Stem Cell Program

Dr. Galderisi's lab investigates a number of specific topics related to gene therapy and the use of stem cells for tissue regeneration.

Program Details | Biography Details | Publications




Modulation of gene expression: antisense oligonucleotides and siRNAs

Our research aims to modulate gene expression to dissect biochemical pathways involved in multiple aspects of cell life. We have devoted great efforts to set up antisense oligonucleotide technique to downregulate gene expression andused this approach to study the role of genes involved in several pathologies, such as neuroblastoma, myotonic dystrophy and cardiovascular diseases. Antisense molecules were developed also in order to evaluate their effectiveness as potential new drugs.

Over the last few years, the expertise on antisense molecules paved the way to the use of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) as modulators of gene expression. Our group has developed adenovirus vectors to introduce siRNAs into primary cell cultures and animal models.

Cell cycle, differentiation, apoptosis and senescence in stem cells and cancer cells

Our research is interested in studies on genes involved in cell cycle regulation, such as the Retinoblastoma (RB) and Myc family. Our group has analyzed the role of Myc genes in the biology of neuroblastoma cell lines, with particular attention to neuroblastoma cancer stem cells.

and has evaluated the role of Retinoblastoma genes in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis in cancer cells (neuroblastoma and astrocytomas) and normal stem cells. In detail, the group analyzed the biology of neural stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells. Great efforts were devoted to analyze the role of RB gene family in differentiation, apoptosis and senescence of stem cells. These studies prompted the attention also on chromatin remodeling factors that interact with RB family members and play a key role in the life of stem cells.

Antisense molecules, stem cells and cardiovascular diseases

The group has been involved in depth on studies to dissect molecular pathways involved in cardiovascular diseases, such as (re)stenosis. This phenomenon is a narrowing of vessel lumen, which is ascribed to atherosclerotic plaques and/or thrombus deposition. At present our lab is carrying out  biomolecular analysis of (re)stenosis in rat animal models to identify genes that have a role in triggering this process.

The goal of these studies is the design and realization of “technical tools” for therapeutical treatment of stenosis both with antisense molecules and/or with stem cell therapy.







Umberto Galderisi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director, Stem Cell Program

Umberto Galderisi, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at the School of Medicine, 2nd University of Naples and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.





PUBLICATIONS (2004-2008)

Sun, A., Bagella, L., Romano, G. and Giordano, A. From G0 to G1 phase: a view of the role played by the retinoblastoma (Rb) family members in the Rb-E2F pathway. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, (in press).

Romano, G. Advances in the field of stem cell research: a report on the fifth annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, held from June 17 to June 20, 2007 in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Drug News & Perspectives, (in press).

Fucito, A., Lucchetti, C., Giordano, A. and Romano, G. Genetic and epigenetic alterations in breast cancer: what are the perspectives for clinical practice? The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, (in press).

Puca, A., Russo, G., Romano, G. and Giordano, A. Chaotic dynamic stabilities and instabilities of hematopoietic stem cell growth plasticity. Journal of Cellular Physiology, (in press).

Romano, G. The standpoint of gene therapy programs. Drug News & Perspectives, 20: 335-343, 2007.

Giordano, A., Rossi, A., Romano, G. and Bagella, L. Tumor suppressor pRb2/p130 gene and its derived product Spa310 spacer domain as perspective candidates for cancer therapy. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 213: 403-406, 2007.

Romano, G. and Giordano, A. American Society of Gene Therapy: tenth annual meeting. IDrugs, 10: 534-537, 2007.

Romano, G. Viral oncology and development of preventive vaccines. Drugs of the Future, 32: 367-373, 2007.

Romano, G. Current development of non-viral-mediated gene transfer. Drug News & Perspectives, 20: 227-231, 2007.

Giordano, A., Fucito, A., Romano, G. and Marino, I.R. Carcinogenesis and environment: the cancer stem cell hypothesis and implications for the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostics. Frontiers in Bioscience, 12: 3475-3482, 2007.

Romano, G., Macaluso, M., Lucchetti, C. and Iacovitti, L. Transcription and epigenetic profile of the promoter, first exon and first intron of the human tyrosine hydroxylase gene. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 211: 431-438, 2007.

Romano, G. Perspectives and controversies in the field of stem cell research. Drug News & Perspectives, 19: 433-439, 2006.

Romano, G. Advances and perspectives in the field of gene transfer technology. Drug News & Perspectives, 19: 359-368, 2006.

Romano, G. The controversial role of adenoviral-mediated gene transfer in gene therapy programs: where do we stand? Drug News & Perspectives, 19: 99-106, 2006.

Jin, H.*, Romano, G.*, Marshall, C., Donaldson, A.E., Suon, S. and Iacovitti, L. (*These two authors equally contributed to this work). Tyrosine hydroxylase gene regulation in human neuronal progenitor cells does not depend on Nurr1 as in the murine and rat systems. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 207: 49-57, 2006.

Romano, G. The role of adult stem cells in carcinogenesis. Drug News & Perspectives, 18: 555-559, 2005.

Romano, G. Current development of adeno-associated viral vectors. Drug News & Perspectives, 18: 311-316, 2005.

Romano, G., Suon, S., Jin, H., Donaldson, A.E. and Iacovitti, L. Characterization of five evolutionary conserved regions of the human tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter: implications for the engineering of a human TH minimal promoter assembled in a self-inactivating lentiviral vector system. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 204: 666-677, 2005.

Romano, G. Current development of lentiviral-mediated gene transfer. Drug News & Perspectives, 18: 128-134, 2005.

Romano, G. Stem cell transplantation therapy: controversy over ethical issues and clinical relevance. Drug News & Perspectives, 17: 637-645, 2004.

Tonini, T., Gabellini, C., Bagella, L., D’Andrilli, G., Masciullo, V., Romano, G., Scambia, G., Zupi, G. and Giordano, A. pRB2/p130 decreases sensitivity to apoptosis induced by camptothecin and doxorubicin but not by taxol. Clinical Cancer Research, 10: 8085-8093, 2004.

Giordano, A. and Romano, G. Eds. “Cell cycle control and dysregulation protocols: cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases and other factors. Methods in Molecular Biology”, The Humana Press Inc., July 2004.

Romano, G. Systems for regulated or tissue specific gene expression. Drug News & Perspectives, 17: 85-90, 2004.


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