Elisabetta Fasella, PhD

Elisabetta Fasella PhD

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Education

 

BS (Universita di Roma “la Sapienza,â€Ã¹ Italy)

PhD (Columbia University)

Research Interests

Synthesis of mimics of the cofactor of phenylalanine ammonia lyase and their evaluation as catalysts for the deamination of aromatic amino acids Synthesis of hydroxylated monomeric and dimeric chalcones and their evaluation as cysteine protease inhibitors

Synopsis

My research interests are in the area of bioorganic chemistry. We are currently working on two projects. The first project involves the synthesis of mimics of the cofactor of phenylalanine ammonia lyase and their evaluation as catalysts for the deamination of aromatic amino acids. The second project involves the synthesis of hydroxylated monomeric and dimeric chalcones and their evaluation as cysteine protease inhibitors.

Mimics of the cofactor of phenylanalnine ammonialyase
Phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) catalyzes the deamination of phenylalanine to cinnamic acid in a reaction unprecedented in the synthetic laboratory. A methylidene imidazolone (MIO) moiety at the enzyme’s active site acts as an electrophilic catalyst for the reaction. We are developing synthetic routes to methylidene imidazolones. A mechanistic study of the deamination of aromatic amino acids in the presence of these compounds will clarify the role played by aromatization and dearomatization of the substrate and of
the cofactor during the course of the reaction.

Hydroxylated chalcones as potential cysteine protease inhibitors
he human cysteine protease cathepsin K plays a role in bone resorption and its selective inhibition is currently being considered for the treatment of osteoporosis. A dimeric hydroxylated chalcone isolated from the breadfruit tree is a potent inhibitor of cathepsin K. Analogs of this compound are being synthesized in our laboratory as potential cysteine protease inhibitors.

Selected Scholarly Activity

“Synthesis of Substituted Imidazolones as Analogs of the Cofactor of Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase,” E. Fasella, E. V. Price, and B. M. Schmiege, Abstr. Pap. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2004, 228, 190.
“Synthesis of lpha-Galactosyl-Lipid Conjugates for Assessment of Anti-Gal Antibody Binding,” Y. He, J. Xu, E. Fasella, and L. L. Kiessling, Abstr. Pap. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2001, 222, 475.
“Synthesis of galactosyl-alpha (1-3)-galactosyl epitopes for Use in Immunological Studies,” E. Fasella, F. J. Boehm, and L. L. Kiessling, Abstr. Pap. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2000, 219, 97.
“Reversal of Optical Induction in Transamination by Regioisomeric Bifunctionalized Cyclodextrins,” E. Fasella, S. Dong, and R. Breslow, Bioorg. Med. Chem., 1999, 7, 709–714.

Contact Information

Office location: Griffith Hall Room 360
Mailing address: Box 48
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215.596.7514
Email:

e [dot] fasell [at] usciences [dot] edu