Maria João Romão
Full Professor
Integrated Member
Research Group
Structural Molecular Biology
Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnología - Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516, Caparica
212 948 345
- ext 10990
212 948 350
Research Interests
Structural Biology focused on the following main topics: (1) Metalloproteins and/or proteins involved in electron transfer processes in particular (2) Molybdopterin-containing enzymes (Mo active site, associated to other redox centers), AOX and Drug discovery; (3) Enzymatic and molecular recognition components of the Cellulosome assembly; (4) Interaction of CO releasing molecules with plasma proteins.

Main topics of research: (1) Functional and mechanistic studies of metalloproteins and/or proteins involved in electron transfer processes, in particular (2) Molybdopterin-containing enzymes (Mo active site, associated to other redox centers involved in electron transfer); (3) Aldehyde Oxidases and impact in drug discovery; (4) Enzymatic and molecular recognition components of the Cellulosome assembly; (5) Interaction of CO releasing molecules with plasma proteins; (6) Improving protein crystallization.
Main publications
Representative publications (out of 137)

• C Coelho, A Foti, T Santos-Silva, T Hartmann, S Leimkühler and MJ Romão, Human Aldehyde Oxidase: crystal structure and inhibition studies for the understanding of xenobiotics metabolism, NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY 11, 779–783 (2015) doi:10.1038/nchembio.1895
• Seixas JD, Santos MF, Mukhopadhyay A, Coelho AC, Reis PM, Veiros LF, Marques AR, Penacho N, Gonçalves AM, Romão MJ, Bernardes GJ, Santos-Silva T, Romão CC. A contribution to the rational design of Ru(CO)3Cl2L complexes for in vivo delivery of CO. DALTON TRANSACTIONS 2014 Nov 27. [Epub ahead of print]. DOI: 10.1039/C4DT02966F
• João D. Seixas, Abhik Mukhopadhyay, Teresa Santos-Silva, Leo E. Otterbein, David J. Gallo, Sandra S. Rodrigues, Bruno H. Guerreiro, Ana M. L. Gonçalves, Nuno Penacho, Ana R.Marques, Ana C. Coelho, Patrícia M. Reis,Maria J. Romão and Carlos C. Romão. “Characterization of a versatile organometallic pro-drug (CORM) for experimental CO based therapeutics” DALTON TRANSACTIONS, 42 , 5985-5998 (2013) DOI: 10.1039/C2DT32174B
• Coelho C, Mahro M, Trincão J, Carvalho AT, Ramos MJ, Terao M, Garattini E, Leimkühler S, Romão MJ. “The First Mammalian Aldehyde Oxidase Crystal Structure: Insights Into Substrate specificity.” J BIOL CHEM. 23;287(48):40690-702. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.390419. Epub 2012 Sep 27.
• Santos MF, Seixas JD, Coelho AC, Mukhopadhyay A, Reis PM, Romão MJ, Romão CC, Santos-Silva T. “New insights into the chemistry of fac-[Ru(CO)(3)](2+) fragments in biologically relevant conditions: The CO releasing activity of [Ru(CO)(3)Cl(2)(1,3-thiazole)], and the X-ray crystal structure of its adduct with lysozyme.” J INORG BIOCHEM. 117 (2012) 285–291
• Santos-Silva T, Mukhopadhyay A, Seixas JD, Bernardes, GJL, Romao, CC, Romao, MJ. “CORM-3 Reactivity toward Proteins: The Crystal Structure of a Ru(II) Dicarbonyl-Lysozyme Complex” JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY Volume: 133 Issue: 5 Pages: 1192-1195 FEB 9 2011
• C Coelho, P.J. González, J.J.G. Moura, I. Moura, J. Trincão and M.J. Romão, (2011) “The crystal structure of Cupriavidus necator Nitrate Reductase in oxidized and partially reduced states” JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 408, 932-948, 2011.
• Bras, JLA; Cartmell, A; Carvalho, ALM; Verze, G; Bayer, EA; Vazana, Y; Correia, MAS; Prates, JAM; Ratnaparkhe, S; Boraston, AB; Romao, MJ; Fontes, CMGA; Gilbert, HJ. 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, 5237-5242 Published: 2011.
• Garcia-Alvarez, B; Melero, R; Dias, FMV; Prates, JAM; Fontes, CMGA; Smith, SP; Romao, MJ; Carvalho, AL; Llorca, O. “Molecular Architecture and Structural Transitions of a Clostridium thermocellum Mini-Cellulosome”. JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Volume: 407 Issue: 4 571-580 2011.
• Shabir Najmudin, Benedita A. Pinheiro, José A.M. Prates, Harry J. Gilbert, Maria J. Romão and Carlos M.G.A. Fontes. “Putting an N-terminal end to the Clostridium thermocellum xylanase Xyn10B story: Crystal structure of the CBM22-1–GH10 modules complexed with xylohexaose”. JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY, Volume: 172 , Pages: 353-362 , 2010.
• T Santos-Silva, A Mukhopadhyay, J D Seixas, G J L Bernardes, C C Romão, M J Romão “Towards Improved Therapeutic CORMs: Understanding the Reactivity of CORM-3 with Proteins” CURRENT MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY Volume: 18 Issue: 22 Pages: 3361-3366 Published: AUG 2011.
• Santos-Silva, T.; Ferroni, F.; Thapper, A.; Marangon, J.; González, P.; Rizzi, A.; Moura, I.; Moura, J.; Romao, J. M.; Brondino, C. Kinetic, Structural, and EPR Studies Reveal that Aldehyde Oxidoreductase from Desulfovibrio gigas Does Not Need a Sulfido Ligand for Catalysis and Give Evidence for a Direct Mo-C Interaction in a Biological System" J. AM. CHEM. SOC. 2009 Jun 17;131(23):7990-8.
• Maria J. Romão, Molybdenum and tungsten enzymes: a crystallographic and mechanistic overview, DALTON TRANS., 2009, DOI: 10.1039/b821108, published on the web 14th March 2009
• N.M.F.S.A. Cerqueira, P.J. Gonzalez, C.D. Brondino, M. J. Romão, C. C. Romão, I. Moura, M. J. Ramos, J. J.G. Moura The effect of the sixth sulfur ligand in the catalytic mechanism of Periplasmic Nitrate Reductase”. JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL CHEMISTRY, 30 Issue: 15 Pages: 2466-2484 , 2009.
• Carvalho AL, Dias FM, Nagy T, Prates JA, Proctor MR, Smith N, Bayer EA, Davies GJ, Ferreira LM, Romao Maria J, Fontes CM, Gilbert HJ. “Evidence for a dual binding mode of dockerin modules to cohesins”. PROC NATL ACAD SCI U S A. 2007 Feb 27;104(9):3089-94.
• Hans CA Raaijmakers and M. João Romão, “Formate-reduced E. coli formate dehydrogenase H: The reinterpretation of the crystal structure suggests a new reaction mechanism” J BIOL INORG CHEM. 2006 Oct;11(7):849-54. Epub 2006 Jul 8.
• Carlos Brondino, Maria J. Romão, Isabel Moura, and José J.G. Moura. “ Molybdenum and tungsten enzymes: the xanthine oxidase family”. CURR OPIN CHEM BIOL. 10(2):109-14. 2006.
• Ana L. Carvalho, Fernando M.V. Dias, José A.M. Prates, Luís M.A. Ferreira, Harry J. Gilbert, Gideon J. Davies, Maria J. Romão and Carlos M.G.A. Fontes. “Cellulosome assembly revealed by the crystal structure of the cohesin-dockerin complex: a template for the construction of nanosomal catalytical machines”, PROC NATL ACAD SCI USA, 100, 13809-13814 (2003)
• Enrico Garattini, Ralf Mendel, Maria J. Romão, Richard Wright and Mineko Terao. “Mammalian molybdo-flavoenzymes, an expanding family of proteins: structure, genetics, regulation, function and patho-physiology” BIOCHEM.J. 372, 15-32 (2003)
• H. Raaijmakers, S. Macieira, J. M. Dias, S. Teixeira, S. Bursakov, R. Huber, J. J. G. Moura, I. Moura, M. J. Romão. “Gene Sequence and the 1.8 Å Crystal Structure of the Tungsten-containing Formate Dehydrogenase from Desulfovibrio gigas” STRUCTURE, 10, 1261-1272 (2002).
• A. Romero, M. J. Romão, P. F. Varela, I. Kölln, J. M. Dias, A. L. Carvalho, L. Sanz, E. T. Petersen, J. J. Calvete “The crystal structure of two members of the spermadhesin family…reveals the folding of the CUB domain” NATURE STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY, 4, 783-788 (1997).
• R. Huber, P. Hof, R.O. Duarte, J.J.G. Moura, I. Moura, M-Y. Liu, J. LeGall, R. Hille, M. Archer, M.J. Romão. “A Structure-Based Catalytic Mechanism For The Xanthine Oxidase Family Of Molybdenum Enzymes” PROC. NATL. ACAD. SCI. USA , 93, 8846-8851 (1996).
• M. J. Romão, M. Archer, I. Moura, J. J. G. Moura, J. LeGall, R. Engh, M. Schneider, P. Hof, R. Huber. "Structure Of The Aldehyde Oxido-Reductase From Desulfovibrio gigas At 2.25 Å Resolution : A Member Of The Xanthine Oxidase Protein Family". SCIENCE, 270, 1170-1176 (1995).