Ana Luisa Carvalho

Ana Luísa Moreira de Carvalho
Assistant Researcher
Integrated Member
Research Group
Structural Molecular Biology
Biologia Estrutural - Cristalografia de Raios-X (Gab 6.34) Dep. Quimica, FCT-UNL 2829-516 Caparica Portugal
212 948 300
- ext 10940
212 948 550
Research Interests
As Research Assistant Professor in the Macromolecular Crystallography Research Lab at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, since November 2003, my main research interest has been the functional and structural characterization of different proteins, using the powerful information provided by X-ray Crystallography. The atomic level information obtained allows drawing conclusions related to macromolecular interactions, either protein-protein or protein-ligand.

I have been thorougly characterizing a megaDalton complex, the Cellulosome, present in some anaerobic bacteria and fungi and of biotechnological relevance.
Related to this research project, I have coordinated, as PI, the national research projects PTDC/QUI-BIQ/100359/2008 and PTDC/QUI/68286/2006, and participate in projects PTDC/BIA-MIC/5947/2014, PTDC/QUI-QUI/112537/2009, PTDC/BIA-PRO/103980/2008 and POCI/PPCDT/BIA-PRO/59118/2004, as member of the research team.
Currently, i am PI of project PTDC/BBB-BEP/0869/2014, beginning in January 2016.

I have also participated in the structural characterization of proteins from different biological systems. My expertise in the structural characterization of oligosaccharide-recognition systems is also focused in protein-glycan recognition in cancer interactions (a project awarded with the Santander-Totta/NOVA Scientific Merit Prize and the Bluepharma/Universidade de Coimbra Innovation Award).

In the Macromolecular Crystalography Research Lab, we have pioneered the knowledge on cellulosomal protein-protein complexes, and the same approaches and methodologies are being applied to tackle protein-ligand interactions for biomedical relevant systems.

I am also dedicated to more methodological questions, like the study of the phenomena behind protein crystallization. More specifically, I study the improvement of protein crystal growth and phasing using nanoparticles and/or ionic liquid compounds.
To gather resources to support the group's research, we relied on FCT project RECI/BBB-BEP/0124/2012, which I also coordinated, as PI.
Main publications
Selected 8 (out of 33):

Brás, J.L.A. et al., 2016. Diverse specificity of cellulosome attachment to the bacterial cell surface. Scientific Reports, 6, p.38292. Available at:

Ribeiro, D., Kulakova, A., Quaresma, P., Pereira, E., Bonifacio, C., Romao, M. J., . . . Carvalho, A. L. (2014). Use of Gold Nanoparticles as Additives in Protein Crystallization. Crystal Growth & Design, 14(1), 222-227. doi:10.1021/cg4014398

Bras, J. L. A., Alves, V. D., Carvalho, A. L., Najmudin, S., Prates, J. A. M., Ferreira, L. M. A., . . . Fontes, C. M. G. A. (2012). Novel Clostridium thermocellum Type I Cohesin-Dockerin Complexes Reveal a Single Binding Mode. The Journal of biological chemistry, 287(53), 44394-44405. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.407700

Bras, J. L. A., Cartmell, A., Carvalho, A. L. M., Verze, G., Bayer, E. A., Vazana, Y., . . . Gilbert, H. J. (2011). Structural insights into a unique cellulase fold and mechanism of cellulose hydrolysis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(13), 5237-5242. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015006108

Bras, J. L. A., Carvalho, A. L., Viegas, A., Najmudin, S., Alves, V. D., Prates, J. A. M., . . . Fontes, C. M. G. A. (2012). Escherichia coli expression, purification, crystallization, and structure determination of bacterial cohesin-dockerin complexes. Methods in enzymology, 510, 395-415.

Carvalho, A., Dias, F., Prates, J., Nagy, T., Gilbert, H., Davies, G., . . . Fontes, C. (2003). Cellulosome assembly revealed by the crystal structure of the cohesin-dockerin complex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(24), 13809-13814. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1936124100

Carvalho, A. L., Dias, F. M. V., Nagy, T., Prates, J. A. M., Proctor, M. R., Smith, N., . . . Gilbert, H. J. (2007). Evidence for a dual binding mode of dockerin modules to cohesins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(9), 3089-3094. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0611173104

Carvalho, A. L., Trincao, J., & Romao, M. J. (2009). X-ray crystallography in drug discovery. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 572, 31-56.