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Mitochondrial dynamics
Group Leader: Luca Scorrano
Our laboratory is investigating the molecular mechanisms that control mitochondrial shape and how changes in mitochondrial morphology influence mitochondrial and cellular physiology. The biological importance of mitochondria-shaping proteins is substantiated by the
discovery that at least two genetic diseases, dominant optic atrophy and Charcot-Marie-Tooth type IIa, are caused by mutations affecting such proteins. By characterizing the role of these proteins in life and death of the cell, we hope to unravel the pathogenetic mechanism(s) of these neurodegenerative diseases and to better understand the interplay between mitochondrial structure and function.

1996 M.D. University of Padova Medical School, Italy
2000 Ph.D. University of Padova, Italy
2000-2003 Human Frontier Long Term Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA
2003-present Assistant Scientist, Dulbecco-Telethon Institute at the Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine.
Research Project
Mitochondria-shaping proteins



Selected Recent Papers:
L. Scorrano and S. J. Korsmeyer. Mechanisms of cytochrome c release by proapoptotic BCL-2 family members. Biochem.Biophys.Res.Comm. 304: 437-444 (2003)

L. Scorrano, S.A. Oakes, J.T. Opferman, E.H. Cheng, M.D. Sorcinelli, T. Pozzan and S.J. Korsmeyer. BAX and BAK Regulation of Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+: A Control Point for Apoptosis. Science 300: 135-139 (2003).

L. Scorrano Divide et impera: Ca2+ signals, mitochondrial fission and sensitization to apoptosis. Cell Death Differ. 10:1287-9 (2003)

M.C. Bassik, L. Scorrano, S.A. Oakes, T. Pozzan and S.J. Korsmeyer Phosphorylation of BCL-2 Regulates ER Ca2+ Homeostasis and Apoptosis EMBO J. 23:1207-16 (2004)

S. Cipolat, O. Martins de Brito, B. Dal Zilio and L. Scorrano OPA1 requires mitofusin 1 to promote mitochondrial fusion. Submitted (2004).

more publications

Vasiliki Anesti, PhD

Olga Martins de Brito, PhD student

Sara Cipolat, research fellow
Christian Frezza, research fellow

Christina Cerqua, research assistant

Venetian Institute for Molecular Medicine
Via Orus 2
35129 Padova
tel: +39 049 7923 (office)
tel: +39 049 7923 (lab)
fax: +39 049 7923

e-mail: luca.scorrano@unipd.it