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Lab. nameBiochemistry and Molecular Biology in Skeletal Muscle 
Principal Investigator Susanna Molinari 
ComponentsSusanna Molinari  (Principal Investigator )
DescriptionWe study the role played by the MEF2C transcription factor in satellite cells (SCs), the resident stem cells of adult skeletal muscle. In muscle dystrophy the activity of SCs is strongly impaired, resulting in the lack of muscle repair. We identified mechanisms that regulate MEF2C: alternative splicing of Mef2c transcripts and phosphorylation of splice variants modulate the ability of MEF2C to interact with co-regulators and ultimately to control the balance between proliferation and differentition of SCs. We are also investigating the activity of MEF2C in two models of cancer: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS)and colorectal cancers (CRC) in collaboration with Dr Lorena Losi. We found that a MEF2C splice variant is upregulated in human RMS and its subcellular localization is altered in CRC in comparison to normal tissue. We are also developing molecular tools to interfere with the pro-proliferative activity of MEF2C.  
Addressvia Giuseppe Campi, 287 - 41125 Modena 
KeywordsMEF2, transcription factor, skeletal muscle, stem cells, alternative splicing 
ERC Sectors LS1_2 General biochemistry and metabolism LS1_11 Biochemistry and molecular mechanisms of signal transduction  
Instrumentationlaboratory space fully equipped for basic Molecular Biology and Biochemistry experimental procedures: power supplies, gel apparatuses for DNA analysis and protein analysis, 2-D gel electrophoresis apparatus, bench centrifuges, thermal cyclers, gel drier with pump, refrigerated centrifuges, orbital shaker. 
Research Lines Translational Medicine

Methodologies Manipulation and analysis of muscle stem cells on their niche, purification and culture of embryonic, fetal and adult primary myoblasts. Analysis of muscle regeneration in vivo. Molecular biology, cell biology and protein biochemistry tools.