Research Groups


Research Interests and Description

Group Leader: Fabian Feiguin, MD, PhD

Group Members

Research Interests

Mechanisms of neurodegeneration, Drosophila as a model for human genetic diseases.

Description of Research

Our Laboratory aims to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in the most common neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s (AD) and Motor Neuron Diseases (MND). To find answers to these questions we utilize the fruit-fly Drosophila melanogaster, a simpler model organism that presents a remarkable genetic conservation with humans. According to that, we have recently focused our attention on the protein TDP-43, which appears pathologically modified in patients with familial and nonfamilial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have characterized the function of TDP-43 in Drosophila and found that defects in the regulation of this protein provoke synaptic alterations at the neuromuscular junctions, recreating the principal symptoms of the human disease in flies. The laboratory is using now the genetic and molecular tools available in Drosophila to uncover the pathogenesis behind ALS and extending this approach to model other complex human disorders.

Recent Publications

Romano, G., Appocher, C., Scorzeto, M., Klima, R., Baralle, F.E., Megighian, A., Feiguin, F. 2015. Glial TDP-43 Regulates Axon Wrapping, GluRIIA Clustering and Fly Motility by Autonomous and Non-Autonomous Mechanisms. Hum Mol Genet ddv330. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed link

Appocher, C., Klima, R., Feiguin, F. 2014. Functional screening in Drosophila reveals the conserved role of REEP1 in promoting stress resistance and preventing the formation of Tau aggregates. Hum Mol Genet ddu393 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed link

Romano, G., Klima, R., Buratti, E., Verstreken, P., Baralle, F.E., Feiguin, F. 2014. Chronological requirements of TDP-43 function in synaptic organization and locomotive control. Neurobiol Dis doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.07.007 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed link

Cragnaz, L., Klima, R., Skoko, N., Budini, M., Feiguin, F., Baralle, F.E. 2014. Aggregate formation prevents dTDP-43 neurotoxicity in the Drosophila melanogaster eye. Neurobiol Dis doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.07.009 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed link 

Miskiewicz, K., Jose, L.E., Yeshaw, W.M., Valadas, J.S., Swerts, J., Munck, S., Feiguin, F., Dermaut, B., Verstreken, P. 2014. HDAC6 is a Bruchpilot deacetylase that facilitates neurotransmitter release. Cell Rep Epub PubMed link

Romano, M., Buratti, E., Romano, G., Klima, R., Del Bel Belluz, L., Stuani, C., Baralle, F., Feiguin, F. 2014. Evolutionarily conserved heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A/B proteins functionally interact with human and Drosophila TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43). J Biol Chem. 2014 289 7121-7130 PubMed link

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AREA Science Park
Padriciano 99
34149 Trieste, ITALY
Tel: +39-040-37571
Fax: +39-040-226555
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