrane fusion mechanism of Influenza Hemagglutinin: a simulation and biophysical approach. Coordinator: Miguel Castanho. Agency: Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia. Reference: PTDC/QUI-BIQ/114774/2009.
      • 2011/2015 Sistema de Incentivos à Investigação & Desenvolvimento Tecnológico do Programa Operacional do QREN - nº 2011/013853 - DO IT. Coordinator: Miguel Castanho. Agency: Agência de Inovação, SA. Reference: QREN - Do It.
      • 2014/2016 Uma estratégia inovadora para distribuição e entrega de inibidores de entrada do HIV muilti-alvo usando lipossomas catiónicos. Coordinator: Miguel Castanho. Agency: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, IP. Reference: HIVERA/0002/2013.
      • 2014/2016 Multi-target HIV entry inhibitors delivery by cationic liposomes. Coordinator: Ana Salomé Rocha do Nascimento Veiga. Agency: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, IP. Reference: VIH/SAU/0047/2011.
      • 2014/2015 2nd Laço Breast Cancer Grant: Research to Make a Difference – 2014 - The role of cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions on breast cancer development and dissemination into the brain unravelled by Atomic Force Microscopy. . Coordinator: Miguel Castanho. Agency: Laço Associação de Solidariedade Social . Reference: Bolsa Laço - Diana Gaspar.
      • 2014/2014 Title: Neuropore Therapies. Coordinator: Miguel Castanho. Agency: Neuropore Therapies, Inc.. Reference: Neuropore Therapies.
    • Prizes

      • 2014 João Miguel Freire received the Best Poster award at the FEBS-EMBO 2014, September, Paris, France by Molecular Oncology Journal.
      • 2014 Diana Gaspar was awarded with the 2nd Edition of Associação Laço Research Grant.
      • 2014 Miguel A.R.B. Castanho was awarded by European Peptide Society the 2014 Zervas Award at the 33rd EP Symposium.
      • 2013 Inês Rego de Figueiredo Received the Fundação Astrazenece Innovative Competition Prize at iMed Conference 5.0, Lisbon.
      • 2010 5th International Peptide Symposium, Kyoto, Japan, December 2010 - João Freire and Marta Ribeiro were awarded each with a Best Poster award.
      • 2010 I2P - Ideas to Products, Portugal - COTEC, April 2010 - Marta MB Ribeiro, Henri G Franquelim, Isa Serrano and Miguel ARB Castanho won the COTEC National Competition and ranked 2nd in the COTEC European Competition (RWTH Aachen, Germany) with the M-GATE product.
      • 2009 Grunenthal Award in Pain Research (edition 2008), Portugal (atribuído a Marta
      • Ribeiro, Miguel ARB Castanho and Isaura Tavares (Oporto) "Leading Kyotorphin derivatives to the central nervous system: experimental validation of a novel analgesic molecule")
      • 2007 Prémio de Poster no 6th EBSA European Biophysics Congress (atribuído a Sónia Henriques)
      • 2006 Menção Honrosa – Prémio Grünenthal Dor 2006 - Fundação Grünenthal (atribuído a Miguel Castanho)
      • 2005 Prémio Dr. José Luís Champalimaud - Alto Comissariado para a Saúde (atribuído a Ana Salomé Veiga)
      • 2004 Medalha Vicente Seabra - Soc. Portuguesa de Química (atribuída a Miguel Castanho)
      • 2004 Prémio Dr. José Luís Champalimaud - Com. Nac. Luta contra a SIDA (atribuído a Ana Salomé Veiga)
      • 1996 Prémio Gulbenkian de Iniciação à Investigação Científica - Fotoquímica e Fotofísica (atribuído a Miguel Castanho)
    • Selected Publications

      • Freire JM, Veiga AS, Rego de Figueiredo I, de la Torre BG, Santos NC, Andreu D, Da Poian AT, Castanho MA. (2014) Nucleic acid delivery by cell penetrating peptides derived from dengue virus capsid protein: design and mechanism of action. FEBS J. DOI: 10.1111/febs.12587, 281, 191-215.
      • Santos SM, Garcia-Nimo L, Sá Santos S, Tavares I, Cocho JA, Castanho MA (2013) Neuropeptide kyotorphin (tyrosyl-arginine) has decreased levels in the cerebro-spinal fluid of Alzheimer's disease patients: potential diagnostic and pharmacological implications. Front Aging Neurosci. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2013.00068, 5, 1.
      • Veiga AS, Sinthuvanich C, Gaspar D, Franquelim HG, Castanho MA, Schneider JPB (2012) Arginine-rich self-assembling peptides as potent antibacterial gels. Biomaterials doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.08.046, 33, 8907–8916.
      • Christine Cruz-Oliveira, João Miguel Freire, Thaís M Conceição, Luiza M Higa, Miguel A R B Castanho, and Andrea T Da Poian. Receptors and routes of dengue virus entry into the host cells. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 39, 155–170 (2015).
      • Franquelim HG, Chiantia S, Veiga AS, Santos NC, Schwille P, Castanho MA (2011) Anti-HIV-1 antibodies 2F5 and 4E10 interact differently with lipids to bind their epitopes. AIDS doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328342ff11, 25, 419-28.
      • From antimicrobial to anticancer peptides. A review. Gaspar D, Veiga AS, Castanho MARB. (2013) Front Microbiol. 4, 294, 1-16.
      • The Mechanism of Action of Antimicrobial Peptides: Lipid Vesicles vs. Bacteria. Melo MN, Castanho MA. Front Immunol. 2012;3:236. Epub 2012 Aug 2. PMID: 22876247
      • Chemical conjugation of the neuropeptide kyotorphin and ibuprofen enhances brain targeting and analgesia. Ribeiro MM, Pinto AR, Domingues MM, Serrano I, Heras M, Bardaji ER, Tavares I, Castanho MA. Mol Pharm. 2011 Oct 3;8(5):1929-40. Epub 2011 Aug 24. PMID: 21830793
      • Escherichia coli Cell Surface Perturbation and Disruption Induced by Antimicrobial peptides BP100 andpepR. Carla S Alves, Manuel N Melo, Henri G Franquelim, Rafael
      • Ferre, Marta Planas, Lidia Feliu,Eduard Bardají, Wioleta Kowalczyk, David Andreu, Nuno C Santos, Miguel X Fernandes, Miguel A R BCastanho. J Biol Chem (2010) vol. 285 (36) pp. 27536-44
      • Antimicrobial peptides: linking partition, activity and high membrane.bound concentrations. M. N. Melo, R.Ferre and M. Castanho (2009) Nature Rev Microbiology

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