Most recent publications

Magnone M, Emionite L, Guida L, Vigliarolo T, Sturla L, Spinelli S, Buschiazzo A, Marini C, Sambuceti G, De Flora A, Orengo A, Cossu V, Ferrando S, Barbieri O, Zocchi E. Insulin-independent stimulation of skeletal muscle glucose uptake by low-dose abscisic acid via AMPK activation. Sci Rep. 2020 10(1):1454.

In this article, we investigated the molecular mechanisms through which the hormone abscissic acid (ABA) regulates glucose homeostasis. ABA has been shown to stimulate glucose uptake into mouse skeletal muscle and rat myocytes through a AMPK-dependent, insulin-independent mechanism. In vivo, ABA, chronically administered at low doses, improves the glycemic curve and increases glycogen content in CD1 mice exposed to a high glucose diet. These results suggest that the administration of ABA could be useful for glycemic control in pre-diabetic and diabetic subjects.

Duval C, Profumo A, Aprile A, Salis A, Millo E, Damonte G, Gauer JS, Ariëns RAS, Rocco M. Fibrinogen αC-regions are not directly involved in fibrin polymerization as evidenced by a “Double-Detroit” recombinant fibrinogen mutant and knobs-mimic peptides. J Thromb Haemost. 2020 Apr;18(4):802-814.

In this work, the role for mostly disordered(A)α-chains C-terminal regions during fibrin polymerization process has been investigated. DD-FG, wild-type recombinant (WT-FG), and human plasma (hp-FG) fibrinogen self-association was studied by turbidimetry coupled with fibrinopeptides release high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)/mass spectrometry analyses, and by light-scattering following size-exclusion chromatography (SE-HPLC). We demonstrated that (A)αC-regions interactions appear too weak to assist native fibrin polymerization, at least without knobs engagement. Their role in all stages should be reconsidered.

Corallo D, Donadon M, Pantile M, Sidarovich V, Cocchi S, Ori M, De Sarlo M, Candiani S, Frasson C, Distel M, Quattrone A, Zanon C, Basso G, Tonini GP, Aveic  S. LIN28B increases neural crest cell migration and leads to transformation of trunk sympathoadrenal precursors. Cell Death Differ 2020, 27(4):1225-1242.

LIN28B has been identified as an oncogene in various tumor types, including neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that originates from neural crest cells (NCC). In this study, we provide evidence that overexpression of lin28b inhibits sympathoadrenal cell differentiation and accelerates NCC migration in two vertebrate models, Xenopus leavis and Danio rerio. Moreover, a stable overexpression of the human LIN28B gene driven by the dopamine beta hydroxylase promoter was adopted to evaluate the probability of neuroblastoma onset in zebrafish. Then, we demonstrated that LIN28B overexpression in the sympathetic adrenergic lineage induced development of neuroblastomas.

Sociali G, Grozio A, Caffa I, Schuster S, Becherini P, Damonte P, Sturla L, Fresia C, Passalacqua M, Mazzola F, Raffaelli N, Garten A, Kiess W, Cea M, Nencioni A, Bruzzone S. SIRT6 deacetylase activity regulates NAMPT activity and NAD(P)(H) pools in cancer cells. FASEB J. 2019;33(3):3704-3717

In this study, we demonstrated that the NAD-dependent deacetylase Sirtuin 6 regulates the activity of the NAD-producing enzyme NAMPT and the intracellular content of NAD and NAD related coenzymes. In particular, the fact that SIRT6 activity has an impact on NADPH levels may represent a mechanism conferring oxidative stress resistance to cells. In addition, the fact that NAD levels are upregulated may have a positive effect on aging, known to be characterized by decreased NAD levels in different organs.

Grozio A, Mills KF, Yoshino J, BruzzoneS, Sociali G, Tokizane K, Lei HC, Cunningham R, Sasaki, Y, Migaud ME, Imai S. Slc12a8 is a nicotinamide mononucleotide transporter. Nature Metabolism 2019; 1:47–57

This study identifies Slc12a8 as a transporter for nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), a precursor in NAD synthesis. This transporter is highly expressed in intestinal cells, where it seems to be crucial for the regulation of NAD metabolism. Prof Bruzzone’s group contributed to this research with experiments conducted on a reconstituted proteoliposome system. A commentary to this article has also been published (

Calà E, Gosetti F, Gulmini M, Serafini I, Ciccola A, Curini R, Salis A,Damonte G, Kininger K, Just T, Aceto M. It’s Only a Part of the Story: Analytical Investigation of the Inks and Dyes Used in the Privilegium Maius. Molecules. 2019 Jun 12;24(12).

In this work the characterisation of the inks used for writing and of the dyes used to colour to the threads of pergamenaceous documents bound to wax seals with coloured textile threads was performed in order to shed light on the controversial story of the Privilegium maius, a document representing one of the most famous and spectacular forgeries in medieval Europe. The dyes were characterised with non-invasive in situ measurements by means of fibre optic (FORS) and with micro-invasive measurements by means of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-MS) analysis. The results showed that the threads of four of the five charters that form the document were apparently coloured at different dyeing stages, then re-dyed in the 19-20th century.

D’Ursi P., Uggeri M., Urbinati C., Millo E., Paiardi G., Milanesi L., Ford R. C., Clews J., Meng X., Bergese P., Ridolfi A., Pedemonte N., Fossa P., Orro A., Rusnati M. Exploitation of a novel biosensor based on the full-length human F508de1-CFTR with computational studies, biochemical and biological assays for the characterization of a new Lumacaftor/Tezacaftor analogue. Sensors and Actuators. B: Chemical, 2019 ,301, p. 127131,

In this paper we describe the development of a biosensor based on F508del-CFTR that proved to be endowed with a wider analytical potential in respect to the previous CFTR-based biosensors. Integrated with an appropriate computational model of the whole human F508del-CFTR the new biosensor allowed the identification and characterization at the molecular level of the binding modes of some known F508del-CFTR-rescuing drugs and of a new aminoarylthiazole-Lumacaftor hybrid derivative endowed with promising F508del-CFTR-binding and rescuing activity.

Maiole F, Tedeschi G, Candiani S, Maragliano L, Benfenati F, Zullo L. Synapsins are expressed at neuronal and non-neuronal locations in Octopus vulgaris. Sci Rep. 2019, 9(1):15430.

Synapsins are phosphoproteins associated with synaptic vesicles and involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Recently, the existence of non-neural functions of synapsins has been hypothesized. In this work, we characterized the synapsin homologues of the invertebrate Octopus vulgaris, and we present evidence of synapsin expression, not only in the brain, but also in the ovary and testis. These results suggest a role of synapsins in reproductive organ maturation and its possible involvement in vesicle secretion. This might indicate that its secretory role has evolved across animals according to cell activity in spite of cell identity.

Magnone M, Leoncini G, Vigliarolo T, Emionite L, SturlaL, ZocchiE, and Murialdo G. Chronic intake of micrograms of abscisic acid improves glycemia and lipidemia in a pilot human trial and in high-glucose fed mice. Nutrients 10(10), 2018.

In this study, we show that low-doses of the newly identified human hormone abscisic acid, administered as a nutraceutical, improve blood glucose and lipids in subjects with borderline values.

Liessi N, Cichero E, Pesce E, Arkel M, Salis A, Tomati V, Paccagnella M, Damonte G, Tasso B, Galietta LJV, Pedemonte N, Fossa P, MilloE. Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel thiazole- VX-809 hybrid derivatives as F508del correctors by QSAR-based filtering tools. Eur J Med Chem. 2018 Jan 20;144:179-200.

In this paper, we have synthesised and evaluated novel thiazole- VX-809 hybrid derivatives as modulators for the pharmacological correction of the cystic fibrosis chloride transport defect. In particular herein we reported a ligand-based approach including quantitative-structure activity relationship (QSAR) that efficiently led to the rational design and optimization of VX- 809 and thiazole-containing hybrid compounds. The study is in collaboration with Dr Pedemonte at Gaslini Hospital for biological evaluation and with Prof. Cichero (DIFAR ) for computational analysis.

SturlaL, Mannino E, Scarfì S, Bruzzone S, Magnone M, Sociali G, Booz V, Guida L, Vigliarolo T, Fresia C, Emionite L, Buschiazzo A, Marini C, Sambuceti G, De Flora A, Zocchi E. Abscisic acid enhances glucose disposal and induces brown fat activity in adipocytes in vitro and in vivo. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1862:131-144 (2017).

In this paper, it has been investigated the role of abscisic acid hormone and its receptor LANCL2 in the regulation of metabolism and glucose uptake in adipocytes. Moreover, it has been shown that abscisic acid upregulated expression of brown adipose tissue marker genes in adipocytes and increased glucose uptake in brown adipose tissue “in vivo”.