• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

Tel :+390649912471
Fax :+39064456866

Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - National Research Council
Department of Biology and Biotecnology - Charles Darwin
Sapienza University of Rome - Istituto Genetica III, floor room 310 - P.Le A.Moro 5 00185 Roma

My group is interested in neurodegenerative disorders caused by loss of motor neurons. Recently Drosophila melanogaster, which probably represents one of the most easily genetically manipulatable model organisms, has emerged as a valuable model system in the study of neurodegeneration. In particular, flies carrying mutations in genes essential for motor neuron survival show a reduced life span and defective locomotive behaviors.

We are currently involved in two research projects:
1. The identification of novel interactors of FUS, an RNA metabolism regulatory factor that is mutated in patients affected by familiar Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), and analysis of their in vivo role in motor neuron function using Drosophila melanogaster;
2. Screening assays to identify novel compounds able to affect locomotion activity in flies carrying mutations in TDP43, another RNA metabolism regulatory factor altered in FALS.
The latter project is being supported in the framework of the CNR National network FaReBio di Qualità (www.cnr.it/sitocnr/IlCNR/SeiProgettiPerIlSud/p6.html) established in 2011 with the aim to develop innovative drugs and therapeutic strategies.

1.    Lee SE, Kim Y, Han JK, Park H, Lee U, Na M, Jeong S, Chung C, Cestra G* and Chang S. “nArgBP2 regulates excitatory synapse formation by controlling dendritic spine morphology” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jun 14;113(24):6749-54.. Epub 2016 May 25.

2.    Di Salvio M, Piccinni V, Gerbino V, Mantoni F, Camerini S, Lenzi J, Rosa A, Chellini L, Loreni F, Carrì M T, Bozzoni I, Cozzolino M and Cestra G.“Pur-alpha functionally interacts with FUS carrying ALS-associated mutations” (2015) Cell Death Dis. 2015 Oct 22;6

3.    Rossi S, Serrano A, Gerbino V, Giorgi A, Di Francesco L, Nencini M, Bozzo F, Schininà ME, Bagni C, Cestra G, Carrì MT, Achsel T, Cozzolino M. “Nuclear accumulation of mRNAs underlies G4C2-repeat-induced translational repression in a cellular model of C9orf72 ALS”. J Cell Sci. 2015 May 1;128(9):1787-99 

4.    Guan XL, Cestra G, Shui G, Kuhrs A, Schittenhelm RB, Hafen E, van der Goot FG, Robinett CC, Gatti M, Gonzalez-Gaitan M, Wenk MR. “Biochemical membrane lipidomics during Drosophila development” (20013) Dev Cell. 14;24(1):98-111. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

5.    Morciano P, Carrisi C, Capobianco L, Mannini L, Burgio G, Cestra G, De Benedetto GE, Corona DF, Musio A, Cenci G. “A conserved role for the mitochondrial citrate transporter Sea/SLC25A1 in the maintenance of chromosome integrity” (2009) Hum Mol Genet 18(21):4180-8. Epub 2009 Aug 4. 

6.    Tosoni D and Cestra G. “CAP (Cbl Associated Protein) regulates receptor mediated endocytosis” (2009) FEBS Letters 583(2):293-300.

7.    Cestra G, Kwiatkowski A, Salazar M, Gertler F and De Camilli P. “Tuba, a GEF for Cdc42, links dynamin to actin regulatory proteins” (2005) Methods in Enzymology 404, 537-45.

8.    Gong LW, Di Paolo G, Diaz E, Cestra G, Diaz ME, Lindau M, De Camilli P and Toomre D. “Phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase type I gamma regulates dynamics of large dense-core vesicle fusion” (2005) PNAS 102(14):5204-9.

9.    Cestra G, Toomre D., Chang S and De Camilli P. “The Abl/Arg substrate ArgBP2/nArgBP2 coordinates the function of multiple regulatory mechanisms converging on the actin cytoskeleton” (2005) PNAS 102(5):1731-6.

10.    Salazar MA, Kwiatkowski AV, Pellegrini L, Cestra G, Butler MH, Rossman K, Sondek J, Gertler FB, and De Camilli P. “Tuba, a novel protein containing bin/amphiphysin/Rvs and Dbl homology domains, links dynamin to regulation of the actin cytoskeleton” (2003) Journal of Biological Chemistry 278, 49031-43. 

Within IBPM:
•    Ida Ruberti
•    Mariagrazia Giansanti
•    Enrico Cundari
•    Maurizio Gatti, IBPM associate, Sapienza  University  of Rome, Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie Charles Darwin

External collaborations:
•    Elia Di Schiavi, Istituto di Genetica e Biofisica Buzzati-Traverso, CNR, Napoli
•    Sergio Fucile, Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Farmacologia Erspamer
•    Ferdinando Di Cunto, Università di Torino, Scuola Universitaria Interfacoltà per le Biotecnologie
•    Fabian Feiguin, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Trieste
•    Maria Teresa Carrì, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Dipartimento di Biologia

Birth:               March 4, 1969, Rome, Italy
Citizenship:       Italian
Marital status:    Married

1999: PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy.

1995: Degree in Biology cum Laude, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy.

2010- present: CNR research scientist appointment at IBPM
2006-09: AIRC Postdoctoral fellow, Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology. Project: Membrane trafficking in cytokinesis of Drosophila. Supervisor: Prof. Maurizio Gatti
2004-05: Associate Research Scientist, Yale University, Department of Cell Biology and HHMI.  Project: Synaptic vesicle recycling in Drosophila. Supervisors: Prof.   Pietro De Camilli and Prof. Tian Xu
2001-04: Telethon Postdoctoral fellow, Yale University, Department of Cell Biology and HHMI. Project: Regulation of actin cytoskeleton at the synapse. Supervisor: Prof. Pietro De Camilli
2000-01: Postdoctoral associate, Yale University, Department of Cell Biology and HHMI. Project: Phage display library to identify brain phosphoinositides interacting proteins. Supervisor: Prof. Pietro De Camilli,
1999-2000: EU Postdoctoral Fellow, laboratory of Molecular Genetic, University of Rome "Tor Vergata” (in collaboration with Dr. Andrea Musacchio, European Oncology Institute of Milan). Project: Structural analysis of SH3 domains of synaptic endocytosis proteins. Supervisors: Prof. Giovanni Cesareni and Dr. Andrea Musacchio.
1995-1999: Laboratory of Molecular Genetic, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Italy. Project: SH3 domains binding specificity of synaptic endocytosis proteins. Supervisor: Prof. Giovanni Cesareni.

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Curriculum Vitae Breve - Italiano