Maria Eugenia Schininà

Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (93)325.76 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A common feature of non-coding repeat expansion disorders is the accumulation of RNA repeats as RNA foci in the nucleus and/or cytoplasm of affected cells. These RNA foci can be toxic by sequestering RNA-binding proteins, thus affecting various steps of post-transcriptional gene regulation. However, the precise step that is affected by C9orf72 GGGGCC (G4C2) repeat expansion, the major genetic cause of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is still poorly defined. In this work, we set out to characterise these mechanisms by identifying C9orf72 RNA binding proteins. Sequestration of some of these factors into RNA foci was observed when a (G4C2)31 repeat was expressed in NSC34 and HeLa cells. Most notably, (G4C2)31 repeats widely affected the distribution of Pur-alpha and its binding partner FMRP, which accumulate in intra-cytosolic granules that are positive for stress granules markers. Accordingly, translational repression is induced. Interestingly, this effect is associated to a marked accumulation of poly(A) mRNAs in cell nuclei. Thus, defective trafficking of mRNA, as a consequence of impaired nuclear mRNA export, might affect translation efficiency and contribute to the pathogenesis of C9orf72 ALS.
    Journal of Cell Science 03/2015; DOI:10.1242/jcs.165332 · 5.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microglia are resident macrophages in the central nervous system, whose participation against exogenous injuries and infections is mainly marked by an immediate release of inflammatory cytokines along with a toxic efflux of superoxide radicals. Indeed, many lines of evidence indicate that persistent activation of these cells turns their neuroprotective phenotype into a neurotoxic one, which contributes to destroy neuronal activity and induces neuronal loss in several neurodegeneration processes, such as Alzheimer's disease. In this study we attempted to fill-in the gap in our knowledge about redox regulation of amyloid activated microglia. With this aim, we carried out a robust and comprehensive characterization of the reversibly redox modified proteome both at the level of resting and amyloid-activated BV2 cells, an immortalised cell line of murine microglia. The approach we used combined the selective enrichment of reversible redox modified proteins through a biotin bait with nanoscale liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry of their proteolytic peptides. By this reliable approach, we identified 60 proteins changing the redox status of their selective cysteine residues upon treatment with the amyloidogenic Aβ25-35 peptide. These results assessed that in microglia stimulated by amyloids, redox modifications of the proteome specifically target proteins involved in crucial cell processes, i.e. those involved in the protein synthesis. In particular, for peroxiredoxin-6 (Prdx6) and Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) we suggest mechanisms through which reversible redox modifications could affect the peculiar role of microglia in amyloidogenic injury, which at the same time reinforce the oxidative burst and resist toward it. Moreover, the redox modulation we observed on chloride intracellular channel protein 1 (CLIC1) strengthens the structural and functional relationship between the oxidative stress and the metamorphic transition of this protein from a soluble form to an integral membrane form. The redox signatures we determined might also provide neurologists with more specific and reliable biomarkers to distinguish the diverse microglia status in neurodegeneration and then to drive targeted drug design.
    Molecular BioSystems 03/2015; DOI:10.1039/c4mb00703d · 3.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microglia are macrophages within the central nervous system playing a central role in neurodegenerative disorders. Although the initial engagement of microglia seems to be neuroprotective, many lines of evidence indicate that its persistent activation contributes to dismantle neuronal activity and to induce neuronal loss. The molecular pathways that lead from amyloid interaction with membrane receptors to the microglial activation have been extensively investigated, although a definitive picture is not yet at hand. In this work, primary and immortalised microglial cells were treated with a synthetic form of Aß peptides, and relative abundance of acetylated and phosphorylated STAT3 were assayed. Results highlight, for the first time, three distinctive sequential events: i) an earlier event marked by the increase in the level of STAT3 acetylated species, followed by ii) a later increase in the level of STAT3 phosphorylated form, and finally iii) an involvement of phosphorylated STAT3 in the increase in expression of the 14-3-3 epsilon, a protein frequently associated with neurodegenerative diseases and known to be a marker of Aß-activated microglia. These data outline a complex, time-dependent modification of STAT3 signalling triggered by amyloid in the microglial compartments, that once confirmated by in vivo experiments will broad knowledge of the molecular basis of amyloid neurotoxicity.
    Neurochemistry International 01/2015; 81. DOI:10.1016/j.neuint.2015.01.007 · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We elucidated the role of V210I and R208H mutations in the formation of PrPCJD.•We determined by MS the quantitative ratio of mut/wt PrPCJD allotypes.•We showed that mutant PrPCJD allotypes exceeds of 2- or 3-fold the amount of the wt.•Mutant residues may increase the concentration of PrPC and facilitate misfolding.•Mutant PrP likely accelerates the initial stage of PrPCJD formation.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.10.051 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, due to partial or complete triplication of chromosome 21. DS subjects are characterized by a number of abnormalities including premature aging and development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology after approximately 40 years of age. Several studies show that oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the development of neurodegeneration in DS population. Increased lipid peroxidation is one of the main events causing redox imbalance within cells through the formation of toxic aldehydes that easily react with DNA, lipids and proteins. In this study we used a redox proteomics approach to identify specific targets of 4-hydroxynonenal modifications in the frontal cortex from DS cases, with and without AD pathology. We suggest that a group of identified proteins followed a specific pattern of oxidation in DS vs. young controls (CTRY), likely indicating characteristic features of DS phenotype; a second group of identified proteins showed increased oxidation in DS/AD vs. DS, thus possibly playing a role in the development of AD. The third group of comparison, DS/AD vs. old controls (CTRO), identified proteins that may be considered specific markers of AD pathology. All the identified proteins are involved in important biological functions including intracellular quality control systems, cytoskeleton network, energy metabolism and antioxidant response. Our results demonstrate that oxidative damage is an early event in DS, as well as dysfunctions of protein degradation systems and cellular protective pathways, suggesting that DS subjects are more vulnerable to oxidative damage accumulation that might contribute to AD development. Further, considering that the majority of proteins have been already demonstrated to be oxidized in AD brain, our results strongly support similarities with AD in DS.
    Free Radical Biology and Medicine 03/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.03.027 · 5.71 Impact Factor
  • Benedetta Mattei, Sabrina Sabatini, M Eugenia Schininà
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    ABSTRACT: The development of plant root systems is characterized by a high plasticity, made possible by the continual propagation of new meristems. Root architecture is fundamental for overall plant growth, abiotic stress resistance, nutrient uptake and response to environmental changes. Understanding the function of genes and proteins which control root architecture and/or stress resistance will contribute to develop more sustainable systems of intensified crop production. To meet these challenges, proteomics provides the genome-wide scale characterization of protein expression pattern, subcellular localization, post-translational modifications, activity regulation and molecular interactions. In this review, we describe a variety of proteomic strategies that have been applied to study the proteome of the whole organ and of specific cell-types during root development. Each has advantages and limitations, but collectively they are providing important insights into the mechanisms by which auxin structures and patterns the root system, and on the interplay between signaling networks, auxin transport and growth. The acquisition of proteomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic datasets of the root apex on the cell scale has revealed the high spatial complexity of regulatory networks, and fosters the use of new powerful proteomic tools for a full understanding of the control of root developmental processes and environmental responses.
    Journal of Proteome Research 09/2013; 12(11). DOI:10.1021/pr400697s · 5.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Several evidences suggest that MS can be considered a multi-factorial disease in which both genetics and environmental factors are involved. Among proposed candidates, growing results support the involvement of oxidative stress (OS) in MS pathology. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of OS in event of exacerbations in MS on serum of relapsing-remitting (RR-MS) patients, either in relapsing or remitting phase, with respect to serum from healthy subjects. We applied proteomics and redox proteomics approaches to identify differently expressed and oxidatively modified proteins in the low-abundant serum protein fraction. Among differently expressed proteins ceruloplasmin, antithrombin III, clusterin, apolipoprotein E, and complement C3, were up-regulated in MS patients compared with healthy controls. Further by redox proteomics, vitamin D-binding protein showed a progressive trend of oxidation from remission to relapse, respect with controls. Similarly, the increase of oxidation of apolipoprotein A-IV confirmed that levels of OS are elevated with the progression of the disease. Our findings support the involvement of OS in MS and suggest that dysfunction of target proteins occurs upon oxidative damage and correlates with the pathology.
    PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e65184. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0065184 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DS is the most frequent genetic cause of intellectual disability characterized by the anomalous presence of three copies of chromosome 21. One of the peculiar features of DS is the onset of Alzheimer's disease neuropathology after the age of 40 years characterized by deposition of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Growing studies demonstrated that increased oxidative damage, accumulation of unfolded/damaged protein aggregates and dysfunction of intracellular degradative system are key players in neurodegenerative processes. In this study, redox proteomics approach was used to analyze the frontal cortex from DS subjects under the age of 40 compared with age-matched controls, and proteins found to be increasingly carbonylated were identified. Interestingly, our results showed that oxidative damage targets specifically different components of the intracellular quality control system such as GRP78, UCH-L1, V0-ATPase, cathepsin D and GFAP that couples with decreased activity of the proteasome and autophagosome formation observed. We also reported a slight but consistent increase of Aß 1-42 SDS- and PBS-soluble form and tau phosphorylation in DS versus CTR. We suggest that disturbance in the proteostasis network could contribute to the accumulation of protein aggregates, such as amyloid deposits and NFTs, which occur very early in DS. It is likely that a sub-optimal functioning of degradative systems occur in DS neurons, which in turn provide the basis for further accumulation of toxic protein aggregates. The results of this study suggest that oxidation of protein members of the proteostatis network is an early event in DS and might contribute to neurodegenerative phenomena.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 04/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2013.04.013 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this book, the authors present topical research in the study of the ecosystems, economic importance and environmental threats to the Mediterranean Sea. Topics discussed include the need for an economic and business oriented approach to ecosystem services in the Mediterranean Sea; marine pollution from shipwrecks at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea; the effects of produced formation water (PFW) on the marine environment of the Mediterranean Sea; Secchi depth and water quality control; an environmental modeling plan for the construction and operation of a marine terminal for regasifying liquefied natural gas in the North Adriatic Sea; and a study of bioactive peptides from the venom of the Mediterranean cone snail conus ventricosus.
    Bioactive peptides from the venom of the Mediterranean cone snail Conus ventricosus., 01/2013: chapter Bioactive peptides from the venom of the Mediterranean cone snail Conus ventricosus.; Nova Science Publishers Inc.
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    ABSTRACT: The pathological form of prion protein (PrPSc), as other amyloidogenic proteins, causes a marked increase of membrane permeability. PrPSc extracted from infected Syrian hamster brains induces a considerable change in membrane ionic conductance, although the contribution of this interaction to the molecular mechanism of neurodegeneration process is still controversial. We previously showed that the human PrP fragment 90–231 (hPrP90–231) increases ionic conductance across artificial lipid bilayer, in a calcium-dependent manner, producing an alteration similar to that observed for PrPSc. In the present study we demonstrate that hPrP90–231, pre-incubated with 10 mM Ca++ and then re-suspended in physiological external solution increases not only membrane conductance but neurotoxicity as well. Furthermore we show the existence of a direct link between these two effects as demonstrated by a highly statistically significant correlation in several experimental conditions. A similar correlation between increased membrane conductance and cell degeneration has been observed assaying hPrP90–231 bearing pathogenic mutations (D202N and E200K). We also report that Ca++ binding to hPrP90–231 induces a conformational change based on an alteration of secondary structure characterized by loss of alpha-helix content causing hydrophobic amino acid exposure and proteinase K resistance. These features, either acquired after controlled thermal denaturation or induced by D202N and E200K mutations were previously identified as responsible for hPrP90–231 cytotoxicity. Finally, by in silico structural analysis, we propose that Ca++ binding to hPrP90–231 modifies amino acid orientation, in the same way induced by E200K mutation, thus suggesting a pathway for the structural alterations responsible of PrP neurotoxicity.
    PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0038314 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Failure in cytokinesis, the final step in cell division, by generating tetra- and polyploidization promotes chromosomal instability, a hallmark of cancer. Here we show that HIPK2, a kinase involved in cell fate decisions in development and response to stress, controls cytokinesis and prevents tetraploidization through its effects on histone H2B. HIPK2 binds and phosphorylates histone H2B at S14 (H2B-S14(P)), and the two proteins colocalize at the midbody. HIPK2 depletion by targeted gene disruption or RNA interference results in loss of H2B-S14(P) at the midbody, prevention of cell cleavage, and tetra- and polyploidization. In HIPK2 null cells, restoration of wild-type HIPK2 activity or expression of a phosphomimetic H2B-S14D derivative abolishes cytokinesis defects and rescues cell proliferation, showing that H2B-S14(P) is required for a faithful cytokinesis. Overall, our data uncover mechanisms of a critical HIPK2 function in cytokinesis and in the prevention of tetraploidization.
    Molecular cell 05/2012; 47(1):87-98. DOI:10.1016/j.molcel.2012.04.029 · 14.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genital infection by high risk Human Papillomavirus (HR-HPV), although recognized as the main etio-pathogenetic factor of cervical cancer, is not per se sufficient to induce tumour development. Oxidative stress (OS) represents an interesting and under-explored candidate as a promoting factor in HPV-initiated carcinogenesis. To gain insight into the role of OS in cervical cancer, HPV-16 positive tissues were collected from patients with invasive squamous cervical carcinoma, from patients with High Grade dysplastic HPV lesions and from patients with no clinical evidence of HPV lesions. After virological characterization, modulation of proteins involved in the redox status regulation was investigated. ERp57 and GST were sharply elevated in dysplastic and neoplastic tissues. TrxR2 peaked in dysplastic samples while iNOS was progressively reduced in dysplastic and neoplastic samples. By redox proteomic approach, five proteins were found to have increased levels of carbonyls in dysplastic samples respect to controls namely: cytokeratin 6, actin, cornulin, retinal dehydrogenase and GAPDH. In carcinoma samples the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase A, ERp57, serpin B3, Annexin 2 and GAPDH were found less oxidized than in dysplastic tissues. HPV16 neoplastic progression seems associated with increased oxidant environment. In dysplastic tissues the oxidative modification of DNA and proteins involved in cell morphogenesis and terminal differentiation may provide the conditions for the neoplastic progression. Conversely cancer tissues seem to attain an improved control on oxidative damage as shown by the selective reduction of carbonyl adducts on key detoxifying/pro-survival proteins.
    PLoS ONE 03/2012; 7(3):e34366. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0034366 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Importin-β is the main vector for interphase nuclear protein import and plays roles after nuclear envelope breakdown. Here we show that importin-β regulates multiple aspects of mitosis via distinct domains that interact with different classes of proteins in human cells. The C-terminal region (which binds importin-α) inhibits mitotic spindle pole formation. The central region (harboring nucleoporin-binding sites) regulates microtubule dynamic functions and interaction with kinetochores. Importin-β interacts through this region with NUP358/RANBP2, which in turn binds SUMO-conjugated RANGAP1 in nuclear pores. We show that this interaction continues after nuclear pore disassembly. Overexpression of importin-β, or of the nucleoporin-binding region, inhibited RANGAP1 recruitment to mitotic kinetochores, an event that is known to require microtubule attachment and the exportin CRM1. Co-expressing either importin-β-interacting RANBP2 fragments, or CRM1, restored RANGAP1 to kinetochores and rescued importin-β-dependent mitotic dynamic defects. These results reveal previously unrecognized importin-β functions at kinetochores exerted via RANBP2 and opposed by CRM1.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 02/2012; 196(4):435-50. DOI:10.1083/jcb.201109104 · 9.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Highly stable natural scaffolds which tolerate multiple amino acid substitutions represent the ideal starting point for the application of rational redesign strategies to develop new catalysts of potential biomedical and biotechnological interest. The knottins family of disulphide-constrained peptides display the desired characteristics, being highly stable and characterized by hypervariability of the inter-cysteine loops. The potential of knottins as scaffolds for the design of novel copper-based biocatalysts has been tested by engineering a metal binding site on two different variants of an ω-conotoxin, a neurotoxic peptide belonging to the knottins family. The binding site has been designed by computational modelling and the redesigned peptides have been synthesized and characterized by optical, fluorescence, electron spin resonance and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The novel peptides, named Cupricyclin-1 and -2, bind one Cu(2+) ion per molecule with nanomolar affinity. Cupricyclins display redox activity and catalyze the dismutation of superoxide anions with an activity comparable to that of non-peptidic superoxide dismutase mimics. We thus propose knottins as a novel scaffold for the design of catalytically-active mini metalloproteins.
    PLoS ONE 02/2012; 7(2):e30739. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0030739 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microglia-mediated inflammation in the central nervous system is a hallmark of the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. Microglial cells activation follows the deposition of amyloid β fibrils and it is generally considered a triggering factor in the early steps of the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Although the initial engagement of microglia seems to play a neuroprotective role, many lines of evidence indicate that a persistent activation with the production of proinflammatory molecules contributes to dismantle neuronal activity and to induce neuronal loss occurring in neurodegenerative diseases. To date, limited proteomic data are available on activated microglial cells in response to extracellular amyloidogenic peptides. In this study, murine microglial cells have been employed to investigate the effects of amyloid β peptides in triggering microglial activation. The response was monitored at the proteome level through a two-dimensional gel electrophoresis-based approach. Results show only a limited number of differentially expressed proteins, among these a more acidic species of the cytosolic actin, and the 14-3-3ε protein, found significantly upregulated in Aβ-activated cells. 14-3-3ε belongs to a regulatory protein family involved in important cellular processes, including those leading to neurodegenerative diseases, and thus its increased expression suggests a role of this protein in tuning microglia activation.
    Proteomics 01/2012; 12(1):124-34. DOI:10.1002/pmic.201100113 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Post-translational modifications of Notch3 and their functional role with respect to Notch3 overexpression in T-cell leukemia are still poorly understood. We identify here a specific novel property of Notch3 that is acetylated and deacetylated at lysines 1692 and 1731 by p300 and HDAC1, respectively, a balance impaired by HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) that favor hyperacetylation. By using HDACi and a non-acetylatable Notch3 mutant carrying K/R(1692-1731) mutations in the intracellular domain, we show that Notch3 acetylation primes ubiquitination and proteasomal-mediated degradation of the protein. As a consequence, Notch3 protein expression and its transcriptional activity are decreased both in vitro and in vivo in Notch3 transgenic (tg) mice, thus impairing downstream signaling upon target genes. Consistently, Notch3-induced T-cell proliferation is inhibited by HDACi, whereas it is enhanced by the non-acetylatable Notch3-K/R(1692-1731) mutant. Finally, HDACi-induced Notch3 hyperacetylation prevents in vivo growth of T-cell leukemia/lymphoma in Notch3 tg mice. Together, our findings suggest a novel level of Notch signaling control in which Notch3 acetylation/deacetylation process represents a key regulatory switch, thus representing a suitable druggable target for Notch3-sustained T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia therapy.
    Oncogene 11/2011; 31(33):3807-17. DOI:10.1038/onc.2011.533 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular mechanisms underlying abdominal aneurysm (AAA) formation and rupture are not well understood. Early detection and repair of AAA may reduce the high mortality rates associated with rupture. Serum proteomics allows the detection of alterations in the expression of proteins, guiding further studies on these target molecules as potential markers. Analysis of proteomic profile of asymptomatic patients with AAA allows the identification of reliable predictors or markers of disease presence or progression. A proteomics approach based on two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry was used to compare serum proteomic profiles of patients with AAA who are candidates for surgical repair compared with healthy controls. We analyzed in parallel the proteomic profile of subjects with cardiac heart failure to discriminate these two pathologies, which show similar pattern of systemic inflammation process. We identified in AAA subjects four serum proteins that show altered expression profile and that could be specifically linked to AAA pathology. We discuss the role of our identified proteins with their possible implications in disease outcome. This approach could provide an initial screening tool that may drive the basis for further research in the field of cardiovascular diseases. These results need to be validated in larger studies to find potential markers of AAA presence or progression to use in clinical settings. A proteomics approach was used to compare serum proteomic profiles of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm who are candidates for surgical repair compared with healthy controls. Four serum proteins showed altered expression profile that could be correlated with the pathology. This approach could provide an initial screening tool that may drive the basis for further research in the field of cardiovascular diseases.
    Cardiovascular pathology: the official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology 11/2011; 21(4):283-90. DOI:10.1016/j.carpath.2011.09.008 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are neurodegenerative pathologies characterized by the accumulation of amyloid fibrils mainly composed of the pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrP(TSE)). PrP(TSE) pre-amyloid fibrils are supposed to induce neurodegenerative lesions possibly through the alteration of membrane permeability. The effect of PrP(TSE) on cellular membranes has been modeled in vitro by synthetic peptides that are, however, only partially representative of PrP(TSE) isoforms found in vivo. In the present work we show that a synthetic membrane exposed to PrP27-30 extracted from TSE-infected hamster brains changes its permeability because of the formation of molecular pores that alter the conductance of the synthetic lipid bilayer. Synthetic membrane challenged with the recombinant prion peptide PrP90-231 shows a much lower conductance. Elevation of calcium ion concentration not only increases the current amplitude due to the action of both PrP27-30 and PrP90-231 on the membrane, but also amplifies the interaction of PrP90-231 with the lipid bilayer.
    Neurochemistry International 06/2011; 59(2):168-74. DOI:10.1016/j.neuint.2011.04.008 · 2.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
325.76 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1986–2015
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      • • Department of Surgical Sciences
      • • Department of Biochemical Sciences "Alessandro Rossi Fanelli
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1989–2007
    • University of Rome Tor Vergata
      • Dipartimento di Biologia
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2006
    • Università degli Studi di Perugia
      • Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
      Perugia, Umbria, Italy
  • 2003
    • Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
      • Department of Biology
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1980–1990
    • National Research Council
      • • Institute of Protein Biochemistry IBP
      • • Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry ICB
      Bari, Apulia, Italy
  • 1985
    • The American University of Rome
      Roma, Latium, Italy