Nilana Barros

Adjunct Professor
Biological Sciences
Federal University of Sao Paulo, Diadema, Brazil

nilanabarros [at] (Email)


Proteolytic enzymes (proteases/peptidases) are crucial biological mediators involved in many physiological and pathological processes, where they function to  activate or inactivate substrate proteins or peptides. My research activities are centred around proteases, particularly their actions in mineralized tissues (bones and teeth) and in tumors.  More specifically, my lab are focuses on the enzyme PHEX, and how the absence of active PHEX causes X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) ‒ the most prevalent form of the hereditable hypophosphatemias which have osteomalacia (hypomineralized, soft skeletons and teeth) as their major symptom. We have recently identified osteopontin as the first physiologically relevant protein substrate for PHEX. Finally, my experience as a biochemist and enzymologist allows me to investigate the role of proteases in bone biology and in tumor-associated processes to understand their specificities and inhibition mechanisms.

Keywords: Proteases, PHEX, XLH, cathepsins, bone, mineralization.


McKee, Marc D. ; Hoac, Betty ; Addison, William N. ; Barros, Nilana M.T. ; Millán JL ; Chaussain C . Extracellular matrix mineralization in periodontal tissues: Noncollagenous matrix proteins, enzymes, and relationship to hypophosphatasia and X-linked hypophosphatemia. Periodontology 2000, v. 63, p. 102-122, 2013.

Barros, Nilana MT ; Hoac, Betty ; Neves, Raquel L ; Addison, William N ; Assis, Diego M ; Murshed, Monzur ; Carmona, Adriana K ; McKee, Marc D . Proteolytic processing of osteopontin by PHEX and accumulation of osteopontin fragments in Hyp mouse bone, the murine model of X-linked hypophosphatemia. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, v. 28, p. 688-699, 2013. Corresponding author.

Penha, FM. ; PONS, M; Costa, EF ; Barros, NMT ; Rodrigues, E B. ; Cardoso, EB; Dib, Eduardo ; Maia, Mauricio ; Marin-Castãno, ME. ; Farah, ME . Retinal Pigmented Epithelial Cells Cytotoxicity and Apoptosis through Activation of the Mitochondrial Intrinsic Pathway: Role Of Indocyanine Green, Brilliant Blue and Implications for Chromovitrectomy. Plos One, v. 8, p. e64094, 2013

Scaffa PMC ; Vidal CMP ; Barros, NMT. ; Gesteiro TF ; CARMONA, Ak ; Breschi L ; Pashley DH ; Tjäderhane L ; TERSARIOL, Ivarne Luis ; NASCIMENTO, F. D. ; Carrilho MR . Chlorhexidine Inhibits the Activity of Dental Cysteine pCathepsins. Journal of Dental Research (Online), v. 91, p. 420-425, 2012.

Bagnaresi, Piero ; de Barros, Nilana MT ; Juliano, Maria A ; Fonseca, Raphael G ; Assis, Diego M ; Juliano, Luiz ; Pesquero, João B ; Melo, Pollyana MS ; Gazarini, Marcos L ; Rosenthal, Philip J ; Carmona, Adriana K . Intracellular proteolysis of kininogen by malaria parasites promotes release of active kinins. Malaria Journal (Online), v. 11, p. 156, 2012. Equal contribution.

Elaine de Paula Fiod Costa ; Barros, NMT. ; Coppini, Larissa Pereira ; Neves, Raquel L. ; Carmona, AK ; Fernando Marcondes Penha ; Eduardo Büchele Rodrigues ; Eduardo Dib ; Magalhães Jr, O ; Milton Nunes de Moraes Filho ; Acácio de Souza Lima ; Maia, Mauricio ; Michel Eid Farah . Effects of Light Exposure, pH, Osmolarity, and Solvent on the Retinal Pigment Epithelial Toxicity of Vital Dyes. American Journal of Ophthalmology, p. S0002-9394(12)0, 2012. Corresponding author.

Oliveira, Marcela ; Assis, DM ; Paschoalin T ; MIranda A. ; Ribeiro, E. B. ; Juliano, Maria A. ; Christhofolete, M. A. ; Barros, Nilana M.T. ; Carmona, AK . Cysteine cathepsin S processes leptin, inactivating its biological activity. Journal of Endocrinology, v. 214, p. 217-224, 2012 Corresponding author.

Dib, Eduardo ; Maia, Mauricio ; Acácio de Souza Lima ; de Paula Fiod Costa, Elaine ; de Moraes-Filho, Milton Nunes ; Eduardo Büchele Rodrigues ; Fernando Marcondes Penha ; Copinni L ; Barros, NMT. ; Rita de Cassia Sinigaglia Galli Coimbra ; Octaviano Magalhães Júnior ; Tarcisio Guerra, Bruno de Albuquerque Furlani ; Furlani, Bruno de Albuquerque ; Edna Freymuller ; Michel Eid Farah . In Vivo, In Vitro Toxicity and In Vitro Angiogenic Inhibition of Sunitinib Malate Read More: Current Eye Research (Print), v. 37, p. 567-574, 2012

Azzalis, LA. ; Sato, SN. ; Barros, NMT. ; Junqueira, VBC. ; Fonseca, F.L.A. ; Giavarotti, L. . Integration of basic sciences in health's courses. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v. 1, p. n/a-n/a, 2012

Icimoto, MY ; Barros, Nilana M.T. ; Ferreira, JC ; Marcondes, MF ; Marcelo F Marcondes ; Andrade, D ; Machado, MF ; Juliano, Maria A. ; Júdice, WA ; JULIANO, L ; Oliveira, V . Hysteretic behavior of proprotein convertase 1/3 (PC1/3). Plos One, v. 6, p. 1-7, 2011.

Clara RO, Soares TS, Torquato RJS; Lima CA, Watanabe, ROM, Barros NMT, Carmona AK, Masuda A, Vaz Junior IS, Tanaka A. Boophilus microplus cathepsin L-like (BmCL1) cysteine protease: specificity study using a peptide phage display library (2011) Veterinary Parasitology.

Oliveira M, Torquato RJS, Alves MFM, Juliano MA, Juliano L, Bromme D, Barros NMT, Carmona AK Improvement of cathepsin S detection using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) peptides based on putative natural substrates (2010) Peptides 31(4):562-7 Corresponding author.

Coppini LP ; Barros, N. M. ; Oliveira M ; Hirata, I. Y. ; Alves, M. F. ; Paschoalin, T. ; Assis Dm ; Juliano, Maria Aparecida ; Puzer, Luciano ; Bromme, D. ; Carmona, AK. Plasminogen hydrolysis by cathepsin S and identification of derived peptides as selective substrate for cathepsin V and cathepsin L inhibitor (2010)  Biological Chemistry 391(5):561-70 Equal contribution.

Axelband F, Dias J, Miranda F, Ferrão FM, Carmona AK, Barros NMT, Lara LS, Vieyra A. A scrutiny of the biochemical pathways from Ang II to Ang-(3-4) in renal basolateral membranes  (2009) Regulatory peptides 158:47-56

Barros, NMT. ; Nascimento, FD ; Oliveira, V ; Juliano, MA ; Juliano, L ; Loisel, T ; Nader, HB ; Boileau, G; Tersariol, IL ; Carmona, AK . The critical interaction of the metallopeptidase PHEX with heparan sulfate proteoglycans. International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology (2008) 40: 2781–2792

Puzer, L., Barros, NMT, Paschoalin T, Hirata, I., Oliveira MC, Tanaka AS, Bromme, D., Carmona, AK. Cathepsin V, but not cathepsins L, B and K, may release angiostatin-like fragments from plasminogen (2008) Biological Chemistry 389:195–200

Barros, NMT, Campos, M, Bersanetti, P. A., Oliveira, V, Juliano, M A., Boileau, G., Juliano, L., Carmona, AK. Neprilysin carboxydipeptidase specificity studies and improvement of its detection with fluorescence energy transfer peptides (2007) Biological Chemistry 388: 447-455

Nogaroto V, Tagliavini S, Gianotti A, Mikawa A, Barros NT, Puzer L, Carmona AK, Costa P, Henrique-Silva F. Recombinant expression and characterization of a Xylella fastidiosa cysteine protease differentially expressed in a nonpathogenic strain. FEMS Microbiol Lett. (2006) 261(2):187-93

Puzer L, Vercesi J, Alves MF, Barros NMT, Araujo MS, Aparecida Juliano M, Reis ML, Juliano L, Carmona AK. A possible alternative mechanism of kinin generation in vivo by cathepsin L. Biological Chemistry (2005) 386(7):699-704

Puzer L, Barros NMT, Oliveira V, Juliano MA, Lu G, Hassanein M, Juliano L, Mason RW, Carmona AK. Defining the substrate specificity of mouse cathepsin P. Arch Biochem Biophys. (2005) 435(1):190-6

Barros NMT, Puzer L, Tersariol IL, Oliva ML, Sampaio CA, Carmona AK, da Motta G. Plasma prekallikrein/kallikrein processing by lysosomal cysteine proteases. Biological Chemistry (2004) 385(11):1087-91

Barros NMT, Tersariol IL, Oliva ML, Araujo MS, Sampaio CA, Juliano L, da Motta G. High molecular weight kininogen as substrate for cathepsin B. Biological Chemistry (2004) Jun;385(6):551-5