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Laboratory of Biochemistry of Membranes and Applied Nutrition  

lab Prof.ssa Rizzo


Research topics

The main research goal of our Laboratory is the study of simple and complex lipids in cellular and animal models and in humans, to determine the correlations between quali- and quantitative profiles, metabolism, structures and functions in physiological and pathological conditions.

Particularly, our researches are currently aimed at:
-     study the involvement of membrane lipids in cell proliferation and differentiation, signal transduction and chemoresistance in cancer;
-     analysis of fatty acid transport, metabolism and of molecular targets expression/activity in tumor cells;
-     evaluation of the functional role of lipids and their bioactive metabolites in chronic inflammatory diseases;
-     evaluation of the role of ω-3 PUFAs in human nutrition in healthy subjects and patients with chronic and/or degenerative diseases;
-     development of Functional Foods containing Nutraceuticals with antioxidant activity;
-     evaluation of inflammation and oxidative stress in biological fluids and experimental models;
-     Biochemistry applied to life sciences in space: evaluation of the effects of gravitational fields and cosmic radiation in human culture cells, in vertebrate and invertebrate animal models, and in humans, using simulation facilities (Random Positioning Machine, confinement isolation) and during real space flights (stratospheric balloons, FOTON, Shuttle, ISS).



Techniques used in Laboratory are:
-    quali-quantitative analyses of lipid, amino acid and metabolic profiles in cell cultures, biological fluids and tissues by LC-MS, LC-ELSD, LC-UV, LC-FD and GC-FID;
-    determination of whole blood fatty acids using a DBS kit (Omega-3 test);
-   cultures of immortalized, stem and primary cells and treatments with enzymatic inhibitors, drugs, cosmetic products, nutraceuticals and liposomes;
-    cytotoxicity assays by MTT test and flow cytometry;
-    evaluation of oxidative stress and antioxidant activity of foods and nutraceuticals in cell cultures, tissues and biological fluids by enzymatic assays, ELISA and LC-UV;
-    subcellular fractionation and isolation / purification of membrane microdomains;
-    protein analysis by SDS-PAGE, western blotting, immunocyto/histochemistry in fluorescence, flow cytometry;
-    extraction, purification and analysis of nucleic acids: cloning and expression of genes in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, in vitromutagenesis techniques;
-    exposure to simulated microgravity (RPM) of in vitro and in vivo models and hardware tests for space missions.


National and International Collaborations

Cancer National Institute of Milan, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Institute for Pharmacological Research “Mario Negri”, Foundation IRCCS Neurological Institute C. Besta, Mangiagalli Hospital, University of Torino, Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli”, Milano-Bicocca, Pavia, Bari, Firenze and Genova, University College London, Diabetes Research Institute (Miami), Matis (Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D), The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Collaboration with Companies

Bioactive Food AS (Norway), Ruislandia/Ruisvoima (Finland), Kayser Italia, Enervit, Integra


Selected publications

MFSD2A Promotes Endothelial Generation of Inflammation-Resolving Lipid Mediators and Reduces Colitis in Mice.
Ungaro F, Tacconi C, Massimino L, Corsetto PA, Correale C, Fonteyne P, Piontini A, Garzarelli V, Calcaterra F, Della Bella S, Spinelli A, Carvello M, Rizzo AM, Vetrano S, Petti L, Fiorino G, Furfaro F, Mavilio D, Maddipati KR, Malesci A, Peyrin-Biroulet L, D'Alessio S, Danese S.
Gastroenterology. 2017 Nov;153(5):1363-1377.e6

HaCaT Cells as a Reliable In Vitro Differentiation Model to Dissect the Inflammatory/Repair Response of Human Keratinocytes.
Colombo I, Sangiovanni E, Maggio R, Mattozzi C, Zava S, Corbett Y, Fumagalli M, Carlino C, Corsetto PA, Scaccabarozzi D, Calvieri S, Gismondi A, Taramelli D, Dell'Agli M.
Mediators Inflamm. 2017;2017:7435621. doi: 10.1155/2017/7435621. Epub 2017 Dec 17.

Omega 3 fatty acids chemosensitize multidrug resistant colon cancer cells by down-regulating cholesterol synthesis and altering detergent resistant membranes composition
Gelsomino G, Corsetto PA, Campia I, Montorfano G, Kopecka J, Castella B, Gazzano E, Ghigo D, Rizzo AM, Riganti C.
Mol Cancer. 2013 Nov 13;12:137.

Comparison between the AA/EPA ratio in depressed and non depressed elderly females: omega-3 fatty acid supplementation correlates with improved symptoms but does not change immunological parameters.
Rizzo AM, Corsetto PA, Montorfano G, Opizzi A, Faliva M, Giacosa A, Ricevuti G, Pelucchi C, Berra B, Rondanelli M.
Nutr J. 2012 Oct 10;11:82.

Two active and differently N-glycosylated isoforms of human ST3Gal-V are produced from the placental mRNA variant by a leaky scanning mechanism.
Zava S, Milani S, Sottocornola E, Berra B, Colombo I.
FEBS Lett. 2010 Apr 16;584(8):1476-80.

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