Mauro Marra
Mauro Marra
affiliation: Università di Roma Tor Vergata
research area(s): Cell Biology, Chemical Biology
Course: Cell and Molecular Biology
University/Istitution: Università di Roma Tor Vergata
- born in Rome the 13th 05 1957
-1981 - Degree in Chemistry " University of Rome "La Sapienza"
-1986 - Ph.D. in Biochemistry -University of Rome "La Sapienza"
-1987/89 - Fellowship from "Enichem" concernig a project for the study of polysaccharides from cyanobacteria
-1989/99 - Research Associate of Plant Physiology " University of Rome "Tor Vergata"
-1999/01 - Associate Professor of Plant Physiology -University of Sannio (Benevento)
-2001/31-10-2005 - Full Professor of Plant Physiology -University of Sannio (Benevento)
-1-11-2006 - Full Professor of Plant Physiology - University of Rome "Tor Vergata"

Study of the mechanism of action of Fusicoccin: regulation of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase by 14-3-3 proteins.
Fusicoccin (FC) is a phytotoxic diterpene glucoside produced by the fungus Fusicoccum amygdali. This compound stimulates a number of physiological and cellular processes in different plant tissues. FC action is dependent on the stimulation of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity. activity.14-3-3s are a family of dimeric, hyghly conserved, regulatory proteins, originally discovered in the bovine brain and today known to be widespread in eukariotyc organisms. In plants they are involved in the regulation of carbon and nitrogen metabolism enzymes, in the regulation of senescence, ion transport, and plant response to environmental and pathogen stresses. The common property of 14-3-3 proteins is the ability to bind to target proteins and this accounts for their diverse regulatory functions. Most of 14-3-3-interacting proteins contain consensus sequences phosphorylated at threonine or serine residues. Results obtained by our group allowed to clarify the FC mechanism of action, the molecular bases of H+-ATPase regulation and to discover a new regulatory function of 14-3-3s in the plant cell. In fact it has been ascertained that FC induces the irreversibile binding of stimulatory 14-3-3 proteins to the C-terminal autoinhibitory region of H+-ATPase, bringing about its displacement and stimulation of enzyme activity. Regulation by 14-3-3 association is a general mechanism operating also under physiological conditions.
Plant biodiversity investigated by proteomic approach
Tomato, owing also to its importance as a crop species, is actually a model system to the study of development and maturation of fleshy fruits, A deeper understanding of cellular events associated to tomato ripening is highly desirable also in view of possible manipulations. A 2-D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry procedure has been set up and applied to comparative proteomic investigation of tomato fruits from regional and commercial elite ecotypes during maturation. A number of proteins were recognized in each ecotype as differentially expressed during ripening and many of them were unambiguously identified by MALDI-TOF-MS and µLC-ESI-IT-MS/MS approaches. Identified proteins have been associated to important physiological processes such as redox status control, stress response, energy production and signaling. A systematic proteomic analysis of the protein repertoire of the mesocarp of Annurca apple, a regional variety cultivated in the South of Italy and possessing peculiar flavour and aromas characteristics has also been carried out. Leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing the defensive gene prosystemin from tomato have been characterized by a proteomic investigation. Results allowed to ascertain that the host proteomic repertoire was profoundly affected by expression of the transgene, resulting in the increased sinthesys of defence-related proteins.

M Lalle, Camoni L., Visconti S., Marra M., Velasco R. and Aducci P (2005). A maize MAP kinase, ZmMPK6, interacts with 14-3-3 proteins. Inviato per la pubblicazione a The Journal of Biological Chemistry

M Rocco, C D"Ambrosio, S Arena M Faurobert, A Scaloni and M Marra (2006) Proteomic analysis of tomato fruits from two ecotypes during ripening" Proteomics, 6: 3781-3791.

L Camoni, M Marra, A. Garufi, S Visconti and A Aducci (2006) "The maize root plasma membrane H+-ATPase is regulated by a sugar-induced transduction pathway" Plant Cell Physiol. 47 (6): 743-747.

B Sottocornola, S Visconti, S. Orsi, S Gazzarrini, S Giacometti,C Olivari, L Camoni, P Aducci, M Marra, A Abenavoli, G Thiel and A Moroni (2006) " The potassium channel KAT1 is activated by plant and animal 14-3-3 proteins " JBC. 281 (47:35735-35741.

C Guarino, S Arena, L De Simone, C D"ambrosio, S Santoro, M Rocco, A Scaloni, M Marra (2007) " Proteomic analysis of the major soluble components in annurca apple flesh" Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 51: 255-262.

M Rocco, G Corrado, S Arena , C D"Ambrosio, C Tortiglione, S Sellaroli, M. Marra , R Rao, A Scaloni. (2008). "The expression of tomato prosystemin gene in tobacco plants affects host proteomic repertoire". Journal of Proteomics 71: 176-185.
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.