Antonio Rescigno


Department of Biomedical SciencesHPLC resized

Telephone: +39 0706754516


Personal webpage: here

Main areas of expertise: Chemistry of Antioxidants, Quinones, and Related Enzymes; Structure and Function of the Enzymes Involved in Browning Reactions; Enzyme Purification, Properties and Biotechnological Applications of Immobilised Enzymes and their Emulators


♦ Getting dark, but not too dark!

The main topics of our research center on some aspects of melanic pigment formation in both animal and plant cells, and also in fungi. Principal topics focused on enzymatic implications in this occurrence and include the use of tyrosinase enzyme as a model study.

Browning in plants, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. Enzymatic and non-enzymatic browning reactions cause deterioration of food during storage and processing. Several enzymes are responsible for browning phenomenon. Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), polyhenol oxidase (PPO), peroxidase (POD) activities lead to the formation and accumulation of brown phenolic compounds. An especial attention is given to PPO and PPO-catalyzed oxidation of phenolics to quinones which then polymerize to dark melanin pigments of non-well known structure.

Pigmentation of mammalian skin. Melanin is synthesized enzymatically from tyrosine within melanosomes. Tyrosinase, a copper enzyme belonging to type-3 copper proteins, is involved in the initial step of melanin biosynthesis and it is widespread throughout microrganisms, plant and fungal species, invertebrates, and vertebrates. This enzyme catalyses the o-hydroxylation of monophenols to the corresponding catechols (monophenolase or cresolase activity) and the oxidation of such catechols to the corresponding o-quinones (diphenolase or catecholase activity).

Key publications:

  1. Salehi, B., Armstrong, L., Rescigno, A., Yeskaliyeva, B., Seitimova, G., Beyatli, A., … Sharifi-Rad, J. (2019). Lamium Plants—A Comprehensive Review on Health Benefits and Biological Activities. Molecules, 24(10).
  2. Attia, I. B., Zucca, P., Marincola, F. C., Piras, A., Rosa, A., Chaieb, M., & Rescigno, A. (2018). Chemical composition and antioxidant potential differences between Cynomorium coccineum L. growing in Italy and in Tunisia: Effect of environmental stress. Diversity, 10(3).
  3. Schlich, M., Fornasier, M., Nieddu, M., Sinico, C., Murgia, S., & Rescigno, A. (2018). 3-Hydroxycoumarin loaded vesicles for recombinant human tyrosinase inhibition in topical applications. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 171, 675–681.
  4. Orrù, R., Zucca, P., Falzoi, M., Atzori, E., Rescigno, A., & Padiglia, A. (2017). First step towards the biomolecular characterization of Pompia, an endemic Citrus-like fruit from Sardinia (Italy). Plant Biosystems, 151(3).
  5. Asthana S, Zucca P, Vargiu AV, Sanjust E, Ruggerone P, Rescigno A (2015) Structure-activity relationship study of hydroxycoumarins and mushroom tyrosinase. J Agric Food Chem 63: 7236-7244
  6. Lachowicz JI, Nurchi VM, Crisponi G, Pelaez MDGJ, Rescigno A, Stefanowicz P, Cal M, Szewczuk Z (2015) Metal coordination and tyrosinase inhibition studies with Kojic-βAla-Kojic. J Inorg Biochem, DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2015.07.001
  7. Rosa A, Nieddu M, Piras A, Atzeri A, Putzu D, Rescigno A (2015) Maltese mushroom (Cynomorium coccineum L.) as source of oil with potential anticancer activity. Nutrients 7: 849-864
  8. Gonçalves MJ, Piras A, Porcedda S, Marongiu B, Falconieri D, Cavaleiro C, Rescigno A, Rosa A, Salgueiro L (2015) Antifungal activity of extracts from Cynomorium coccineum growing wild in Sardinia island (Italy). Nat Prod Res, DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2014.1000892
  9. Le-Thi-Thu H, Casañola-Martín GM, Marrero-Ponce Y, Rescigno A, Abad C, Khan MTH (2014) A rational workflow for sequential virtual screening of chemical libraries on searching for new tyrosinase inhibitors. Curr Top Med Chem 14: 1473-1485
  10. Casañola-Martin GM, Le-Thi-Thu H, Marrero-Ponce Y, Castillo-Garit JA, Torrens F, Rescigno A, Abad C, Khan MTH (2014) Tyrosinase enzyme: 1. An overview on a pharmacological target. Curr Top Med Chem 14: 1494-1501
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