Marisa Brini

University of Padova, Padua, Veneto, Italy

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Publications (102)552.21 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial disorders are a group of pathologies characterized by impairment of mitochondrial function mainly due to defects of the respiratory chain and consequent organellar energetics. This affects organs and tissues that require an efficient energy supply, such as brain and skeletal muscle. They are caused by mutations in both nuclear- and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-encoded genes and their clinical manifestations show a great heterogeneity in terms of age of onset and severity, suggesting that patient-specific features are key determinants of the pathogenic process. In order to correlate the genetic defect to the clinical phenotype, we used a cell culture model consisting of fibroblasts derived from patients with different mutations in the mtDNA-encoded ND5 complex I subunit and with different severities of the illness. Interestingly, we found that cells from patients with the 13514A>G mutation, who manifested a relatively late onset and slower progression of the disease, display an increased autophagic flux when compared with fibroblasts from other patients or healthy donors. We characterized their mitochondrial phenotype by investigating organelle turnover, morphology, membrane potential and Ca(2+) homeostasis, demonstrating that mitochondrial quality control through mitophagy is upregulated in 13514A>G cells. This is due to a specific downregulation of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake that causes the stimulation of the autophagic machinery through the AMPK signaling axis. Genetic and pharmacological manipulation of mitochondrial Ca(2+) homeostasis can revert this phenotype, but concurrently decreases cell viability. This indicates that the higher mitochondrial turnover in complex I deficient cells with this specific mutation is a pro-survival compensatory mechanism that could contribute to the mild clinical phenotype of this patient.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 24 July 2015; doi:10.1038/cdd.2015.84.
    Cell death and differentiation 07/2015; DOI:10.1038/cdd.2015.84 · 8.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The particular importance of Ca2+ signaling to neurons demands its precise regulation within their cytoplasm. Isoform 3 of the plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase (the PMCA3 pump), which is highly expressed in brain and cerebellum, plays an important role in the regulation of neuronal Ca2+. A genetic defect of the function of the PMCA3 pump has been described in one family with X-linked congenital cerebellar ataxia. Here we describe a novel mutation of the PMCA3 pump (ATP2B3) in a patient with global developmental delay, generalized hypotonia and cerebellar ataxia. The mutation (a R482H replacement) impairs the Ca2+ ejection function of the pump. It reduces the ability of the pump expressed in model cells to control Ca2+ transients generated by cell stimulation and impairs its Ca2+ extrusion function under conditions of low resting cytosolic Ca2+ as well. In silico analysis of the structural effect of the mutation suggests a reduced stabilization of the portion of the pump surrounding the mutated residue in the Ca2+-bound state. The patient also carries two missense mutations in LAMA1, encoding for laminin subunit 1α. On the basis of the family pedigree of the patient, the presence of both PMCA3 and LAMA1 mutations appears to be necessary for the development of the disease. Considering the observed defect in cellular Ca2+ homeostasis and the previous finding that PMCAs act as digenic modulators in Ca2+-linked pathologies, the PMCA3 dysfunction along with LAMA1 mutations could act synergistically to cause the neurological phenotype. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2015; DOI:10.1074/jbc.M115.656496 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Parkinson's disease-related protein DJ-1 has a role in the protection against oxidative stress and maintenance of mitochondria structure. Whether this action depends on its localization and activity within the mitochondria is not clear. Here we develop an approach to resolve intra-mitochondrial distribution of DJ-1 and monitor its translocation under specific conditions. By a new split-green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based tool, we can observe that a small DJ-1 fraction is located within the mitochondrial matrix and that it consistently increases upon nutrient depletion. We also find that the targeting of DJ-1 to the mitochondrial matrix enhances mitochondrial and cytosolic adenosine triphosphate levels. Intriguingly, DJ-1 pathogenic mutants fail to improve bioenergetics and translocate within the mitochondrial matrix, suggesting that the DJ-1 protective role requires both these actions. By this new split-GFP-based tool, we can resolve mitochondrial compartmentalization of proteins which are not constitutively resident in mitochondria but translocate to them in response to specific stimuli.
    Human Molecular Genetics 10/2014; 24(4). DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddu519 · 6.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A missense mutation in ATP2A1 gene, encoding sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA1) protein, causes Chianina cattle congenital pseudomyotonia, an exercise-induced impairment of muscle relaxation. Skeletal muscles of affected cattle are characterized by a selective reduction of SERCA1 in sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes. In this study, we provide evidence that the ubiquitin proteasome system is involved in the reduced density of mutated SERCA1. The treatment with MG132, an inhibitor of ubiquitin proteasome system, rescues the expression level and membrane localization of the SERCA1 mutant in a heterologous cellular model. Cells co-transfected with the Ca2+-sensitive probe aequorin show that the rescued SERCA1 mutant exhibits the same ability of wild type to maintain Ca2+ homeostasis within cells. These data have been confirmed by those obtained ex vivo on adult skeletal muscle fibers from a biopsy from a pseudomyotonia-affected subject. Our data show that the mutation generates a protein most likely corrupted in proper folding but not in catalytic activity. Rescue of mutated SERCA1 to sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane can re-establish resting cytosolic Ca2+ concentration and prevent the appearance of pathological signs of cattle pseudomyotonia.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2014; 289(48). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.576157 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    Tito Calì · Denis Ottolini · Marisa Brini
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    ABSTRACT: Calcium (Ca(2+)) is an almost universal second messenger that regulates important activities of all eukaryotic cells. It is of critical importance to neurons, which have developed extensive and intricate pathways to couple the Ca(2+) signal to their biochemical machinery. In particular, Ca(2+) participates in the transmission of the depolarizing signal and contributes to synaptic activity. During aging and in neurodegenerative disease processes, the ability of neurons to maintain an adequate energy level can be compromised, thus impacting on Ca(2+) homeostasis. In Parkinson's disease (PD), many signs of neurodegeneration result from compromised mitochondrial function attributable to specific effects of toxins on the mitochondrial respiratory chain and/or to genetic mutations. Despite these effects being present in almost all cell types, a distinguishing feature of PD is the extreme selectivity of cell loss, which is restricted to the dopaminergic neurons in the ventral portion of the substantia nigra pars compacta. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain such selectivity, but only recently it has been convincingly shown that the innate autonomous activity of these neurons, which is sustained by their specific Cav1.3 L-type channel pore-forming subunit, is responsible for the generation of basal metabolic stress that, under physiological conditions, is compensated by mitochondrial buffering. However, when mitochondria function becomes even partially compromised (because of aging, exposure to environmental factors or genetic mutations), the metabolic stress overwhelms the protective mechanisms, and the process of neurodegeneration is engaged. The characteristics of Ca(2+) handling in neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta and the possible involvement of PD-related proteins in the control of Ca(2+) homeostasis will be discussed in this review.
    Cell and Tissue Research 05/2014; 357(2). DOI:10.1007/s00441-014-1866-0 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Calcium (Ca(2+)) is an universal second messenger that regulates the most important activities of all eukaryotic cells. It is of critical importance to neurons as it participates in the transmission of the depolarizing signal and contributes to synaptic activity. Neurons have thus developed extensive and intricate Ca(2+) signaling pathways to couple the Ca(2+) signal to their biochemical machinery. Ca(2+) influx into neurons occurs through plasma membrane receptors and voltage-dependent ion channels. The release of Ca(2+) from the intracellular stores, such as the endoplasmic reticulum, by intracellular channels also contributes to the elevation of cytosolic Ca(2+). Inside the cell, Ca(2+) is controlled by the buffering action of cytosolic Ca(2+)-binding proteins and by its uptake and release by mitochondria. The uptake of Ca(2+) in the mitochondrial matrix stimulates the citric acid cycle, thus enhancing ATP production and the removal of Ca(2+) from the cytosol by the ATP-driven pumps in the endoplasmic reticulum and the plasma membrane. A Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger in the plasma membrane also participates in the control of neuronal Ca(2+). The impaired ability of neurons to maintain an adequate energy level may impact Ca(2+) signaling: this occurs during aging and in neurodegenerative disease processes. The focus of this review is on neuronal Ca(2+) signaling and its involvement in synaptic signaling processes, neuronal energy metabolism, and neurotransmission. The contribution of altered Ca(2+) signaling in the most important neurological disorders will then be considered.
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 01/2014; 71(15). DOI:10.1007/s00018-013-1550-7 · 5.86 Impact Factor
  • Denis Ottolini · Tito Calì · Marisa Brini
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    ABSTRACT: The photoprotein aequorin generates blue light upon binding of Ca(2+) ions. Together with its very low Ca(2+)-buffering capacity and the possibility to add specific targeting sequences, this property has rendered aequorin particularly suitable to monitor Ca(2+) concentrations in specific subcellular compartments. Recently, a new generation of genetically encoded Ca(2+) probes has been developed by fusing Ca(2+)-responsive elements with the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Aequorin has also been employed to this aim, resulting in an aequorin-GFP chimera with the Ca(2+) sensitivity of aequorin and the fluorescent properties of GFP. This setup has actually solved the major limitation of aequorin, for example, its poor ability to emit light, which rendered it inappropriate for the monitoring of Ca(2+) waves at the single-cell level by imaging. In spite of the numerous genetically encoded Ca(2+) indicators that are currently available, aequorin-based probes remain the method of election when an accurate quantification of Ca(2+) levels is required. Here, we describe currently available aequorin variants and their use for monitoring Ca(2+) waves in specific subcellular compartments. Among various applications, this method is relevant for the study of the alterations of Ca(2+) homeostasis that accompany oncogenesis, tumor progression, and response to therapy.
    Methods in Enzymology 01/2014; 543:21-45. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-801329-8.00002-7 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    Denis Ottolini · Tito Calì · Marisa Brini
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    ABSTRACT: Neurons critically rely on mitochondrial activity: they are characterized by high energy demand and they are totally dependent on the process of oxidative phosphorylation to produce adenosine triphosphate. Thus, any impairment in mitochondrial function results in neuronal damage and degeneration. Some particular neuronal populations are more susceptible to mitochondrial damage, as it has been recently proposed for the ventral midbrain dopaminergic neurons, the degeneration of which represents a clinical sign of Parkinson’s disease. Different cellular pathways are involved in the pathogenesis of this neurodegenerative disease, but intriguingly both sporadic and familial forms share common features that essentially recapitulate mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial biogenesis, bioenergetics, mitochondria dynamics, and quality-control process are the main affected pathways. General consensus agrees on the possibility that deficiency in these processes may represent the cause rather than the consequence of neurodegeneration. In this review, we will discuss these aspects and the substantial achievements that have been reached in recent years in identifying specific defects in precise biological processes, eg, mitochondrial quality control. The development of cell and animal genetic models has been an important tool to dissect numerous molecular details; for this reason, we will mainly refer to experiments performed on them.
    05/2013; 2013:3:55-70. DOI:10.2147/RRBC.S28413
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    Tito Calì · Denis Ottolini · Marisa Brini
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are key players of many physiological processes and deregulation of mitochondrial and/or mitochondria-related activity is unequivocally associated to numerous ageing-linked neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress condition is emerging as a common feature relevant to the pathogenesis of this type of diseases. Mitochondria and ER are two compartments physically and functionally tightly interconnected and recent evidence revealed that the impairment in their communication might represent a common hit in different neurodegenerative diseases. ER-mitochondria contact sites are crucial for Ca2+ signaling since, upon the opening of ER Ca2+ release channels, microdomains of high [Ca2+] are generated in their proximity and Ca2+ can be taken up by the low-affinity mitochondrial uniporter. This transfer is essential in stimulated as well as in resting conditions to sustain cell metabolism and bioenergetics. Alterations in the ER-mitochondria juxtaposition are critical not only because they determine mitochondrial dysfunctions, but also because they compromise lipid metabolism, protein synthesis, and folding, thus demonstrating that the interaction between the two compartments is bi-functional. However, the functional consequences of these alterations on Ca2+ signaling and the possible involvement in the development of neurodegenerative conditions are currently largely unexplored. Here we will survey the recent literature in the field and discuss recent insights focusing on some cellular models expressing mutant proteins involved in the pathogenesis of familial forms of PD, AD, and ALS.
    DNA and cell biology 03/2013; 32(4). DOI:10.1089/dna.2013.2011 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DJ-1 was first identified as an oncogene. More recently, mutations in its gene have been found causative for autosomal recessive familial Parkinson disease. Numerous studies support the DJ-1 role in the protection against oxidative stress and maintenance of mitochondria structure; however, the mechanism of its protective function remains largely unknown. We investigated whether mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis, a key parameter in cell physiology, could be a target for DJ-1 action. Here, we show that DJ-1 modulates mitochondrial Ca2+ transients induced upon cell stimulation with an 1,4,5-inositol-tris-phosphate agonist by favouring the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondria tethering. A reduction of DJ-1 levels results in mitochondria fragmentation and decreased mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in stimulated cells. To functionally couple these effects with the well-recognized cytoprotective role of DJ-1, we investigated its action in respect to the tumour suppressor p53. p53 overexpression in HeLa cells impairs their ability to accumulate Ca2+ in the mitochondrial matrix, causes alteration of the mitochondrial morphology and reduces ER-mitochondria contact sites. Mitochondrial impairments are independent from Drp1 activation, since the co-expression of the dominant negative mutant of Drp1 failed to abolish them. DJ-1 overexpression prevents these alterations by re-establishing the ER-mitochondria tethering. Similarly, the co-expression of the pro-fusion protein Mitofusin 2 blocks the effects induced by p53 on mitochondria, confirming that the modulation of the ER-mitochondria contact sites is critical to mitochondria integrity. Thus, the impairment of ER-mitochondria communication, as a consequence of DJ-1 loss-of-function, may be detrimental for mitochondria-related processes and be at the basis of mitochondrial dysfunction observed in Parkinson disease.
    Human Molecular Genetics 02/2013; 22(11). DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddt068 · 6.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Ca(2+) ATPases of the plasma membrane (PMCA pumps) export Ca(2+) from all eukaryotic cells. In mammals they are the products of 4 separate genes. PMCA1 and 4 are distributed ubiquitously, PMCA 2 and 3 are restricted to some tissues, the most important being the nervous system. Alternative splicing at two sites increases greatly the number of pump isoforms. The 2 ubiquitous isoforms are no longer considered as only housekeeping pumps, as they also perform tissue specific functions. The PMCAs are classical P-type pumps, their reaction cycle repeating that of all other pumps of the family. Their 3D structure has not been solved, but molecular modeling on SERCA pump templates shows the essential structural pattern of the latter. PMCAs are regulated by calmodulin, which interacts with high affinity with their cytosolic C-terminal tail. A second calmodulin-binding domain with lower affinity is present in some splicing variants of the pump. The PMCAs are essential to the regulation of cellular Ca(2+) , but the all-important Ca(2+) signal is ambivalent: defects in its control generate various pathologies, the most thoroughly studied being those of genetic origin. Genetic defects of PMCA function produce disease phenotypes: the best characterized is a form of deafness in mice and in humans linked to PMCA 2 mutations. A cerebellar X-linked human ataxia has recently been found to be caused by a mutation in the calmodulin-binding domain of PMCA3. © 2013 The Authors Journal compilation © 2013 FEBS.
    FEBS Journal 02/2013; 280(21). DOI:10.1111/febs.12193 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss-of-function mutations in PINK1 or parkin genes are associated with juvenile-onset autosomal recessive forms of Parkinson disease. Numerous studies have established that PINK1 and parkin participate in a common mitochondrial-quality control pathway, promoting the selective degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria by mitophagy. Upregulation of parkin mRNA and protein levels has been proposed as protective mechanism against mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. To better understand how parkin could exert protective function we considered the possibility that it could modulate the ER-mitochondria inter-organelles cross talk. To verify this hypothesis we investigated the effects of parkin overexpression on ER-mitochondria crosstalk with respect to the regulation of two key cellular parameters: Ca(2+) homeostasis and ATP production. Our results indicate that parkin overexpression in model cells physically and functionally enhanced ER-mitochondria coupling, favoured Ca(2+) transfer from the ER to the mitochondria following cells stimulation with an 1,4,5 inositol trisphosphate (InsP(3)) generating agonist and increased the agonist-induced ATP production. The overexpression of a parkin mutant lacking the first 79 residues (ΔUbl) failed to enhance the mitochondrial Ca(2+) transients, thus highlighting the importance of the N-terminal ubiquitin like domain for the observed phenotype. siRNA-mediated parkin silencing caused mitochondrial fragmentation, impaired mitochondrial Ca(2+) handling and reduced the ER-mitochondria tethering. These data support a novel role for parkin in the regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis, Ca(2+) signaling and energy metabolism under physiological conditions.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 01/2013; 1832(4). DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2013.01.004 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ca(2+) is a universal carrier of biological information: it controls cell life from its origin at fertilization to its end in the process of programmed cell death. Ca(2+) is a conventional diffusible second messenger released inside cells by the interaction of first messengers with plasma membrane receptors. However, it can also penetrate directly into cells to deliver information without the intermediation of first or second messengers. Even more distinctively, Ca(2+) can act as a first messenger, by interacting with a plasma membrane receptor to set in motion intracellular signaling pathways that involve Ca(2+) itself. Perhaps the most distinctive property of the Ca(2+) signal is its ambivalence: while essential to the correct functioning of cells, Ca(2+) becomes an agent that mediates cell distress, or even (toxic) cell death, if its concentration and movements inside cells are not carefully tuned. Ca(2+) is controlled by reversible complexation to specific proteins, which could be pure Ca(2+) buffers, or which, in addition to buffering Ca(2+), also decode its signal to pass it on to targets. The most important actors in the buffering of cell Ca(2+) are proteins that transport it across the plasma membrane and the membrane of the organelles: some have high Ca(2+) affinity and low transport capacity (e.g., Ca(2+) pumps), others have opposite properties (e.g., the Ca(2+) uptake system of mitochondria). Between the initial event of fertilization, and the terminal event of programmed cell death, the Ca(2+) signal regulates the most important activities of the cell, from the expression of genes, to heart and muscle contraction and other motility processes, to diverse metabolic pathways involved in the generation of cell fuels.
    01/2013; 12:119-68. DOI:10.1007/978-94-007-5561-1_5
  • Denis Ottolini · Tito Calì · Marisa Brini
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    ABSTRACT: In the last two decades the study of Ca2+ homeostasis in living cells has been enhanced by the explosive development of genetically encoded Ca2+-indicators. The cloning of the Ca2+-sensitive photoprotein aequorin and of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria has been enormously advantageous. As polypeptides, aequorin and GFP allow their endogenous production in cell systems as diverse as bacteria, yeast, slime molds, plants, and mammalian cells. Moreover, it is possible to specifically localize them within the cell by including defined targeting signals in the amino acid sequence. These two proteins have been extensively engineered to obtain several recombinant probes for different biological parameters, among which Ca2+ concentration reporters are probably the most relevant. The GFP-based Ca2+ probes and aequorin are widely employed in the study of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis. The new generation of bioluminescent probes that couple the Ca2+ sensitivity of aequorin to GFP fluorescence emission allows real-time measurements of subcellular Ca2+ changes in single cell imaging experiments and the video-imaging of Ca2+ concentrations changes in live transgenic animals that express GFP-aequorin bifunctional probes.
    01/2013: pages 273-291;
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    ABSTRACT: Evolution has exploited the chemical properties of Ca2+, which facilitate its reversible binding to the sites of irregular geometry offered by biological macromolecules, to select it as a carrier of cellular signals. A number of proteins bind Ca2+ to specific sites: those intrinsic to membranes play the most important role in the spatial and temporal regulation of the concentration and movements of Ca2+ inside cells. Those which are soluble, or organized in non-membranous structures, also decode the Ca2+ message to be then transmitted to the targets of its regulation. Since Ca2+ controls the most important processes in the life of cells, it must be very carefully controlled within the cytoplasm, where most of the targets of its signaling function reside. Membrane channels (in the plasma membrane and in the organelles) mediate the entrance of Ca2+ into the cytoplasm, ATPases, exchangers, and the mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake system remove Ca2+ from it. The concentration of Ca2+ in the external spaces, which is controlled essentially by its dynamic exchanges in the bone system, is much higher than inside cells, and can, under conditions of pathology, generate a situation of dangerous internal Ca2+ overload. When massive and persistent, the Ca2+ overload culminates in the death of the cell. Subtle conditions of cellular Ca2+ dyshomeostasis that affect individual systems that control Ca2+, generate cell disease phenotypes that are particularly severe in tissues in which the signaling function of Ca2+ has special importance, e.g., the nervous system.
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    ABSTRACT: Ca(2+) in neurons is vital to processes such as neurotransmission, neurotoxicity, synaptic development, and gene expression. Disruption of Ca(2+) homeostasis occurs in brain aging and in neurodegenerative disorders. Membrane transporters, among them the calmodulin (CaM)-activated plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPases (PMCAs) that extrude Ca(2+) from the cell, play a key role in neuronal Ca(2+) homeostasis. Using X-exome sequencing we have identified a missense mutation (G1107D) in the CaM-binding domain of isoform 3 of the PMCAs in a family with X-linked congenital cerebellar ataxia. PMCA3 is highly expressed in the cerebellum, particularly in the presynaptic terminals of parallel fibers-Purkinje neurons. To study the effects of the mutation on Ca(2+) extrusion by the pump, model cells (HeLa) were cotransfected with expression plasmids encoding its mutant or wild-type (wt) variants and with the Ca(2+)-sensing probe aequorin. The mutation reduced the ability of the PMCA3 pump to control the cellular homeostasis of Ca(2+). It significantly slowed the return to baseline of the Ca(2+) transient induced by an inositol-trisphosphate (InsP(3))-linked plasma membrane agonist. It also compromised the ability of the pump to oppose the influx of Ca(2+) through the plasma membrane capacitative channels.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2012; 109(36):14514-9. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1207488109 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Tito Calì · Denis Ottolini · Marisa Brini
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are essential for ensuring numerous fundamental physiological processes such as cellular energy, redox balance, modulation of Ca2+ signaling and important biosynthetic pathways. They also govern the cell fate by participating in the apoptosis pathway. The mitochondrial shape, volume, number and distribution within the cells are strictly controlled. The regulation of these parameters has an impact on mitochondrial function, especially in the central nervous system, where trafficking of mitochondria is critical to their strategic intracellular distribution, presumably according to local energy demands. Thus, the maintenance of a healthy mitochondrial population is essential to avoid the impairment of the processes they regulate: for this purpose, cells have developed mechanisms involving a complex system of quality control to remove damaged mitochondria, or to renew them. Defects of these processes impair mitochondrial function and lead to disordered cell function, i.e., to a disease condition. Given the standard role of mitochondria in all cells, it might be expected that their dysfunction would give rise to similar defects in all tissues. However, damaged mitochondrial function has pleiotropic effects in multicellular organisms, resulting in diverse pathological conditions, ranging from cardiac and brain ischemia, to skeletal muscle myopathies to neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we will focus on the relationship between mitochondrial (and cellular) derangements and Ca2+ dysregulation in neurodegenerative diseases, emphasizing the evidence obtained in genetic models. Common patterns, that recognize the derangement of Ca2+ and energy control as a causative factor, have been identified: advances in the understanding of the molecular regulation of Ca2+ homeostasis, and on the ways in which it could become perturbed in neurological disorders, may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies that modulate neuronal Ca2+ signaling.
    Cell calcium 05/2012; 52(1):73-85. DOI:10.1016/j.ceca.2012.04.015 · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM) is a Ca(2+)-binding protein that binds DNA and represses transcription in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Previous work has shown a role for DREAM in cerebellar function regulating the expression of the sodium/calcium exchanger 3 (NCX3) in cerebellar granular neurons to control Ca(2+) homeostasis and survival of these neurons. To achieve a global view of the genes regulated by DREAM in the cerebellum, we performed a genome-wide analysis in transgenic cerebellum expressing a Ca(2+)-insensitive/CREB-independent dominant active mutant DREAM (daDREAM). Here we show that DREAM regulates the expression of the midline 1 (Mid1) gene early after birth. As a consequence, daDREAM mice exhibit a significant shortening of the rostro-caudal axis of the cerebellum and a delay in neuromotor development early after birth. Our results indicate a role for DREAM in cerebellar function.
    Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 05/2012; 5:58. DOI:10.3389/fnmol.2012.00058 · 4.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intracellular NAD(+) levels ([NAD(+)](i)) are important in regulating human T lymphocyte survival, cytokine secretion, and the capacity to respond to antigenic stimuli. NAD(+)-derived Ca(2+)-mobilizing second messengers, produced by CD38, play a pivotal role in T cell activation. Here we demonstrate that [NAD(+)](i) modifications in T lymphocytes affect intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis both in terms of mitogen-induced [Ca(2+)](i) increase and of endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) store replenishment. Lowering [NAD(+)](i) by FK866-mediated nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase inhibition decreased the mitogen-induced [Ca(2+)](i) rise in Jurkat cells and in activated T lymphocytes. Accordingly, the Ca(2+) content of thapsigargin-sensitive Ca(2+) stores was greatly reduced in these cells in the presence of FK866. When NAD(+) levels were increased by supplementing peripheral blood lymphocytes with the NAD(+) precursors nicotinamide, nicotinic acid, or nicotinamide mononucleotide, the Ca(2+) content of thapsigargin-sensitive Ca(2+) stores as well as cell responsiveness to mitogens in terms of [Ca(2+)](i) elevation were up-regulated. The use of specific siRNA showed that the changes of Ca(2+) homeostasis induced by NAD(+) precursors are mediated by CD38 and the consequent ADPR-mediated TRPM2 gating. Finally, the presence of NAD(+) precursors up-regulated important T cell functions, such as proliferation and IL-2 release in response to mitogens.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2012; 287(25):21067-81. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.324269 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ca(2+)-ATPases (pumps) are key to the regulation of Ca(2+) in eukaryotic cells: nine are known today, belonging to three multigene families. The three endo(sarco)plasmic reticulum (SERCA) and the four plasma membrane (PMCA) pumps have been known for decades, the two Secretory Pathway Ca(2+) ATPase (SPCA) pumps have only become known recently. The number of pump isoforms is further increased by alternative splicing processes. The three pump types share the basic features of the catalytic mechanism, but differ in a number of properties related to tissue distribution, regulation, and role in the cellular homeostasis of Ca(2+). The molecular understanding of the function of all pumps has received great impetus from the solution of the three-dimensional (3D) structure of one of them, the SERCA pump. This landmark structural advance has been accompanied by the emergence and rapid expansion of the area of pump malfunction. Most of the pump defects described so far are genetic and produce subtler, often tissue and isoform specific, disturbances that affect individual components of the Ca(2+)-controlling and/or processing machinery, compellingly indicating a specialized role for each Ca(2+) pump type and/or isoform. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1045-1060, 2012.
    Comprehensive Physiology 04/2012; 2(2):1045-1060. DOI:10.1002/cphy.c110034 · 4.74 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
552.21 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1992–2015
    • University of Padova
      • • Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science BCA
      • • Department of Biomedical Sciences - DSB
      Padua, Veneto, Italy
  • 2011
    • It-Robotics
      Vicenza, Veneto, Italy
  • 2004–2009
    • Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine
      Padua, Veneto, Italy