Focus

A new mechanism to "starve" tumors

2021
In a study directed by Claudia Ghigna - Institute of Molecular Genetics "Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza" of the National Research Council in Pavia (Cnr-Igm) - in collaboration with various Italian and international research groups, a novel protein variant expressed only on the surface of tumor blood vessels has been identified. The results of the study were published in Nature Communications. The research shows how, through the mechanism known as 'alternative splicing', cells of the blood vessels ...

From 3D chromatin structure to gene regulation

2021
A recent study coordinated by Francesco Ferrari - Institute of Molecular Genetics "Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza" of the National Research Council in Pavia (IGM-CNR) and IFOM, the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology - demonstrated how the physical three-dimensional (3D) conformation of DNA inside the cell nucleus can be leveraged to reconstruct the network of regulatory interactions controlling genes activity. The 3D organization of DNA and its associated proteins (chromatin) inside the cell ...

NOVEL STRATEGIES TO COUNTERACT OSTEOSARCOMA PROGRESSION

2021
A group of researchers from the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the National Research Council (IGM-CNR) lead by Dr. Vittoria Cenni, in collaboration with Dr. William Blalock and funded by the Italian Association of Cancer Research (AIRC), has discovered that the proliferation as well as the clonogenic potential of cells from osteosarcoma, a malignancy primarily afflicting children and young adults, can be tempered by the abrogation of the expression of the mechanotransducer protein ...

NEW CELLULAR FACTORS AND MECHANISMS CRUCIAL FOR DNA REPLICATION

2021
Three structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) complexes - cohesin, condensin and SMC5-SMC6 - are crucial for chromosome organization events in all domains of life. However, the roles of the Smc5/6 complex remain poorly understood, in spite of its association with human disease and cancers. In a recent work, published in Nature Communications by researchers of IGM and IFOM, the authors identify that Smc5/6 roles in facilitating replication completion through difficult to replicate regions ...

DDX11 loss causes replication stress and pharmacologically exploitable DNA repair defects

2021
Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes predispose individuals to breast and ovarian cancers. These cancers are treated in the clinic with platinum drugs and inhibitors of polyADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), which cause lesions requiring homologous recombination repair activities mediated by BRCA1 and BRCA2. However, BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumors often acquire resistance to chemotherapy, either by somatic reversion or by acquiring homologous recombination proficiency, leading to aggressive ...

DNA: che spettacolo la scienza" La ricerca al centro: Street ScienceStreet Science Aquila CNR IFT

2020
Torna all'Aquila venerdì 25 settembre 2020 in Piazza Duomo Street Science, l'iniziativa dell'Università degli Studi dell'Aquila nata per promuovere la diffusione della cultura scientifica. Quest'anno abbiamo ritenuto nel massimo rispetto della normativa Covid e dall'alto livello di sicurezza che ci contraddistingue di tenere una edizione seppur ridotta di Street Science esclusivamente all'aperto e in Piazza Duomo, perchè come ogni anno vogliamo raccontarvi la nostra passione per la ricerca ...

A New Strategy To Fight the West Nile Virus Infection

2019
A new family of DDX3X helicase inhibitors has been discovered to be effective in blocking West Nile virus replication in human cells without damaging healthy cells. The study conducted by research groups coordinated by Giovanni Maga (Institute of Molecular Genetics of the National Research Council of Pavia) and by Maurizio Botta (University of Siena), is published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Brai A., Martelli F., Riva V., Garbelli A., Fazi R., Zamperini C. et al., DDX3X Helicase ...

FameLab Pavia: the winner is .... Matteo Cabrini

2019
Yesterday evening, 28th February 2019, the final selection of FameLab Pavia was held and the winner was Matteo Cabrini, a brilliant Post-Doc of the IGM-CNR who gave a presentation on Homeopathy. FameLab Pavia was organized by INFN in collaboration with the Municipality of Pavia, IUSS University School of Pavia, EUCENTRE and the Institute of Molecular Genetics-CNR. The compliments to Matteo and the second classified who spoke about biotechnology with an intervention on beer. But congratulations ...

Il Cnr tra i vincitori della StartCup Regione Lazio 2019

2019
Tra i vincitori del premio StartCup Lazio 2019 c'è 'ProNeuro', progetto d'impresa spin off che nasce dalla collaborazione tra l'Istituto di farmacologia traslazionale (Cnr-Ift), l'Istituto per le applicazioni del calcolo (Cnr-Iac) e l'Istituto di analisi dei sistemi ed informatica (Cnr-Iasi). ProNeuro si è aggiudicato il terzo premio assoluto e l'accesso diretto alla fase finale del Premio nazionale per l'innovazione (PNI) che si svolgerà a Catania il prossimo 28 e 29 novembre 2019. A ...

CNR and University in Pavia are allies in the fight against arbovirosis.

2019
Thanks to the generous contribution of Banca del Monte di Lombardia Foundation, a project aimed at developing a new strategy can start for fighting against viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. The project is based on a collaboration between the Molecular Virology Laboratory of the Molecular Genetics Institute "Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza" - CNR of Pavia, directed by Dr. Giovanni Maga, and the Laboratory of Insect Evolutionary Molecular Biology by Prof. Giuliano Gasperi and Prof. Anna ...

Lo splicing alternativo che nutre il tumore

2019
Un gruppo di ricerca dell'Istituto di Genetica Molecolare del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-IGM) di Pavia guidato da Claudia Ghigna, sostenuto dall'AIRC-Associazione italiana per la ricerca contro il cancro e in collaborazione con il gruppo di Ugo Cavallaro dello IEO di Milano, ha scoperto che nei vasi sanguigni del tumore ovarico, una delle cause più comuni di morte per cancro nella popolazione femminile tra i 50 e i 69 anni, viene prodotta una nuova variante delle proteina L1, a cui ...

Discovering the laws of life: portraits by Redi, Maupertuis, Trembley, von Humboldt, Wallace, Mendel

2019
A new book by dr. Federico Focher entitled "Alla scoperta delle leggi della vita. Ritratti di Redi, Maupertuis, Trembley, Humboldt, Wallace, Mendel" was published (editor "Il prato"). Every scientific discovery, however revolutionary, is not born from nothing, but it is the last flower of a great tree, without which it would never have blossomed. Certainly you could just admire the cut flower, but only by knowing the leaves, the branch on which it shows itself, the tree as a whole, and the ...

ERC Advanced Grant to Fabrizio d'Adda di Fagagna

2019
The prestigious ERC Advanced Grant was given to Fabrizio d'Adda di Fagagna, researcher of IGM-CNR of Pavia and IFOM of Milan specialized in response to DNA damage and cellular senescence. His pioneering research has already conquered in the past years another Advanced Grant and two Grants Proof of Concept, always destined by the European Commission to his particularly innovative and daring projects.

Distrofia di Duchenne, un gene artificiale apre la strada a nuove terapie

2018
Progettati nuovi geni artificiali 'immuno-mimetici' in grado di favorire il recupero muscolare. I risultati dello studio, condotto dal Cnr (IBPM e IBCN), sono stati pubblicati su BBA Molecular Basis of Disease (Marzo 2018). Si chiama Jazz-Zif1 (JZif1) il nuovo gene artificiale capace di aumentare i livelli di utrofina, una proteina in grado di supplire parzialmente all'assenza o al mal funzionamento della distrofina, causa di una delle malattie genetiche più difficili da trattare, la Distrofia ...

Scoperta nella regolazione di fattori cruciali per la formazione dei tumori

2018
Nuovo studio sulla rivista Oncogene finanziato da Airc. Regina Elena e Ibpm-Cnr: scoperta regolazione di fattori cruciali per la formazione dei tumori. «La proteina Aurora B - spiega Cinzia Rinaldo (leader del gruppo IBPM) - è spesso deregolata nei tumori e il suo malfunzionamento può portare alla formazione e progressione dei tumori». Dice Gennaro Ciliberto, direttore dell'Ospedale Regina Elena pe rlo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori di Roma: «Il lavoro aggiunge un nuovo tassello che chiarisce ...

Verso nuovi modelli neuronali per la cura della malattia di Huntington

2018
' in uscita ad aprile, sulla rivista scientifica 'Stem Cell Research', uno studio che apre nuove prospettive per la cura della malattia di Huntington, frutto della collaborazione tra Andrea Ilari dell'Istituto di biologia e patologia molecolari (Ibpm) del Cnr di Roma e Ferdinando Squitieri dell'Irccs 'Casa Sollievo della sofferenza' di San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia). Il lavoro nasce dall'esigenza di scoprire i meccanismi molecolari coinvolti nello sviluppo di questa patologia genetica ...

Anticorpo monoclonale contro la leucemia mieloide acuta

2017
Su iniziativa del gruppo Menarini e di Oxford BioTherapeutics è stato sviluppato un anticorpo monoclonale, umanizzato, MEN1112 che è in grado di riconoscere ed eliminare cellule di leucemia mieloide acuta. Dopo una fase preclinica di studio e caratterizzazione, che ha dimostrato efficacia e tollerabilità, MEN1112 è stato ed è utilizzato in uno uno studio di tipo traslazionale nel quale l'anticorpo ha dimostrato promettente attività in campioni di sangue periferico e midollare di pazienti ...

Neuroscienze: trovato il legame tra personalità e forma del cervello

2017
Come le differenze individuali nella struttura e funzione cerebrale siano legate al modo in cui ci comportiamo e proviamo emozioni e' una di quelle domande "esistenziali" alla quale gli scienziati cercano di dare una risposta da anni. Benchè risultati conclusivi non siano ancora disponibili, i dati raccolti fino ad ora hanno mostrato un forte legame tra la "forma" di alcune aree cerebrali e le varie caratteristiche di personalità. E' la conclusione di un recente studio effettuato da un team ...

Muscle Cell News

2017
The e-scientific newsletter Connexon Creative highlights as THIS WEEK'S TOP STORY the paper "Estrogens enhance myoblast differentiation in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy by antagonizing DUX4 activity", result of a research carried out in our Institute (https://www.musclecellnews.com/issue/). Connexon Creative sifts through all of the most recent scientific literature and news, and selects the most relevant and highest impact publications on regenerative medicine. This week, it ...

A calendar to raiise funds for AIRC

2017
I volti delle donne" is a photo project ideated by Manuela Lanzafame, postdoc at the Institue of Molecular Genetics IGM-CNR of Pavia. Portraits of fourteen girls were used to describe different expression characterizing women and were used to realize a calendar. Earnings will be entirely devolved to the Italian foundation for cancer research (AIRC).

ELIXIR EXCELERATE, AN EUROPEAN PROJECT FOR BIOINFORMATICS TRAINING IN THE LIFE SCIENCES

2017
The European consortium Elixir is devoted to coordinate, integrate and sustain bioinformatics resource in LIfe Science research accross Eurpean countries. In this article, the IBPM coordinator and coordinators of other European nodes operating in the ELIXIR-EXCELERATE project (https://www.elixir-europe.org/about-us/how-funded/eu-projects/excelerate), describe the Train-the-Trainer (TtT) programme, designed to empower scientists to deliver high-quality training in bioinformatics. The TtT ...

AN INNOVATIVE STRATEGY TO KILL CANCER CELLS

2017
Cancer cells show profoundly altered mitotic divisions, and mitotic proteins are viewed as potential targets of novel antineoplastic drugs. Here, we have developed an in silico virtual screening to identify one small molecule targeting the interaction surface between microtubules and the kinetochore protein Hec1, thereby blocking microtubule dynamics. This small molecule effectively inhibits neoplastic growth, both in cultured cancer cells and in murine xenograft models, by promoting mitotic ...

UNDERSTANDING THE BASIS OF CANCER RESISTANCE TO THERAPEUTIC DRUGS

2017
Resistance to cancer chemotherapeutics, e.g. taxanes and anthracyclines, is largely due to the overexpression of efflux pumps, in particular ABCB1 (P-glycoprotein or MDR1). Resistance leads to poor clinical outcome. Overexpression of a group of genes that surround the ABCB1 genomic locus (the ABCB1 amplicon), including Sorcin (SRI), may contribute to the establishment of the multidrug-resistant phenotype. Here we show that: i) Sorcin is overexpressed in several tumors and cancer cell lines, in ...

PLANT BIOLOGY: THE MOLECULAR BASES OF PLANT DEVELOPMENT AND REPRODUCTION

2017
The correct synchronization of development of the different tissues of the male organ (stamen) in flowers is essential for male fertility in self-pollinating plants. In this work we demonstrate that the correct distribution of auxin, a plant morphogen, is essential to ensure this synchronization in the model plant Arabidopsis, and that the middle layer - a stamen tissue of previously unknown function - is crucial in generating a developmentally instructive auxin distribution. These findings ...

MODEL ORGANISMS TO DISSECT THE MECHANISMS OF CELL DIVISION

2017
INT6/eIF3e is a highly conserved protein involved in several processes and downregulated in many human cancers. In this work, we show that loss of Int6 alters spindle microtubule behavior in mitosis, and hence affects the accuracy of chromosome segregation, by regulating the stability of specific mitotic proteins. Article: The Drosophila orthologue of the INT6 oncoprotein regulates mitotic microtubule growth and kinetochore structure Renda F, Pellacani C, Strunov A, Bucciarelli E, Naim V, ...

Two genomic regions and lifestyle factors associated with human longevity.

2017
Genomic analysis of longevity offers the potential to illuminate the biology of human aging. In a study, recently published in Nature Communications, a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 606,059 parents' survival, helped discover two regions associated with longevity (HLA-DQA1/DRB1 and LPA). Previous suggestions that APOE, CHRNA3/5, CDKN2A/B, SH2B3 and FOXO3A influence longevity have also been validated. Next, the study shows that giving up smoking, educational attainment, openness to new ...

Non-coding RNA: the DNA damage fingerprints of cancer cells

2017
The integrity of our genome has to be maintained ed to prevent accumulation of harmful mutations, or cell death. This is even more needed in tumor cells where breaks in DNA occur at higher frequency. This feature of cancer cells can be exploited to set up therapeutic strategies based on inhibition of DNA repair with the aim to induce cell death. The drugs used so far to strike this "Achilles heel" of cancer cells block the enzymatic activity of essential DNA repair proteins, such as ATM, ATR or ...

AIRC (Italian Association for Cancer Researchand) and young people

2016
AIRC rewards this year two young researchers at the IGM-CNR of Pavia: Elisa Belloni (with a three years fellowship) and Anna Di Matteo (with a one year fellowship). Both researchers are involved in a research project in the group directed by Dr. Claudia Ghigna aimed at identifying the molecular mechanisms driving the development of tumor vasculature, a fundamental process in cancer progression since cancerous cells stimulate the formation of new blood vessels in order to support their growth and ...

BACTERIA SECRET WEAPONS

2016
Bacteria are highly adaptable and can live in very hostile environments. Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is a small gas molecule produced by bacteria in our intestine, and is a powerful inhibitor of cellular respiration by blocking the enzyme responsible for oxygen consumption in human cells. The aim of this study was to assess the hypothesis that some enzymes help bacteria to produce energy and survive despite the presence of acid, often damaging human health. The team led by Ibpm, in collaboration ...

BIOTECHNOLOGY: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY DEVELOPMENT OF DNA-BASED NANOMATERIALS

2016
A synergic collaboration between soft-matter physicists and molecular biologists of nucleic acid has yielded the realization of a new nano-material, DNA-hydrogel, liquid at low and high temperatures (≤20°C, > 45°C) and gelifies at 32/40°C. The liquid DNA hydrogel at 20°C can be easily injected into the organism and then quickly gelifies at body temperature (37°C). The abilty to gelify at 37°C is the starting point for the design and development of novel DNA-hydrogels as carriers ...