Here you can find more about my research interests, and publications.

Aquaporins in cancer development

My research focuses on identifying the role of small transmembrane water and glycerol channels, named Aquaglyceroporins, in cancer development. For this, I use known inhibitors rather than genetically altering cells, in order to determine their function and effects when inhibited. I aim at mapping the function of glycerol and hydrogen peroxide, via glycerol channels, in cancer development, cell migration, differentiation and metabolism. I am particularly interested in how the function, expression and localisation of glycerol channels are affected by the tumour environment and how their expression, in turn, affects cancer progression.
Currently, I am focused on understanding the Spatio-temporal patterns of aquaglyceroporin expression in prostate cancer, under hypoxia and how this contributes to prostate cancer metastasis.

Metal-based drugs as anticancer agents

I am also interested in the mechanism of action of metal-based drugs, as potential anti-cancer therapies. More specifically, my work focuses on metal-based drugs with fluorescence properties, that can be used as probes or trackers, for various cell functions, as well as have anti-cancer properties.


For the most up-to-date information, please visit ORCID.

*authors contributed equally to the work# corresponding author

25 – de Almeida, A.#, Parthimos, D., Dew, H., Smart, O., Wiltshire, M., Errington, R.J.; Aquaglyceroporin-3’s Expression and Cellular Localization Is Differentially Modulated by Hypoxia in Prostate Cancer Cell Lines. Cells, (2020) 10(4), 838;
24 – de Almeida, A., Bonsignore, R.; Fluorescent metal-based complexes as cancer probes. Bioinorg. & Med. Chem. Letters, (2020) 30(13), DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2020.127219

23 – Wragg, D., de Almeida, A., Casini, A. and Leoni, S.; Unveiling the mechanisms of aquaglyceroporin-3 water and glycerol permeation by metadynamics, Chem.: Eur. J, (2019) DOI: 10.1002/chem.201902121
22 – Wenzel, M.N., Mósca, A., Graziani, V., Aikman, B., Thomas, S., de Almeida, A; Insights into the Mechanisms of Aquaporin-3 Inhibition by Gold(III) Complexes: the Importance of Non-Coordinative Adduct Formation, Inorganic Chemistry, (2019) DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b03233
21 – Aikman, B., Wenzel, M.N., Mósca, A., Klooster, W.T, Coles, S.J., de Almeida, A., Soveral, G., Casini, A.; Gold(III) pyridine-benzimidazole complexes as aquaglyceroporin inhibitors and antiproliferative agents. Inorganics, (2018); DOI: 10.3390/inorganics6040123
20 – de Almeida, A.*, Mósca, A.*, et al., Molecular basis of aquaporin-7 permeability regulation by pH; Cells, (2018), DOI: 10.3390/cells7110207
19 – de Almeida, A.*, Wragg, D.*, Bonsignore, R.*, Kuehn, F.E., Leoni, S., Casini, A.; On the mechanism of gold/NHC compounds binding to DNA G-quadruplexes: combined metadynamics and biophysical methods. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl., (2018), DOI: 10.1002/anie.201805727
18 – Aikman, B., de Almeida, A., Meier-Menches, S. M., Casini, A.; Aquaporins in cancer development: opportunities for bioinorganic chemistry to contribute novel chemical probes and therapeutic agents. Metallomics, (2018), DOI: 10.1039/C8MT00072G
17 – Boorsma, C.E., Putri, K.S.S., de Almeida, A., et al., (2017) The Role of Tartrate Resistant Acid Phosphatase in Alveolar Macrophages in the Context of Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, Sci. Rep. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12623-w
16 – de Almeida, A.*, Mósca, A.*, et al.; The mechanism of aquaporin inhibition by gold compounds elucidated by biophysical and computational methods. Chem. Comm., (2017) DOI: 10.1039/ C7CC00318H

15 – de Almeida, A.*, Khan, R.A.*, et al.; Transition-metal norharmane compounds as possible cytotoxic agents: New insights based on a coordination chemistry perspective. J. Inorg. Biochem., (2016) DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2016.07.001
14 – de Almeida, A.*, Martins, A.P*, et al.; Exploring the gating mechanisms of aqua- porin-3: new clues for inhibitor’s design? Mol. Biosyst. (2016) DOI: 10.1039/C6MB00013D
13 – Tsitsa, I., Tarushi, A., Kalogiannis, S., Perdih, F., de Almeida, A., et al.; Structure and biological perspectives of metal complexes of flumequine. RSC Advances (2016) DOI: 10.1039/C5RA25776J
12 – de Almeida, A.*, Wenzel, M.*, et al.; New Luminescent Polynuclear Metal Complexes with Anticancer Properties: Toward Structure-Activity Relationships. Inorg. Chem., (2016), DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b02910
11 – Book Chapter: Casini, A. and de Almeida, A. (2015) Aquaporins in health and disease: New molecular targets for drug discovery. Chapter: Inorganic compounds as aquaporin substrates or as potent inhibitors: a coordination chemistry point of view. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group Access here
10 – Spinello, A., de Almeida, A., Casini, A. and Barone, G.; The inhibition of glycerol permeation through aquaglyceroporin-3 induced by mercury(II): a molecular dynamics study. J.Inorg. Biochem., (2015), DOI:10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2015.11.027
9 – de Almeida, A., Soveral, G., Casini, A.; Gold compounds as aquaporin inhibitors: new opportunities for therapy and imaging. Med. Chem. Comm., (2014) DOI: 10.1039/c4md00265b
8 – Khan, R.A, Al-Farhan, K., de Almeida, A., et al.; Light-stable bis(norharmane)silver(I) compounds: synthesis, characterization and antiproliferative effects in cancer cells. J. Inorg. Biochem., (2014) DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorg- bio.2014.06.019
7 – de Almeida, A.*, Madeira, A.*, et al.; A Gold Coordination Compound as a Chemical Probe to Unravel Aquaporin-7 Function. Chem. Bio. Chem., (2014) DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201402103
6 – de Almeida, A.*, Bertrand, B.*, et al.; New Gold(I) Organometallic Compounds with Biological Activity in Cancer Cells. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., (2014) DOI: 10.1002/ejic.201402248(Front cover picture)
5 – Rubbiani, R., Salassa, L., de Almeida, A., Casini, A. and Ott, I.; Cytotoxic Gold(I) N-heterocyclic Carbene Complexes with Phosphane Ligands as Potent Enzyme Inhibitors. Chem. Med. Chem.; (2014) 9: 1205–1210. DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.201400056 (VIP paper, Front cover picture)
4 – Frik, M., Jiménez, J., Vasilevski, V., Carreira, M., de Almeida, A., Gascón, E., Benoit, F., Sanaú, M., Casini, A. and Contel, M.; Luminescent iminophosphorane gold, palladium and platinum complexes as potential anticancer agents. Inorg. Chem. Front., (2014) 1, 231-241 DOI: 10.1039/C4QI00003J (Front cover picture)
3 – Lease, N., Vasilevski, V., Carreira, M., de Almeida, A., Sanaú, M., Hirva, P., Contel, M.; Potential anticancer heterometallic Fe-Au and Fe- Pd agents: initial mechanistic insights. J. Med. Chem., (2013) 56 (14), pp 5806–5818 DOI: 10.1021/jm4007615
2 – Martins, A. P., Ciancetta, A., de Almeida, A., Marrone, A., Re, N., Soveral, G. and Casini, A.; Aquaporin Inhibition by Gold(III) Compounds: New Insights. Chem. Med. Chem., (2013) 8: 1086–1092. DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.201300107
1 – de Almeida, A., Oliveira, B. L., Correia, J. D. G., Soveral, G., & Casini, A.; Emerging protein targets for metal-based pharmaceutical agents: An update. Coordination Chemistry Reviews, (2013) 257 (19-20) 2689-2704. DOI:10.1016/j.ccr.2013.01.031