• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

physio-pathogenic mechanisms in differentiation

Many IBPM research projects converge on studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying human physiology to discern how their deregulation drives to pathological conditions. To identify possible disease mechanisms and envisage therapeutic strategies, a wide range of cellular mechanisms are being studied, spanning: 

- regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics;
- communication between nerve and muscle;
- neuroplasticity;
- transcriptional control of disease-related genes.

Several cellular and animal models are exploited. The influence of genetic variations on neurodegenerative diseases and cancer in humans is also addressed.
Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the nervous system to respond and adapt to environmental challenges: failure of such mechanisms might enhance susceptibility to stress, and ultimately lead to psychopathology. NTFs are important mediators of neuronal plasticity also in adulthood, where they modulate axonal and dendritic growth and remodelling, membrane receptor trafficking, neurotransmitter release, synapse formation and function.
Recently, a consortium – NEURONET - was established, which aggregates several IBPM researchers in a synergistic effort to investigate neurological disorders, including neurodegeneration and brain tumours, neurodevelopmental and neuro-muscular diseases