Research

Molecular Physiology of membrane transporters

This is the main line of research developed in the laboratory in the past ten years. Structure-function relationships in membrane proteins devoted to the reuptake of neurotransmitters, nutrient and divalent cation (SLC6, SLC11, SLC15) in the intestine are studied using electrophysiology, molecular biology and advanced optical techniques. The main objectives are the functional characterization and the identification of the structural determinants of ion and substrate selectivity, and of the molecular mechanism of substrate translocation. The modulation of transporters activity by extracellular signals and second messenger pathways is also addressed.

Recently the nanoparticle membrane crossing was studied in Xenopus laevis oocytes with a new fluorescent approach (SOFA, single oocytes fluorescence assay).

Techniques
The research activity involves the use of several state-of the art methodologies, including heterologous expression in oocytes and cell lines, patch-clamp, voltage-clamp, confocal microscopy, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, caged–compounds photolysis, fluorescent ion indicators, green fluorescent protein constructs, site-directed mutagenesis, immunochemistry (SOC, western Blot and immunohistochemistry) as well as other techniques in molecular biology and cell culture. Quantitative biophysical analysis of the results will aim to obtain detailed description of transporter functioning and regulation.

The Laboratory of cellular and molecular Physiology is part of the Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences (DBSV) of the University of Insubria.  The DBSV building includes all facilities necessary for modern biological research at the cellular and molecular level. The DBSV hosts other research groups in related areas, a Biomedical Library and support services.

Please, visit the web site of the DBSV, click here.

Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Scienze della Vita