• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

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National Research Council
Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology CNR
EBRI \u201cRita Levi-Montalcini\u201d Foundation, Viale Regina Elena 295, Rome, Italy
The overarching focus of my research is to understand how post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, particularly at the level of mRNA metabolism, participates in modulating neuronal functions.

A primary subject of my past and current studies is the immediate early gene Arc, encoding a protein whose function is critical for LTP, LTD, memory consolidation, and homeostatic plasticity. In my work, I have identified a novel pathway modulating Arc mRNA expression, which relies on the presence of introns in its 3’UTR. This unique genomic arrangement causes the mRNA to be targeted for destruction by the Nonsense Mediated Decay pathway (NMD), while concomitantly eliciting its translation upon synaptic stimulation.  More recently, we have expanded our study to localized expression of genes that are key to inhibitory GABAergic neurons, a neuronal class which modulates neuronal excitability and rhytmogenesis, and whose dysfunction leads to numerous disorders including epilepsy. Another line of research of the laboratory focuses on the post-transcriptional regulation of the neurotrophin p75NTR receptor which, among its many functions, contributes to specifying axonal polarity during neuronal differentiation. Using cultures of primary neurons and molecular biology approaches, we have discovered a non-coding antisense RNA that modulates p75NTR expression levels and participates in the axon specification process.
  • Giorgi C, Fatica A, Nagel R, Bozzoni I. Release of U18 snoRNA from its host intron requires interaction of Nop1p with the Rnt1p endonuclease. EMBO J. 2001 Dec 3;20(23):6856-65.


  • Giorgi C, Moore MJ. The nuclear nurture and cytoplasmic nature of localized mRNPs. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2007 Apr;18(2):186-93. Review


  • Giorgi C, Yeo GW, Stone ME, Katz DB, Burge C, Turrigiano G, Moore MJ. The EJC factor eIF4AIII modulates synaptic strength and neuronal protein expression. Cell 2007 July 13:179-91.


  • Barbato C, Giorgi C, Catalanotto C, Cogoni C. Thinking about RNA? MicroRNAs in the brain. Mamm Genome. 2008 Aug;19(7-8):541-51. Review.


  • Parisi C, Giorgi C, Batassa EM, Braccini L, Maresca G, D'agnano I, Caputo V, Salvatore A, Pietrolati F, Cogoni C, Catalanotto C. Ago1 and Ago2 differentially affect cell proliferation, motility and apoptosis when overexpressed in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. FEBS Lett. 2011 Oct 3;585(19):2965-71.


  • Paolantoni C, Ricciardi S, De Paolis V, Okenwa C, Catalanotto C, Ciotti MT, Cattaneo A, Cogoni C, Giorgi C. Arc 3' UTR Splicing Leads to Dual and Antagonistic Effects in Fine-Tuning Arc Expression Upon BDNF Signaling. Front Mol Neurosci. 2018 Apr 27;11:145.


  • Marangon D, Boda E, Parolisi R, Negri C, Giorgi C, Montarolo F, Perga S, Bertolotto A, Buffo A, Abbracchio MP, Lecca D. In vivo silencing of miR-125a-3p promotes myelin repair in models of white matter demyelination. Glia. 2020 doi: 10.1002/glia.23819. PubMed PMID: 32163190.
As Group Leader at EBRI, I have tutored 14 students, including Master’s Degree students and PhD students, who worked in my laboratory.
  • A.Cattaneo: Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa/ Fondazione EBRI, Rome, Italy
  • Marchetti, S.Marinelli, E.Cherubini, M.D’Onofrio: Fondazione EBRI, Rome, Italy
  • Nicola Specchio: Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, Rome, Italy
  • Lecca: University of Milan, Italy
  • Enrica Boda: University of Turin, Italy


2020-present. CNR permanent researcher, III level.

2013-present. Group leader at EBRI “Rita Levi-Montalcini” Foundation

2007-2013. Researcher at EBRI “Rita Levi-Montalcini” Foundation

2002-2007 Howard Hughes Post-doctoral Fellow in Melissa J. Moore Laboratory at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA

1999-2002. PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology. (XIV ciclo), Sapienza University of Rome Laboratory of Prof. Irene Bozzoni.

  1. 1998. Graduation in Biology: 110/110 cum laude; University of Rome “Sapienza” - Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, Experimental thesis in the Laboratory of Elisa Caffarelli, IBPM-CNR, Rome


Scientific Interests:

  • mRNA and ncRNAs and antisense RNA metabolism in mammalian cells, including RNA biogenesis, processing, subcellular localization, stability and translation.
  • RNA-RNA and RNA-protein interactions in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression
  • molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity and differentiation, involving RNA metabolism



 Technical Expertise

  • Recombinant DNA and cloning approaches;
  • In vitro transcription and RNA labelling;
  • Techniques for RNA expression analyses (qRT- PCR, northern blot, Fluorescent in situ hybridization; polysomal profiles);
  • Approaches for RNA-protein interaction analyses (ribonucleoprotein complex purification, immunoprecipitation, ChIP);
  • Luciferase assays;
  • Cell culture manipulation, transfection and transduction;
  • Primary neuronal cultures and in vitro neuronal precursors differentiation;
  • In vivo and in vitro RNA interference;
  • Immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy;
  • Production and manipulation of recombinant lentiviruses