• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

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Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - National Research Council
Department of Biology and Biotecnology - Charles Darwin
Sapienza University of Rome - Istituto di Genetica Piazzale A. Moro 5, 00185 Roma
My research activities are aimed at dissecting the molecular mechanisms underlying cytokinesis. Cytokinesis represents the final event of cell division, when the cytoplasmic and the nuclear contents are physically partitioned into two daughter cells. In animal cells cytokinesis involves the assembly and the constriction of an actomyosin ring at the equatorial cortex of dividing cells.
Several human diseases have been associated with cytokinesis failure, including cancer. Indeed, abnormal cytokinesis can lead to the formation of genetically unstable tetraploid cells containing multiple centrosomes whose mitotic division causes chromosomal instability and carcinogenesis. Moreover, many cytokinesis genes have been involved in cancer pathogenesis. Thus, the identification of novel cytokinesis players and the elucidation of the mechanisms controlling this process, can help cancer diagnosis and therapy.
Most of my studies are carried out in Drosophila melanogaster, which offers numerous advantages for combined genetic and cytological analysis. 
My research is currently focusing on two main projects:  
1) The oncoprotein GOLPH3 and membrane trafficking during cytokinesis”. Project funded by Fondazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro FIRC-AIRC
2) A Drosophila model for COG7-associated disease and other COG-related genetic disorders. Project funded by Fondazione Telethon.
1. Frappaolo A., Sechi S., Kumagai T., Karimpour-Ghahnavieh A., Tiemeyer M., Giansanti M.G. Modeling Congenital Disorders of N-Linked Glycoprotein Glycosylation in Drosophila melanogaster. Frontiers in Genetics. 2018. 9:436. 
2. Frappaolo A., Sechi S., Kumagai T., Robinson S., Fraschini R., Karimpour-Ghahnavieh A., Belloni G., Piergentili R., Tiemeyer K.H., Tiemeyer M., Giansanti M.G. COG7 deficiency in Drosophila generates multifaceted developmental, behavioral and protein glycosylation phenotypes. Journal of Cell Science. 2017.130:3637-3649.
3. Sechi S., Frappaolo A.*, Fraschini R., Capalbo L., Gottardo M., Belloni G, Glover D.M., Wainman A., Giansanti M.G. Rab1 interacts with GOLPH3 and controls Golgi structure and contractile ring constriction during cytokinesis in Drosophila melanogaster. Open Biology. 2017. 7. pii: 160257. 
*primo nome in condivisione
4. Frappaolo A., Sechi S., Belloni G., Piergentili R., Giansanti M.G. Visualization of cleavage furrow proteins in fixed dividing spermatocytes. Methods in Cell Biology. 2017; 137:85-103. Epub ahead of print June 11, 2016. 
5. Giansanti M.G., Vanderleest T.E., Jewett C.E., Sechi S., Frappaolo A., Fabian L., Robinett C.C., Brill J.A., Loerke D., Fuller M.T., Blankenship J.T. Exocyst-Dependent Membrane Addition Is Required for Anaphase Cell Elongation and Cytokinesis in Drosophila. PLoS Genetics. 2015. 11: e1005632.
6. Sechi S., Frappaolo A.*, Belloni G., Colotti G., Giansanti M.G. The multiple cellular functions of the oncoprotein Golgi phosphoprotein 3. Oncotarget. 2015. Feb 28;6(6):3493-506.  
*primo nome in condivisione
7. Sechi S., Frappaolo A., Belloni G., Giansanti M.G. The roles of the oncoprotein GOLPH3 in contractile ring assembly and membrane trafficking during cytokinesis. Biochemical Society Transactions. 2015. 43:117-21. 
8. Sechi S., Colotti G., Belloni G., Mattei V., Frappaolo A., Raffa G.D., Fuller M.T., Giansanti M.G. GOLPH3 is essential for contractile ring formation and Rab11 localization to the cleavage site during cytokinesis in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Genetics. 2014. 10: e1004305.
9. Giansanti M.G., Sechi S., Frappaolo A., Belloni G. and Piergentili R. Cytokinesis in Drosophila male meiosis. Spermatogenesis. 2012. 2(3):185–196.
Maria Grazia Giansanti , Group Leader
Stefano Sechi, IBPM Researcher
Angela G. Karimpour, postgraduate fellow
• February 6, 2017 PhD Degree in Life Science (XXIX cycle), Classification: Excellent; “Sapienza” Università di Roma,
• October 3, 2013 Second Level degree cum laude in Genetics and Molecular Biology, “Sapienza” Università di Roma, under the supervision of Dr. Maria Grazia Giansanti.
• December 13, 2011 First Level degree cum laude in Biological Sciences, “Sapienza” Università di Roma. 
Research experience
• March 2017- now CNR-IBPM Researcher, III level (Dr. Giansanti Lab); TD supported by FIRC/AIRC fellowship; research project “The oncoprotein GOLPH3 and membrane trafficking during cytokinesis” 
• November 2013- February 2017 PhD student in Dr. Maria Grazia Giansanti lab; research activity focused on the oncoprotein GOLPH3 and membrane trafficking during Drosophila cytokinesis.  
• January 2012-October 2013 Internship (laurea magistralis/Second level degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology) under the supervision of Dr. Maria Grazia Giansanti. Cytological and molecular characterization of sauron and doublefault, two mutants affecting male meiosis in Drosophila.
• June 2011-December 2011 Internship (First level degree in Biological Science) under the supervision of Dr. Maria Grazia Giansanti. Cytological characterization of doublefault, a mutant affecting male meiosis in Drosophila. 
Certificate of merit “Donne,genere: Sapienza”, this award was assigned to the best  female students, who obtained the degree at Sapienza University in 2013, Roma ITA, September 11, 2014.
Technical skills and competence
• Drosophila genetics
• Immunofluorescence analysis of Drosophila spermatocytes and neuroblasts
• in situ Proximity ligation assay (PLA)
• Gene cloning
• Protein expression and purification in E. coli  
• Western Blot analysis 
• Co-immunoprecipitation and GST pulldown assays
• RNAi silencing technology
• Time-lapse video fluorescence microscopy, using a Zeiss Axio Observer microscope equipped with the ZEN software 
• Mammalian cell culture