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					Curriculum vitae

Born October 31, 1949 in Asti, Italy.

Studies of Biological Sciences at the Università degli Studi di Torino (1969-1972); Diploma 1972
1973-1974       Maths and Sciences teacher at secondary school in Torino
1974-1979       Fellowship at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Università degli Studi di Torino

1980-1999       Rechearcher in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Università degli Studi di Torino

2000-2005       Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Università degli
                Studi di Torino

2005-present    Full Professor of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Università degli
                Studi di Torino



Teaching
Academic year 1991/92: course on General Biology for the degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and
Technology at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Università degli Studi di Torino.

From 1992 to present: courses on Biochemistry for the degrees in Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Chemistry
and Technology, Herbal Products at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Università degli Studi di Torino.

Teacher at the Doctorate School of Science and High Technology (Biochemical Sciences Area).

LLP-Erasmus Programme
Past and present Erasmus agreements with group’s leaders accepting Italian students in their labs:

Prof. G. Daum, Institut of Biochemistry, Graz University of Technology (Austria);
Prof. G. Schulz, Institut of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg
       (Germany);
Prof. R. Schneiter, Division of Biochemistry, University of Fribourg (Switzerland);
Prof. C. Lang, Fakultät III, Institut für Mikrobiologie und Genetik and OrganoBalance GmbH, Berlin
      (Germany);
Prof. M. Krauss, Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Chemistry & Biochemistry,Laboratory of Membrane
        Biochemistry;
Prof. E. Breukink, Department of Chemical Biology and Organic Synthesis, Utrecht University,
        (The Netherlands);
Prof. T. de Kroon, Bijvoet Institute and Institute of Biomembranes, Utrecht University,
       (The Netherlands);
Prof. V. J. Cid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Dpto de Microbiologia II, Facultad de Farmacia
     Madrid (Spain);

Prof. Balliano contributed to the journal Biochemical Education with a paper on the use of simple model to
understand the topology of DNA (G. Balliano and P. Milla: Topology of DNA: when manipulation supports the
lack of “space-filling” imagination. Biochemical Education 25 (1997), 209-210).


Research
Past – Short Hystory
The first period was addressed to study the steroid metabolism in Cucurbitaceae family. The occurrence in
this family of an original side chain alkylation mechanism of phytosterols was demonstrated (Planta Medica,
1980, 38, 112-120; Phytochemistry, 1980, 19, 465-466; Lipids, 1983, 18, 302-305). Evidences for the
existence of a novel oxidosqualene cyclase (OSC), cucurbitadienol synthase (Phytochemistry, 1983, 22,
909-913 and 915-921) were also provided.
From mid eighties to mid nineties, research was mainly focused on the design and development of novel
inhibitors of oxidosqualene cyclases from different organisms. Among the inhibitors studied, the
azasqualenes revealed the most promising series, giving a number of highly effective molecules. A
compound from this series, N,N-dimethylazasqualene, was used to obtain the first crystal structure of a
complex between a squalene-cyclizing enzyme and a squalene-like molecule.

Recent period
In 2000, the group of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology was established at the Faculty of Pharmacy of
Torino.
Research interest of the group is mainly focused on oxidosqualene cyclase (OSC), the enzyme that
connects two sharply different sections of sterol biosynthesis, (i) the “assembly section”, a sort of assembly
line, which gathers all the components required to form the open triterpene 2,3-oxidosqualene, and (ii) the
“tailoring section”, which remodels the steroid-intermediates to give the final product (cholesterol, ergosterol
or phytosterols, in animal, fungal, or plant cells, respectively). Structural features and catalytic properties of
the enzyme, subcellular distribution, sensitivity to molecules designed as possible drugs, interaction with
other proteins are the main features considered by the group.

The following recent projects were developed:
-localization of yeast oxidosqualene cyclase in lipid particles of Saccharomyces cerevisiae;
-channel constriction architecture of squalene-hopene cyclase from Alicyclobacillus acidocaldarius, the
bacterial counterpart of eukaryotic OSCs
-OSCs from different organisms, pathogen and non pathogen, expressed in yeast: subcellular localization
and comparative susceptibility to different classes of inhibitors designed as antifungal, antiparasitic or
hypocholesterolemic agents;
-channel constriction architecture of yeast and human OSCs: a mutagenesis approach;
-protein-protein interaction among enzyme of ergosterol biosynthesis: the case of Erg7p (oxidosqualene
cyclase)-Erg27p (3-ketosteroid reductase) interaction.

Prof. Balliano is a member of the steering group of the Yeast Lipid Conference (YLC,
www.yeastlipidconference.tugraz.at), an international scientific meeting held every second year to promote free
discussion between scientists working on or interested in yeast lipids. In 2007, prof. Balliano organized the
VIII YLC in Torino (Italy) (www.yeastlipidconference2007.unito.it).

International Cooperations (last ten years)

        Prof. Günther Daum, Institut of Biochemistry, Graz University of Technology (Austria);
        Prof. Georg Schulz, Institut of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Albert-Ludwigs University of
         Freiburg (Germany);
        Dr. Henrietta Dehmlow, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Pharma Research Discovery Chemistry, Basel
         (Switzerland);
        Prof. Seiichi Matsuda, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, Houston
         (USA);
        Prof. Martin Bard, Department of Biology, Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis
         (USA);.
        Dr. Tanja Schulz-Gasch, , F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Pharma Research Discovery Chemistry,
         Molecular Design, Basel (Switzerland);
        Prof. Joe Nickels, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia (USA);
        Dr. Armin Ruf, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Pharma Research Discovery Chemistry, Basel
         (Switzerland).

    Selected Pubblications

    1.  L. Cattel, G. Balliano, O. Caputo and L. Delprino: Biosynthesis of stigmasta- 7 ,E-24(28)dien 3b-ol
       and 24-alkyl sterols in Bryonia dioica. Phytochemistry 19 (1980), 465-466.
    2. L. Cattel, G. Balliano, F. Viola and O. Caputo: The mechanism of alkylation at C-24 during the C-24
       sterol biosynthesis in Cucurbita maxima seedlings. Planta Medica 38 (1980), 112-120.
3. G. Balliano, O. Caputo, F. Viola, L. Delprino and L. Cattel: The transformation of 10--cucurbita
    5,24-dien 3b–ol into cucurbitacin C by seedlings of Cucumis sativus. Phytochemistry 22 (1983),
    909-913.
4. G. Balliano, O. Caputo, F. Viola, L. Delprino and L. Cattel: Cyclization of squalene-2,3-epoxide to 10-
    a-cucurbita-5,24-dien-3-ol by microsomes from Cucurbita maxima seedlings. Phytochemistry 22
    (1983 ), 915-921.
5. A. Duriatti, P. Bouvier-Navé, P. Benveniste, F. Schuber, L. Delprino, G. Balliano and L. Cattel: In
    vitro inhibition of animal and higher plants 2,3-oxidosqualene-sterol cyclases by 2-aza-2,3-
    dihydrosqualene and derivatives, and by other ammonium-containing molecules. Biochem.
    Pharmacol. 34 (1985), 2765-2777.
6. G. Balliano, F. Viola, M. Ceruti and L. Cattel: Inhibition of sterol biosynthesis in Saccharomyces
    cerevisiae by N,N -diethylazasqualene and derivatives. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 959 (1988), 9-19.
7. G. Balliano, F. Viola, M. Ceruti and L. Cattel: Characterization and partial purification of squalene-
    2,3-oxide cyclase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 293 (1992), 122-129.
8. M. Ceruti, G. Balliano, F. Viola, G. Grosa, F. Rocco and L. Cattel: 2,3-epoxy-10-aza10,11-
    dihydrosqualene, a high-energy intermediate analogue inhibitor of 2,3-oxidosqualene cyclase. J.
    Med. Chem. 35 ( 1992), 3050-3058.
9. G. Balliano, P. MilIa, M. Ceruti, F. Viola, L. Carrano and L. Cattel: Differential inhibition of fungal
    oxidosqualene cyclase by 6E and 6Z isomers of 2,3-epoxy-10-aza-10,11-dihydrosqualene. FEBS
    Letters 320 (1993), 203-206.
10. G. Balliano, G. Grosa, P. MilIa, F. Viola and L. Cattel: 3-Carboxy-4-nitrophenyl-dithio-1,1',2-
    trisnorsqualene: a site-directed inactivator of yeast oxidosqualene cyclase. Lipids 28 (1993), 903-
    906.
11. G. Balliano, P. MilIa, M. Ceruti, L. Carrano, P. Brusa and L. Cattel: Inhibition of sterol biosynthesis in
    Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans by 22,23-epoxy-2-aza-2,3-dihydrosqualene and
    the corresponding N-oxide. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 38 (1994),1904-1908.
12. F. Viola, P. Brusa, G. Balliano, M. Ceruti, O. Boutaud, F. Schuber and L. Cattel: Inhibition of 2,3-
    oxidosqualene cyclase and sterol biosynthesis by 10- and 19-azasqualene derivatives. Biochem.
    Pharmacol. 50 (1995), 787-796.
13. L. Cattel, M. Ceruti, G. Balliano, F. Viola, G. Grosa, F. Rocco and L. Cattel: 2,3-0xido squalene
    cyclase: from azasqualenes to new site-directed inhibitors. Lipids 30 ( 1995), 235-246.
14. M. Ceruti, F. Rocco, F. Viola, G. Balliano, P. MilIa, S. Arpicco and L. Cattel: 29Methylidene-2,3-
    oxidosqualene derivatives as stereospecific mechanism-based inhibitors of liver and yeast
    oxidosqualene cyclase. J. Med. Chem. 41(1988), 540-554.
15. G. Daum, G. Tuller, T. Nemec, C. Hrastnic, G. Balliano, L. Cattel, P. MilIa, F. Rocco, A.
    Conzelmann, C. Vionnet, D.E. KelIy, S. Kelly, E. Schweizer, H.J. SchulIer, U. Hojad, E. Greiner, K.
    Finger: Systematic analysis of yeast strains with possible defects in lipid metabolism. Yeast 15
    (1999), 601-614.
16. P. MilIa, F. Viola, M. Ceruti, F. Rocco, L. Cattel and G. Balliano: 19-Azasqualene-2,3-epoxide and its
    N-oxide: metabolic fate and inhibitory effect on sterol biosynthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
    Lipids 34 (1999), 681-688.
17. F. Viola, M. Ceruti, L. Cattel, P, MilIa, K. PoralIa and G. Balliano: Rationally designed inhibitors as
    tools for comparing the mechanism of squalene-hopene cyclase and oxidosqualene cyclase. Lipids
    35 (2000), 297-303.
18. Ceruti M., G. Balliano, Rocco F., Milla P., Arpicco S., Cattel L. and Viola F. Vinyl Sulfide Derivaives
    of Truncated Oxidosqualene as Selective Inhibitords of Oxidosqualene and Squalene-Hopene
    Cyclases. Lipids 36 (2001), 629-636.
19. P. Milla, K. Athenstaedt, F. Viola, S. Oliaro-Bosso, S. D. Kohlwein, G. Daum and G. Balliano: Yeast
    oxidosqualene cyclase (Erg7p) is a major component of lipid particles. J. Biol. Chem. 277 (2002),
    2406-2412.
20. P. Milla, A. Lenhart, G. Grosa, F. Viola, W. A. Weihofen, G. Schulz and G. Balliano: Thiol-modifying
    inhibitors for understanding squalene cyclase function. Eur. J. Biochem. 269 (2002), 1-9.
21. P. Milla, F. Viola, S. Oliaro Bosso, F. Rocco, L. Cattel, B.M. Joubert, R.J. LeClair, S.P.T. Matsuda,
    and G. Balliano. Subcellular localization of oxidosqualene cyclases from A. thaliana, T. cruzi and P.
    carinii expressed in yeast. Lipids 37 (2002), 1171-1176.
22. C. Mo, P. Milla, K. Athenstaedt, R. Ott, G. Balliano, G. Daum, and M. Bard. In yeast sterol
    biosynthesis the 3-keto reductase protein (Erg27p) is required for oxidosqualene cyclase (Erg7p)
    activity. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1633 (2003), 68-74.
23. Reinert D., Balliano G., Schulz G. E. Conversion of Squalene to the Pentacyclic Hopene.
    Chemistry & Biology 11 (2004), 121-126.
24. Cravotto, G.; Balliano, G.; Tagliapietra, S.; Palmisano G.; Penoni, A. “Umbelliferone Aminoalkyl
    Derivatives, a New Class of Squalene-Hopene Cyclase Inhibitors” Eur. J. Med. Chem. 39 (2004),
    917-924.
25. S. Oliaro-Bosso, F. Viola, S. Matsuda, G. Cravotto, S. Tagliapietra, G. Balliano. Umbelliferone
    Aminoalkyl Derivatives as Inhibitors of Oxidosqualene Cyclases from Saccharomyces cerevisiae,
    Trypanosoma cruzi and Pneumocystis carinii. Lipids 39 (2004), 1007-1012.
26. M. Ceruti, G. Balliano, F. Rocco, A. Lenhart, G.E. Schulz, F. Castelli and P. Milla. Synthesis and
    biological activity of new iodoacetamide derivatives on mutants of squalene-hopene cyclase. Lipids
    40 (2005), 729-735.
27. S. Oliaro-Bosso, T. Schulz-Gasch, S. Taramino, M. Scaldaferri, F. Viola and G. Balliano. (2005)
    Access of the substrate to the active site of squalene and oxidosqualene cyclases: comparative
    inhibition, site-directed mutagenesis and homology-modelling studies. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 33
    (2005), 1202-1205.
28. M. Germann, C. Gallo, T. Donahue, R. Shirzadi, J. Stukey, S. Lang, C. Ruckenstuhl, S. Oliaro-
    Bosso, V. McDonough, F. Turnowsky, G. Balliano and J. T. Nickels Jr. Characterizing sterol defect
    suppressors uncovers a novel transcriptional signaling pathway regulating zymosterol biosynthesis.
    J. Biol. Chem. 280 (2005), 35904-35913.
29. S. Oliaro-Bosso, T. Schulz-Gasch, G. Balliano, F. Viola. Access of the substrate to the active site of
    yeast oxidosqualene cyclase: an inhibition and site-directed mutagenesis approach.
    ChemBioChem. 6 (2005), 2221-2228.
30. S. Oliaro-Bosso, M. Ceruti, G. Balliano, P. Milla, F. Rocco and F. Viola. Analogs of squalene and
    oxidosqualene inhibit oxidosqualene cyclase from Trypanosoma cruzi expressed in Saccharomyces
    cerevisiae. Lipids 40 (2005), 1257-1262.
31. S. Oliaro-Bosso, F. Viola, S. Taramino, S. Tagliapietra, A. Barge, G. Cravotto and G. Balliano.
    Inhibitory effect of umbelliferone aminoalkyl derivatives on oxidosqualene cyclase from S. cerevisiae,
    T. cruzi, P. carinii, H. sapiens and A. thaliana: a structure-activity study. ChemMedChem 2 (2007),
    226-233.
32. U. Galli, S. Oliaro-Bosso, S. Taramino, S. Venegoni, E. Pastore, GC. Tron, G. Balliano, F. Viola and
    G. Sorba. Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of new(2E,6E)-10-(dimethylamino)-3,7-
    dimethyl-2,6-decadien-1-ol ethers as inhibitors of human and Trypanosoma cruzi Oxidosqualene
    Cyclase. Biorg. Med. Chem. Letters 17 (2007), 220-224.
33. G. Balliano and G. Daum. Lipids, pasta and palazzi: The 8th Yeast Lipid Conference, Torino, Italy,
    10-12 May, 2007. FEMS Yeast Res. 7 (2007),1077-1078.
34. B. Teske, S. Taramino, M.S.A. Bhuiyan, N.S. Kumaraswami, S.K. Randall, R. Barbuch, J. Eckstein,
    G. Balliano and M. Bard. Genetic analyses involving interactions between the ergosterol biosynthetic
    enzymes, lanosterol synthase (Erg7p) and 3-ketoreductase (Erg27p), in the yeast Saccharomyces
    cerevisiae. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1781 (2008) 359-366.
35. S. Oliaro-Bosso, S. Taramino, F. Viola, S. Tagliapietre, G. Cravotto, G. Balliano. Umbelliferone
    aminoalkyl derivatives as inhibitors of human oxidosqualene-lanosterol cyclase. J. Enz. Inhib. Med.
    Chem. 24 (2009) 589-598.
36. G. Balliano, H. Dehmlow, S. Oliaro-Bosso, M. Scaldaferri, S. Taramino, F. Viola, G. Caron, J. Aebi,
    J. Ackermann. Oxidosqualene cyclase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Trypanosoma cruzi,
    Pneumocystis carinii and Arabidopsis thaliana expressed in yeast: a model for the development of
    novel antiparasitic agents. Biorg. Med. Chem. Letters 19 (2009) 718-723.
37. S. Taramino, M. Valachovic, S. Oliaro-Bosso, F. Viola, B. Teske, R. Barbuch, M. Bard and G.
    Balliano. Interaction of oxidosqualene cyclase (Erg7p) with 3-keto reductase (Erg27p) and other
    enzymes of sterol biosynthesis in yeast. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2009, submitted.

    Academic related activity and memberships
    -LLP/Erasmus committee at the Università degli Studi di Torino
    -SIB, Società Italiana di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare.
    -Steering group of the Yeast Lipid Conference.


    Hobbies
    Ski alpinism, Hiking, Music, Gardening

				
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