Paolo Macchi
Paolo Macchi
affiliation: University of Trento, CIBIO
research area(s): Molecular Biology, Neuroscience
Course: Biomolecular Sciences
University/Istitution: Università di Trento
2011- present Rector Delegate for the coordination of the initiatives in support of the disabled
2009- present: Head International Doctoral School in Biomolecular Sciences, University of Trento.
2008: Associate Professor in Molecular Biology, University of Trento, Faculty of Science.

- December Teaching Habilitation, Medical University of Vienna.
- Visiting Professor Faculty of Sciences, University of Trento, Italy.
- Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, Italy.

2005-2008: Group Leader, Center for Brain Research, Division of Neuronal Cell Biology, Medical University of Vienna.

- Research Associate in the lab of Prof. Michael Kiebler, Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Developmental Biology, Tübingen.
- Post-doc. Italian Telethon fellow, MPI for Developmental Biology, Tübingen. Laboratory of Prof. Friedrich Bonhoeffer.
- PhD, supervisor Dr. Paolo Vezzoni, Molecular Biology Laboratory. Director: Prof. Renato Dulbecco. University of Tübingen. Final degree: Magna cum Laude

1992-1993: Italian “Laurea in Scienze biologiche”. Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, University of Milano. Supervisor: Prof. Giuliano Meyer. Final degree: 110/110 cum Laude.

1987-1991:Studies of Biology, University of Milano.

Awards and Fellowships
- 1995 Winner of the “European Junior Scientist Award” (European Tissue Culture Society)
- 1996 Telethon Fellowships for Italian Scientists Abroad.
- 1995 Borsa di studio “Fondazione Adriano Buzzati Traverso”.
- 1994 Borsa di Studio C.N.R.
- 1993 Borsa di Studio Consorzio Milano Ricerche.

2011- Member of the SIBBM (Societa’ Italiana di Biofisica e Biologia Molecolare)
2003- Member of the American Society for Neuroscience
2000-2005 Member of the German SFB 446 (Sonderforschungsbereich).
Our group is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of RNA localization in neurons. We want to identify which proteins bind to and transport the mRNAs into dendrites and deliver them to synapses. To study this question, we combine techniques in molecular, cell and neurobiology with fluorescence and time-lapse video-microscopy to visualize protein and RNA movements in living cells. This multidisciplinary approach will help us to unravel the mechanisms that regulate both RNA and RNA-binding proteins during localization.
This knowledge will be crucial for a better understanding of the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. Specific projects are:

* Characterization of Pumilio (Pum) proteins in mammalian neurons. We have recently identified Pum2 as a new component of the RNA transport and translational machinery in neurons. We are currently investigating the function of Pum proteins in neurons and their role in mRNA transport and translational control.
* Molecular composition of translationally repressed ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs). To understand how mRNA transport and translational repression are coupled, we identify proteins and RNA components of dendritic RNPs using Pum and other trans-acting factors such as Stau. We also investigate whether components of these RNPs play a role in mRNA stability and/or degradation.
* Post-translational control of RNA-binding proteins. Phosphorylation and SUMOylation are post-translational modifications that have been shown to play important roles in regulating protein activity and turnover in dendrites and at synapses. In contrast to phosphorylation and SUMOylation, protein methylation is poorly understood in the context of RNA transport and synaptic activity.
Preliminary data suggest, however, that some RNA-binding proteins contain methylation sites. We will study whether methylation regulates mRNA transport and subsequent translation and how this effect might be exerted. This opens up a new and exiting field of investigation which we are actively engaged in.
Quattrone A, Dahm R and Macchi P. (2011). Subcellular RNA localization and translational control: mechanisms and biological significance in the vertebrate nervous system. Book Chapter. RNA Binding Proteins, edited by Lorkovic Zdravko. Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media.

Acquati F, Bertilaccio S, Grimaldi A, Monti L, Cinquetti R, Bonetti P, Lualdi M, Vidalino L, Fabbri M, Sacco MG, van Rooijen N, Campomenosi P, Vigetti D, Passi A, Riva C, Capella C, Sanvito F, Doglioni C, Gribaldo L, Macchi P, Sica A, Noonan DM, Ghia P, Taramelli R. (2010) Microenvironmental control of malignancy exerted by RNASET2, a widely conserved extracellular RNase. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci U S A. 18; 108(3):1104-9.

John P. Vessey, Lucia Schoderboeck, Ewald Gingl, Ettore Luzi, Julia Riefler, Francesca Di Leva, Daniela Karra, Michael A. Kiebler and Paolo Macchi. (2010) Mammalian Pum2 regulates dendrite morphogenesis and synaptic function. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 107: 3222-7.

Fabian Tübing, Georgia Vendra1, Martin Mikl, Paolo Macchi, Sabine Thomas and Michael A. Kiebler. (2010) Dendritically localized transcripts are sorted into distinct sRNPs that display fast directional motility along dendrites of hippocampal neurons. J. of Neuroscience, 30: 4160-70.

Zeitelhofer M, Karra D, Vessey JP, Jaskic E, Macchi P, Thomas S, Riefler J, Kiebler M, Dahm R. (2009). High-efficiency transfection of short hairpin RNAs-encoding plasmids into primary hippocampal neurons. J. Neurosci. Res. 87: 289-300.

Zeitelhofer M, Macchi P and Dahm R. (2008). Perplexing bodies: The putative roles of P-bodies in neurons. RNA Biol. 5: 244-8.

Macchi P, Vessey JP, Stein JM, Mikl M, Hawker KN, Vogelsang P, Wieczorek K, Vendra G, Riefler J, Tübing F, Aparicio SA, Abel T, Kiebler MA (2008). A loss of function allele for murine Staufen1 leads to impairment of dendritic Staufen1-RNP delivery and dendritic spine morphogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 105:16374-9.

Manuel Zeitelhofer, Daniela Karra, Paolo Macchi, Marco Tolino, Sabine Thomas, Martina Schwarz, Michael Kiebler and Ralf Dahm (2008). Dynamic interaction between P-bodies and transport RNPs in dendrites of mature hippocampal neurons. J. of Neuroscience, 28:7555-62.

Kobayashi Y, Ohashi S, Suzuki K, Kobayashi H, Ohashi S, Koike K, Macchi P, Kiebler M, and Anzai K (2008). “C9orf10, belonging to a novel family of putative transmembrane proteins, is associated with polyribosomes as a protein component of Pura-containing poly(A)mRNA-protein particles”. J Histochem Cytochem., 56:723-31.

Dahm R, Kiebler M and Macchi P (2008). “Visualizing mRNA localisation and local protein translation in neurons“. Methods in Cell Biology, 85: 293-327.

Vessey J, Dahm R. and Macchi P (2008). “Silence please: Pumilio speaks: translational silencing by Pumilio proteins”. Book Chapter. In “RNA Binding Proteins in Development and Disease”. Editor: Robert B. Denman.

Xie Y, Vessey JP, Konecna A, Dahm R, Macchi P* and Kiebler MA (2007). “The dendritic spine-associated GTPase Septin 7 is a regulator of dendrite branching and dendritic spine morphology”. Current Biology 17: 1746-51. (*corresponding author with shared last authorship).

Dahm R, Kiebler K and Macchi P (2007). “RNA localization in the nervous system“. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 18: 216-23.

Dahm R and Macchi P (2007). “Human pathologies associated with defective mRNA transport”. Biology of the Cell, 99: 649-61.

Vessey JP, Vaccani A, Xie Y, Dahm R, Karra D, Kiebler MA and Macchi P (2006). “Dendritic localization of the translational repressor Pumilio 2 and its contribution to dendritic stress granules”. J. Neuroscience 26: 6496-508.

Massi P, Vaccani A, Bianchessi S, Costa B, Macchi P and Parolaro D (2006). “The non-psychoactive cannabidiol triggers caspase activation through the involvement of oxidative stress in human glioma cells”. Cell Mol. Life Science 63: 2057-66.
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.