• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

Tel :+390649910761
Fax :

Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - National Research Council
c\/o Department of Biochemical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome
Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, I-00185 Rome, Italy



Oxygen (O2), nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) play important roles in the physiology and pathophysiology of all living beings, from ‘simple’ unicellular organisms to humans. In man, these small gaseous molecules and their reactive species (ROS, RNS and RSS) serve crucial metabolic, signaling and protective functions under physiological conditions, but under pathological conditions they can mediate detrimental effects, contributing to the onset and/or progression of common diseases, including cancer and those affecting the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Hence, the importance of getting new insights into the biochemistry of these species.


More specifically, our research focuses on human and microbial enzymes involved in the metabolism of O2, NO, H2S and their reactive species, to elucidate the structure-function relationships, molecular evolution and regulation of these proteins, with the ultimate goal of unveiling the impact of these reactions in human health and identifying novel pharmacological targets. The investigated proteins are studied both as isolated and in their native cellular context by using a set of complementary biochemical, molecular biology and biophysical techniques. 


Full list of publications available in PubMed and in ResearchGate



Selected publications (max 20)

- "Bacterial Oxidases of the Cytochrome bd Family: Redox Enzymes of Unique Structure, Function, and Utility As Drug Targets"
Borisov VB, Siletsky SA, Paiardini A, Hoogewijs D, Forte E, Giuffrè A, Poole RK.
Antioxid Redox Signal. (2021) 34, 1280-1318.

- "Hydrogen Sulfide Biochemistry and Interplay with Other Gaseous Mediators in Mammalian Physiology"
A. Giuffrè, J.B. Vicente
Oxid Med Cell Longev. (2018) 2018, 6290931

- “The Terminal Oxidase Cytochrome bd Promotes Sulfide-resistant Bacterial Respiration and Growth”
E. Forte, V.B. Borisov, M. Falabella, H.G. Colaço, M. Tinajero-Trejo, R.K. Poole, J.B. Vicente, P. Sarti, A. Giuffrè
Sci Rep. (2016) 6, 23788.
- “S-Adenosyl-L-methionine Modulates CO and NO• Binding to the Human H2S-generating Enzyme Cystathionine β-Synthase”
J.B. Vicente, H.G. Colaço, P. Sarti, P. Leandro, A. Giuffrè
J Biol Chem. (2016) 291, 572-81

- “NO binds Human Cystathionine β-synthase Quickly and Tightly”

J.B.Vicente, H.Colaço, M.I.Mendes, P.Sarti, P.Leandro and A.Giuffrè

J Biol Chem (2014), 289, 8579

- “Cytochrome bd from Escherichia coli Catalyzes Peroxynitrite Decomposition”
V.B. Borisov, E.Forte, S.A. Siletsky, P.Sarti, A.Giuffrè
Biochim Biophys Acta – Bioenergetics (2015), 1847, 182-8.

- “Functional Characterization of Peroxiredoxins from the Human Protozoan Parasite Giardia intestinalis”

D.Mastronicola, M.Falabella, F.Testa, L.P.Pucillo, M.Teixeira, P.Sarti, L.Saraiva and A.Giuffrè

PLoS Neg Trop Dis (2014), 8, e2631

- “Cytochrome bd Oxidase and Nitric Oxide: from Reaction Mechanisms to Bacterial Physiology”

A.Giuffrè, V.B.Borisov, D.Mastronicola, P.Sarti and E.Forte

FEBS Lett (2012), 586, 622-9. Review

- “The Superoxide Reductase from the Early Diverging Eukaryote Giardia intestinalis”

F.Testa, D.Mastronicola, D.E.Cabelli, E.Bordi, L.P.Pucillo, P.Sarti, L.M.Saraiva, A.Giuffrè and M.Teixeira.

Free Radic Biol Med (2011), 51, 1567-74.

- “Control of Respiration by Cytochrome c Oxidase in Intact Cells: Role of the Membrane Potential”

M.E.Dalmonte, E.Forte, M.L.Genova, A.Giuffrè, P.Sarti and G.Lenaz

J Biol Chem (2009), 84, 32331-5


- “The O2-scavenging Flavodiiron Protein in the Human Parasite Giardia intestinalis”

A.Di Matteo, F.M.Scandurra, F.Testa, E.Forte, P.Sarti, M.Brunori and A.Giuffrè

J Biol Chem (2008), 283, 4061-8


- “Nitric Oxide Reacts with the Ferryl-oxo Catalytic Intermediate of the Cu(B)-lacking Cytochrome bd Terminal Oxidase”

V.B.Borisov, E.Forte, P.Sarti, M.Brunori, A.A.Konstantinov and A.Giuffrè.

FEBS Lett (2006), 580, 4823-6


- “Neuroglobin, Nitric Oxide and Oxygen: Functional Pathways and Conformational Changes”

M.Brunori, A.Giuffrè, K.Nienhaus, G.U.Nienhaus, F.M.Scandurra and B.Vallone

Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2005), 102, 8483-8


- “Interaction of the Bacterial Terminal Cytochrome bd oxidase with Nitric Oxide”

V.B.Borisov, E.Forte, A.A.Konstantinov, R.K.Poole, P.Sarti and A.Giuffrè.

FEBS Lett (2004), 576, 201-4.


- “Proton Uptake upon Anaerobic Reduction of the Paracoccus denitrificans Cytochrome c Oxidase: a Kinetic Investigation of the K354M and D124N Mutants”

E.Forte, F.M.Scandurra, O.H.Richter, E.D’Itri, P.Sarti, M.Brunori, B.Ludwig and A.Giuffrè.

Biochemistry (2004), 43, 2957-2963.


- “A Novel Type of Nitric Oxide Reductase: Escherichia coli Flavorubredoxin”

C.M.Gomes*, A.Giuffrè*, E.Forte, J.B.Vicente, L.M.Saraiva, M.Brunori and M.Teixeira.   [*Equally contributing]

J Biol Chem (2002), 277, 25273-25276


- “Nitric Oxide Reacts with the Single-Electron Reduced Active Site of Cytochrome c Oxidase”

A.Giuffrè, M.C.Barone, M.Brunori, E.D’Itri, B.Ludwig, F.Malatesta, H.Mueller and P.Sarti

J Biol Chem (2002), 277, 22402-6


- "The Cytochrome cbb3 from Pseudomonas stutzeri Displays Nitric Oxide Reductase Activity"

E.Forte, A.Urbani, M.Saraste, P.Sarti, M.Brunori and A.Giuffrè

Eur J Biochem (2001), 286, 6486-6490.


- "The Heme-Copper Oxidases of Thermus thermophilus Catalyze the Reduction of Nitric Oxide: Evolutionary Implications"

A.Giuffrè, G.Stubauer, P.Sarti, M.Brunori, W.G.Zumft, G.Buse and T.Soulimane.

Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (1999), 96, 14718-14723.


- "On the Mechanism of Inhibition of Cytochrome c Oxidase by Nitric Oxide"

A.Giuffrè, P.Sarti, E.D'Itri, G.Buse, T.Soulimane and M.Brunori.

J Biol Chem (1996), 271, 33404-33408.

Last update: January 2024

The Research Unit currently working at the project PRIN 2022 (MIUR of Italy) includes:

• Francesca Giordano

(PhD student)

Main ongoing collaborations:


• Elena Forte 

(Department of Biochemical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome)


• João B. Vicente – Ligia Saraiva – Miguel Teixeira

(Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica, New University of Lisbon, Portugal)





Current position


Director, CNR Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - Rome



1997: PhD in Biochemistry at the Sapienza University of Rome

1993: Degree cum laude in Biology at the Sapienza University of Rome



Appointments at CNR


Since Apr 2020:       Director, CNR Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - Rome
Since Feb 2020:       Research Manager, CNR Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - Rome
Jul 2001 - Feb 2020: Senior Researcher, CNR Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - Rome

Dec 1998 - Jul 2001: Research Fellow, CNR Center of Molecular Biology - Rome

Author identifiers

Orcid ID: 0000-0001-5301-0681

Scopus Author ID: 7003270357

WoS Researcher ID: K-4341-2015

Research Gate: Alessandro_Giuffre

Google Scholar: yuiCJh8AAAAJ

Funded Research Projects


2023-2025: PRIN 2022, MUR of Italy
2017-2020: PRIN 2015, MIUR of Italy
2012-2018: PNR-CNR Aging program, MIUR of Italy 
2015-2016: CNR-FCT (Portugal) bilateral project
2013-2014: CNR-FCT (Portugal) bilateral project

2011-2013: FIRB 2008 ‘Futuro in Ricerca’, MIUR of Italy

2011-2012: CNR-FCT (Portugal) bilateral project

2009-2011: Research grant 2009 - European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID)

2005-2008: CNR-FCT (Portugal) bilateral project

2005:          Curiosity-driven research project – CNR

2002-2003: Giovani Ricercatori 2002 - MIUR of Italy



Academic Appointments


Visiting Professor at ITQB, New University of Lisbon, Portugal (since 2005)

Board member of the PhD program in Biochemistry – Sapienza University of Rome (2012-to date)

PhD External Examiner - New University of Lisbon, Portugal (2007, 2008, 2012), Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands (2022), Stockholm University, Sweden (2017, 2021)

Evaluator in mid-term PhD exam: University of Aarhus, Denmark (2018)

Lecturer in charge in Molecular Biology at the Course of Farmacy - Faculty of Farmacy and Medicine – Sapienza University of Rome (since 2018)

Lecturer in charge in General Chemistry at the Course of Biomedical Laboratory Techniques - Faculty of Medicine and Psychology – Sapienza University of Rome (2000-2017)



Awards, Fellowships and Honors


Visiting Professor, ITQB, Nova University of Lisbon (since 2005)
Member of the Executive Committee of the Italian Group of Biomembranes and Bioenergetics (2005-2009, 2014-2018)
Academician of the Medical Academy of Rome (since 2015)

CNR award - ‘Incentivazioni al personale 2005’ (2009)

‘Maria Teresa Messori Roncaglia e Eugenio Mari’ award, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (2004)

‘Mc. Graw-Hill’ award, Italian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2002)

Fellowship from Centro Interdiciplinare Linceo, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (1997-1998)

PhD thesis award, Fondazione Cenci-Bolognetti (1997)

‘Luca Barone’ award, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (1991)



Editorial and Review work


Member of the Editorial Board of PloS One (2013-2022)
Guest Editor of Antioxidants [2020-2021]


Reviewer for several International Journals, including: Nature Communications, Nature Chemical Biology, Science Advances, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Biochemistry, Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, Redox Biology, Free Radical in Biology & Medicine, Antioxidants, Scientific Reports, PLoS Pathogens, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics, FEBS Letters, FEBS OpenBio, Molecular Microbiology, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Microbiology, Journal of Bacteriology, Journal of Parasitology, Experimental Parasitology, Tropical Biomedicine, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Parasitology Open, Biochimie, International Journal of Parasitology, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, Nitric Oxide, Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, Molecular Pharmacology, Trends in Parasitology.


Reviewer of grant proposals for: MIUR - Italy (since 2013); NSERC - Canada (2023); MRC - United Kingdom (2014, 2022); SNCF - Switzerland (2019, 2021 e 2022); NWO - The Netherlands (2010); Trent University - Canada (2017);  University of Padua - Italy (2016); University of Bordeaux - France (2015)





Selected/invited speaker at the following International meetings:


2018: XV Congress of the Italian Federation of Life Sciences , Rome (I)
2018: Bacterial Electron Transfer Processes and their Regulation, Saint-Tropez (F)
2016: XIX International Conference on Oxygen Binding and Sensing Proteins, Hamburg (D)
2016: XIV Congress of the Italian Federation of Life Sciences , Rome (I)
2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda (I)
2016: 4th International Conference on the Biology of Hydrogen Sulfide, Napoli (I)
2015: Bacterial Electron Transfer Processes and their Regulation, Vimeiro (P)
2015: Conference of the European Network on Gasotransmitters, Athens, (GRE)
2014: 13th International Conference of Parasitology, Mexico City (MEX)
2014: 18th European Bioenergetics Conference, Lisbon (P)
2014: 18th International Conference on Oxygen-Binding and Sensing Proteins, Sheffield(UK)
2012: IV International Giardia and Cryptosporidium Conference, Wellington (NZ)

2011: 9th Indo-Italian Workshop on Chemistry and Biology of Antioxidants, New Delhi (IND)

2008: 19th Annual Molecular Parasitology Meeting, Woods Hole (USA)

2007: 1st Summer School on Mitochondrial Respiratory Physiology, Schroecken (A)

2006: Young Researchers Forum, 8th European Biological Inorganic Chemistry, Aveiro (P)

2005: International Conference on Mitochondria, Bari (I)

2004: 13th European Bioenergetics Conference, Pisa (I)

2002: 4th Course of the Portuguese Biophysical Society, Santarem (P)

2000: Villa Vigoni Conference, Loveno di Menaggio (I)

2000: 18th Sigrid Juselius International Symposium, Helsinki (FIN)





Full list of publications available in PubMed and in ResearchGate

- Scopus (N. publications: 98; Citations: 4.343; H-index = 38)
- WoS (N. publications: 100; Citations: 4.004; H-index = 37)
- Google Scholar (N. publications: 132; Citations: 5.637; H-index = 44)


Last update: January 2024

File NameDownload
CV - Alessandro Giuffrè - January 2024