Galderisi's Group

Department of experimental biology
second university of naples
Group Leader
Marilena Cipollaro e Umberto Galderisi
Giovanni Di Bernardo, Amalia Forte, Tiziana Squillaro, Mauro Finicelli, Mario Grossi, Stefania Capasso, Fulvia Zanichelli
Scientific interests
Senescence of stem cells
We are studying the in vitro senescence of rat and human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). In detail, we are interested in analyzing genes involved in DNA repair, whose expression is downregulated with aging. Senescence was accompanied by downregulation of several genes involved in stem cell self-renewal. We study also the characteristic changes in the expression patters of Retinoblastoma gene family expression that occur during senescence.
Epigenetic regulation of stem cell biology
Chromatin state is fundamental for gene expression. Self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation properties of stem cells are controlled by key transcription factors. However, their activity is modulated by chromatin remodeling factors that operate at the highest hierarchical level. Studies on these factors can be especially important to dissect molecular pathways governing the biology of stem cells.
-           SWI/SNF complexes are ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes that have been shown to be required for cell cycle control, apoptosis and cell differentiation in several biological systems. The aim of our research was to investigate the role of these complexes in the biology of MSCs.
-           DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that occurs almost exclusively in the context of CpG dinucleotides. MECP2 is a member of a family of proteins that preferentially bind to methylated CpGs. We are analyzing the specific contribution of MECP2 in physiology of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
-           Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) have received great attention for their anti-tumoral properties. This anti-cancer action can be obtained by reversion of silenced genes, induction of cell cycle arrest, differentiation and/or apoptosis. HDACi-based therapy can have side effects that impair functions of bone marrow microenvironment, including MSCs. We are studying the biological effects of HDACi on MSCs.
Mesenchymal stem cells from basic to applied sciences
Restenosis following vascular injury remains a pressing clinical problem, despite continuous improvements of medical strategies. The possible therapeutic role of MSCs in a model of vascular injury in vivo has not been determined so far. We are testing the homing and the effectiveness of MSCs in reduction of (re)stenosis in a model of arteriotomy of rat common carotid.
Our Researchers have expertise in
cultivation of adult stem cells (mesenchymal and neural stem cells)
gene expression analysis by quantitative RT-PCR and microarrays
protein expression by Western blots, ELISA assays and immunocytochemistry
Biological assay to analyze apoptosis, senescente, proliferation, cell cycle
Detection of DNA damage by several assays
relevant publications
1: Squillaro T, Alessio N, Cipollaro M, Renieri A, Giordano A, Galderisi U. Partial silencing of methyl cytosine protein binding 2 (MECP2) in mesenchymal stem cells induces senescence with an increase in damaged DNA. FASEB J. 2010 May;24(5):1593-603.
2: Di Bernardo G, Squillaro T, Dell'Aversana C, Miceli M, Cipollaro M, Cascino A, Altucci L, Galderisi U. Histone deacetylase inhibitors promote apoptosis and senescence in human mesenchymal stem cells. Stem Cells Dev. 2009 May;18(4):573-81.
3: Forte A, Finicelli M, Mattia M, Berrino L, Rossi F, De Feo M, Cotrufo M, Cipollaro M, Cascino A, Galderisi U. Mesenchymal stem cells effectively reduce surgically induced stenosis in rat carotids. J Cell Physiol. 2008 Dec;217(3):789-99.
4: Napolitano MA, Cipollaro M, Cascino A, Melone MA, Giordano A, Galderisi U. Brg1 chromatin remodeling factor is involved in cell growth arrest, apoptosis and senescence of rat mesenchymal stem cells. J Cell Sci. 2007 Aug 15;120(Pt 16):2904-11.
5: Jori FP, Melone MA, Napolitano MA, Cipollaro M, Cascino A, Giordano A, Galderisi U. RB and RB2/p130 genes demonstrate both specific and overlapping functions during the early steps of in vitro neural differentiation of marrow stromal stem cells. Cell Death Differ. 2005 Jan;12(1):65-77.
Scientific instruments
Our Laboratories at the Second University of Naples are fully equipped with facilities for extraction and analysis of nucleic acids and proteins, as well as for cell biology analyses and for cell culture, with particolar attention to adult stem cells.
Besides “routine instruments” for molecular and cellular biology, we have:
Real-Time machines
DNA sequencer and STR (short tandem repeat) analyzer
Gel documentation system for agarose and polyacrylamide gel acquisition and quantitation.

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