• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

IBPM Highlights


Cell Reports - Endothelin-1 drives invadopodia and interaction with mesothelial cells through ILK


 Endothelin-1 drives invadopodia and interaction with mesothelial cells through ILK.pdf


Among the winners of Start Cup Lazio 2020 there is the CNR team composed by Dr Patrizia Brunetti (IBPM-CNR), Dr Davide Marzi (IBPM-CNR) and Dr Giancarlo Daniele (EGATO-VT1),
with the project “Hydro Fern” that was awarded with the Special Mention "Social Innovation", the Special Lazio Region Award,
the 4th place and the access to the Premio Nazionale dell’Innovazione (PNI 2020).

Documents: 5_Green-Clean-Biotech_LAZIO7_Avvenire_24_01_2021_pag3.pdf




In this study, we produced genome-wide sequences from 30 ancient individuals from western Russia, including 3 Stone Age hunter-gatherers (10,800 to 4250 BCE) and 26 farmers from the Bronze Age Corded Ware complex Fatyanovo Culture (2900 to 2050 BCE). The analyses of the ancient DNA data allow us to show that Eastern European hunter-gatherer ancestry was present in Russia already from 10,000 BCE. What is more, a change in the ancestry is observed with the arrival of farming in the area, with the Fatyanovo samples showing both Steppe and Early farmer ancestry, similarly to other Corded Ware groups. Finally, we were also able to assess the genotypes at 113 phenotype-informative markers, showing allele frequency changes in markers related to pigmentation and diet between hunter-gatherers and Fatyanovo farmers. In conclusion, our data seems to suggest that the Fatyanovo-associated people likely originate from a fast migration toward the northeast from a region near Ukraine, where Steppe and Early farmer ancestries coexisted from around 3000 BCE.

IBPM reference person: Eugenia D'Atanasio


In this study we characterised the role of the Aurora-A kinase and its major regulator TPX2 in the control of mitotic spindle orientation in mammalian cells, a process which determines the position and fate of daughter cells. We highlighted a key role of TPX2 in the Aurora-A-mediated regulation of the orientation complex protein NuMA. We also describe opposite, microtubule-dependent, effects following increased Aurora-A or TPX2 levels in non-transformed cells, yielding-respectively- misoriented or “superaligned” spindles. Since high levels of Aurora-A and TPX2 are frequently observed in tumors, this study provides novel information to understand their pro-tumorigenic functions. It also opens the way to the investigation of the roles of the two proteins in other pathological contexts, particularly developmental or neurological disorders associated to defective cell division orientation.
Work was collaboratively carried out by groups at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology (IBPM) and at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO). Research groups at Sapienza University and at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology (Dortmund, DE) participated to the project.

IBPM reference person: Giulia Guarguaglini



Link at https://rdcu.be/b6jAd


twitter: immunosurveillance@TheCrick

This study identified a “core” immune signature in the peripheral blood of COVID-19 patients. Blood T cells were typically characterized by co-existing lymphopenia and highly activated/proliferative phenotype, especially in severe patients. Some signature traits, including basophil and plasmacytoid dendritic cell depletion, and T cell-cycling, correlated with disease severity. Notably, a triad of molecules — IP-10, interleukin-10 and interleukin-6— anticipated disease worsening.

The study, called COVID-IP, was led by prof. Adrian Hayday (Francis Crick Institute, King’s College London, London, UK). A cohort of 63 hospitalized COVID-19 patients at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals (London, UK) was studied. Dr. Francesca Di Rosa (Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology, CNR, Rome, Italy) was a member of the international team. She contributed to the novelty by introducing the innovative T cell assay for cell cycle analysis, that was used for the first time in COVID-19 patients in this study.


This study highlights the impact of the noncoding side of the genome on neuronal differentiation. It reveals that the nuclear long noncoding RNA HOTAIRM1 contributes to shape human neurogenesis through a novel regulatory circuit, in which it controls the expression of the master regulator of neuronal fate, NEUROGENIN 2, and its downstream neurogenic cascade.

The identification in living cells of the protein FUS, crucially involved in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), as a direct interactor of HOTAIRM1 in motoneurons, together with the presence of a cytoplasmic isoform of HOTAIRM1 in motoneuron soma and neurites (yellow arrows), open the way for investigating a possible implication of this noncoding transcript in neurodegeneration.

This study derives from a collaboration between the Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology (IBPM-CNR), the Department of Biology and Biotechnology (Sapienza University of Rome) and the Center for Life Nanoscience @Sapienza (IIT).

IBPM reference researchers: Pietro Laneve and Elisa Caffarelli


IBPM at the Book Exhibition "Più libri più liberi": event on the DNA - WATCH THE VIDEO

Documents: PLPL_2019_PROGRAMMA_CNR.pdf


In the school-work alternation project led by Maura Cardarelli and Patrizia Brunetti at IBPM, students of the Pascal High School train to use "green" technologies based on plant molecular biology to decontaminate soil from arsenic

Source: Rassegna Stampa CNR


The 2019 Nobel prize to Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of the ability of cells to adapt to oxygen  levels

Comment by Alessandro Giuffrè
Source: https://www.cnr.it/rassegnastampa/19-10/191008/AJ1YUC.tif


Astrobiology. ASI, the Italian Space Agency, supports the project "LIFE IN SPACE", including the IBPM Unit coordinated by Giovanna Costanzo. On PLATINUM https://platinum-online.com/, the new magazine distributed by Il Sole 24 ore


Meeting with delegation from Ikiam University, Ecuador

Documents: Meeting with delegation from Ikiam University.pdf

Meet in Italy for Life Sciences 2019

Plant Cell


Articolo di rassegna stampa

This study highlights a novel role of the metabolic enzyme serine hydroxymethyl transferase (SHMT), in supporting the high proliferative capacity of cancer cells.

Cancer cell

Cancer cells, especially in particularly aggressive tumors, e.g. lung carcinoma, have increased nutritional demands compared to normal cells. Understanding how tumor cells reprogram their metabolism to meet these demands, therefore, is key to understand the mechanisms that support the aberrantly high proliferation rate of cancer cells. The researchers have now identified a specific RNA that binds to and controls the function of the SHMT enzyme in the cytoplasm, while at the same time regulating the expression of a specific isoform found in mitochondria, the energy-producing centers of the cell.



The discovery paves the way for innovative therapies, aimed at designing nucleic acid molecules capable to act as metabolic "switches", so as to starve the tumor cells and hence block their proliferation.
This collaborative study is a joint effort between researchers from the Department of Biochemical Sciences "A. Rossi Fanelli" at the University La Sapienza and the Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology (IBPM-CNR), in collaboration with the Department of Biology and Biotechnology (Sapienza), the Center for Genomic Regulation of Barcelona and the Catalan Institute of Oncology of Girona.


Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro: novanta ore per studiare antibiotici e SLA

Articolo di rassegna stampa



During mitotic division genomic DNA is equally partitioned between the daughter cells, and several cellular machineries are reorganized to ensure faithful chromosome segregation. For example, cellular processes such as transcription and mRNA processing (“splicing”) are shut down during mitosis. The work by Pellacani et al. shows that two splicing factors, Sf3A2 e Prp31, are not inactive during mitosis but directly mediate proper kinetochore- microtubule interactions. These findings open the way to future research aimed at identifying new “moonlighting proteins” involved in both nuclear processes occurring during interphase and regulation of mitosis. An accurate understanding of mitosis at the molecular level is crucial to elucidate the mechanisms of tumorigenesis and develop new anti-cancer therapies.


Documents: Press Review

see Editorial Highlight in Plant Cell

Plant Cell
Documents: Plant Cell Editorial Highlight