Metal ions are essential nutrients for most living organisms and play a vital role in defining their physiological state. Maintenance of metal ion homeostasis is determinant for health and its disruption causes severe disorders and diseases. As a consequence, to assess metal ion concentrations and to monitor their traffic within cells and body fluids is crucial to understand therapeutic targets and drug design.

Research is focused on the design of chelators that may be of use in novel therapeutic strategies to fight Infection, Iron Overload and Diabetes. The first two are related with a particular interest in Iron Biology and the third with the potential insulin-like effect of Zinc and Vanadium complexes. The design of metal ion chelators is the common factor. In the first two diseases the drug is the chelator itself while in the third the drug is a metal-chelate. The design of fluorescent chelators that allow visualization of their pathways within the cell and the study of their interaction with metal ions is also an object of research.


Tuning anti(myco)bacterial activity of 3-hydroxy-4-pyridinone  chelators through fluorophores. Maria Rangel, Tânia Moniz, André M. N. Silva, Andreia Leite, Pharmaceuticals, 2018, 11, 110; https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph11040110

The influence of functional groups on the permeation and distribution of antimycobacterial rhodamine chelators, T. Moniz, A. Leite, T. Silva, P. Gameiro, M. S. Gomes, B. de Castro and M. Rangel, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2017, 175, 138-147; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2017.07.017

Antimycobacterial activity of rhodamine 3,4-HPO iron chelators against Mycobacterium avium: analysis of the contribution of functional groups and of chelator´s combination with ethambutol, Tânia Moniz, Daniel Silva, Tânia Silva, Maria Salomé Gomes and Maria Rangel, MedChemComm, 2015, 6, 2194-2203; http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C5MD00456J

Physiological implications of NTBI uptake by T lymphocytes, Jorge Pinto, João Arezes, Vera Dias, Susana Oliveira, Inês Vieira, Mónica Costa, Matthijn Vos, Anna Carlsson, Yuri Rikers, Maria Rangel, Graça Porto, Front. Pharmacol. (Drug Metabolism and Transport), 2014, 5, article 24; http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2014.00024