Group of Structural and Functional Biochemistry

The group serves the educational and research needs in the disciplines of biochemistry (intermediate metabolism, synthesis and nucleic acid metabolism, synthesis, structure and function of proteins), structural biochemistry, proteomics, structural genomics, regulation and Metabolic Control of Enzymes and the implementation of all the above in Analytical Biochemistry, Enzymology Clinical Biochemistry, Food biochemistry, Chemical Biology, structure-driven drug design and Biophysics as applied to Biochemical Sciences. The main research interests of the group focus on 1) macromolecular structural and functional biochemistry in which protein structures and protein interactions within complexes in solution are used as the starting point for further studies on the mechanisms of catalysis, mechanisms of inhibition, regulation, molecular recognition, and structure-based drug design. Currently our activities are directed to research on structural and functional aspects of macromolecules of pharmaceutical and biotechnological interest and structure-based drug design. The main directions of the group's research activities is the rational design, synthesis, and evaluation of molecules against major diseases with a current emphasis on type 2 diabetes, cancer, inflammation, and thrombosis 2) elucidation of the correlation between structure/function of enzymes involved in glycogen metabolism, ribonucleases of the pancreatic ribonuclease A superfamily, deadenylases which are the enzymes that degrade poly(A) tails regulating mRNA turnover rates mitochondrial steroid hormone receptors, and gene expression and homeostasis factors.


Dr Dimitrios Leonidas, Associate Prof. in Biochemistry

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr Leonidas has a first degree in Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a PhD in Structural Biochemistry from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. His main research interests focus on a ) control of glycogen metabolism ; b) structure and function of ribonucleases and c) structural basis of carbohydrate recognition by lectins.  He is the head of the research group of Structural and Functional Biochemistry and the Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotecnology. He has authored more than 80 papers in peer reviewed journals and he has participated or coordinated several national and European research projects. His group will participate in the isolation and mostly in the preliminary characterization of key catabolic enzymes involved in the detoxification of pesticides used by the fruit packaging industry


Recent Selected Publications

  1. Structural analysis of the Rhizoctonia solani agglutinin reveals a domain-swapping dimeric assembly. Skamnaki, V.T., Peumans, W.J., Kantsadi, A.L., Cubeta, M.A., Plas, K., Pakala, S., Zographos, S.E., Smagghe, G., Nierman, W.C., Van Damme, E.J., Leonidas, D.D. (2013) FEBS J. 280, 1750-1763.
  2. Sourcing the affinity of flavonoids for the glycogen phosphorylase inhibitor site via crystallography, kinetics and QM/MM-PBSA binding studies: Comparison of chrysin and flavopiridol.Tsitsanou, K.E., Hayes, J.M., Keramioti, M., Mamais, M., Oikonomakos, N.G., Kato, A., Leonidas, D.D., Zographos, S.E. (2013) Food Chem Toxicol.61, 14-27
  3. Studies on the essential intramolecular interaction between the A1 and A2 domains of von Willebrand factor. Karoulia, Z., Papadopoulos, G., Nomikos, M., Thanassoulas, A., Choli-Papadopoulou, T., Nounessis, G., Kontou, M., Stathopoulos, C., and Leonidas, D.D. (2013). Prot. & Pept. Lett. 20, 231-240.
  4. Triazole pyrimidine nucleosides as inhibitors of Ribonuclease A. Synthesis, biochemical, and structural evaluation. Parmenopoulou, V., Chatzileontiadou, D.S.M., Manta, S., Bougiatioti, S., Maragozidis, P., Gkaragkouni,D.-N., Kaffesaki, E., Kantsadi, A.L., Skamnaki, V.T., Zographos, S.E., Zoumpoulakis, P., Balatsos, N.A.A., Komiotis, D., and Leonidas, D.D. (2012). Bioorg Med Chem. 20, 7184-7193
  5. The binding of C5-alkynyl and alkylfurano[2,3-d]pyrimidine glucopyranonucleosides to glycogen phosphorylase b. Synthesis, biochemical and biological assessment. Kantsadi, A.L., Manta, S., Psarra, A.-M.G., Dimopoulou, A., Kiritsis, C., Parmenopoulou, V., Skamnaki, V.T., Zoumpoulakis, P., Zographos, S.E., Leonidas, D.D., and Komiotis D. (2012) Eur. J. Med. Chem. 54, 740-749.
  6. The σ-hole phenomenon of halogen atoms form the structural basis of the strong inhibitory potency of C-5 halogen substituted glucopyranosyl nucleosides towards glycogen phosphorylase b. Kantsadi, A.L., Hayes, J.M., Manta, S., Skamnaki, V.T., Kiritsis, C., Psarra, A.-M.G., Koutsogiannis, Z., Dimopoulou, A., Theofanous, S., Nikoleousakos, N., Zoumpoulakis, P., Kontou, M., Papadopoulos, G., Zographos, S.E., Komiotis, D., and Leonidas, D.D. (2012). ChemMedChem 7, 722-732.