Prof. Marco Colasanti

Participant code: UNIROMA3

Prof. Marco Colasanti,
University of Rome “ROMA TRE” (UNIROMA3)

Department of BiologyUniversity of Rome “ROMA TRE”,

Viale Marconi, 446 – I-00146 Rome, ITALY

Group’s experience:
Prof. Marco Colasanti fills a post as an Associate Professor of the BIO/06 scientific-disciplinary group and is responsible of the Cellular Biology Laboratory in the Department of Biology, University of Rome “ROMA TRE”. He is consultant of NICOX Research Insitute. Prof. M. Colasanti has a very long experience in studying nitric oxide (NO) pathway in different models and systems. Among others, he studied the complexity of the sophisticated regulatory mechanisms that lead to the endogenous NO production under physiological and pathological conditions, both in vertebrate and invertebrate models. In particular, he investigated the role of NO in the induction and control of hydra feeding response which is a very primitive olfactory-like behavior (1). Over the last few years, he and collaborators proposed a new face for the NO molecule: two masks of the Japanese NO theatre that represent a content, sorrowful face and a fearful, thoughtful one, the edge of which is appropriately undefined. These two masks (which do not simply correspond to low and high NO levels, but rather to low NO levels on one side, and very low or very high NO levels on the other) might represent a refinement of the dual cytotoxic versus cytoprotective roles of NO (2,3). Moreover, he and colleagues obtained evidence suggests that parasitic (as well as viral) cysteine proteases could represent NO targets, providing molecular bases for the parasiticidal (and antiviral) effect of NO (4). Also, he and collaborators showed that amyloid fragments impaired constitutive NOS activity in cell-free and cellular systems, providing a possible molecular mechanism for the onset and/or maintenance of Alzheimer’s disease (5). Finally, he and colleagues studied, very recently, the effect of metals (e.g., copper) in the induction of inflammatory responses both in vitro and in vivo.

Personal involved:

1. Prof. Marco Colasanti, (M)associate professor, Department of Biology, University “ROMA TRE”, Rome, ITALY. Group leader in this project.
2. Dr. Tiziana Persichini, (F) Researcher, Department of Biology, University “ROMA TRE”, Rome, ITALY. She has a long experience in cellular and molecular biology.
3. Prof. Giorgio Venturini, (M) full professor, Department of Biology, University “ROMA TRE”, Rome, ITALY. He published many papers in the field of NO and neurobiology.
4. Prof. Giovanni Musci, (M) full professor, Department of Microbiological, Genetic and Molecular Sciences – University of Messina, Italy. He has a long experience in the field of metals.
5. Dr. Valeria Mazzone, (F) PhD student, Department of Biology, University “ROMA TRE”, Rome, ITALY
6. PhD fellow to be appointed. (Cellular and molecular biology)
7. Post-doctoral fellow to be appointed (Cellular and molecular biology)

Recent relevant publications:

1. Colasanti M, Lauro GM, Venturini G. NO in hydra feeding response. Nature. 1995 Apr 6;374(6522):505.
2. Colasanti M, Persichini T, Cavalieri E, Fabrizi C, Mariotto S, Menegazzi M, Lauro GM, Suzuki H. Rapid inactivation of NOS-I by lipopolysaccharide plus interferon-gamma-induced tyrosine phosphorylation. J Biol Chem. 1999 Apr 9;274(15):9915-7.
3. Colasanti M, Suzuki H. The dual personality of NO. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2000 Jul;21(7):249-52.
4. Colasanti M, Salvati L, Venturini G, Ascenzi P, Gradoni L. Cysteine protease as a target for nitric oxide in parasitic organisms. Trends Parasitol. 2001 Dec;17(12):575.
5. Venturini G, Colasanti M, Persichini T, Fioravanti E, Ascenzi P, Palomba L, Cantoni O, Musci G. Beta-amyloid inhibits NOS activity by subtracting NADPH availability. FASEB J. 2002 Dec;16(14):1970-2.