Michela Denti
Michela Denti
website: www.unitn.it
affiliation: University of Trento, CIBIO
research area(s): Molecular Biology
Course: Biomolecular Sciences
University/Istitution: Università di Trento
Professional and research experience

Mar/08- present Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology (Ricercatrice Universitaria BIO/11), Faculty of Science, University of Trento, (Italy).
Nov/07- present Principal Investigator, Laboratory of RNA Biology and Biotechnology, Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, (Italy).
Nov/07- Feb/08 Visiting Professor, Faculty of Science, University of Trento (Italy).
Jan/02-Oct/07 Postdoctoral Researcher
Prof. Irene Bozzoni’s laboratory at the Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, (Italy).
Jan/98 – Dec/01 Postdoctoral Researcher
Prof. Martin Tabler’s and Prof. Mina Tsagris’ laboratories at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, FORTH, Heraklion, Crete, (Greece).
Mar/96 – Mar/97 Visiting researcher
Prof. Martin Tabler’s laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, FORTH Heraklion, Crete, (Greece).
Jul/95 - Sep/95 Visiting researcher
Prof. Joseph G. Gall’s laboratory at the Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore, Maryland, (USA).
Dec/93 - Nov/97 Post-graduate project as PhD Thesis concerning the in vivo application, the intracellular localisation and the association to RNA-binding proteins of the newt hammerhead ribozyme. Supervisor: Professor G. Barsacchi (University of Pisa).
Jan/92 - Nov/93 Undergraduate project as Degree Thesis concerning the construction of a newt hammerhead modified ribozyme to inactivate gene functions in mammalian cells in culture. Supervisor: Professor G. Barsacchi (University of Pisa).


22 Jan/00 European Doctorate in BioTechnology awarded by the European Association for Higher Education in BioTechnology.
24 Nov/97 PhD Degree (Perfezionamento) in Biological Sciences obtained with honours (70/70 cum laude) at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa (Italy) with the Thesis: “A Study on the Newt Hammerhead Ribozyme: In vivo Application, Intracellular Localisation and Association to RNA Binding Proteins”.
Apr/95 State assessment examination for professional biologists (“abilitazione alla professione di biologo”).
Dec/93- Nov/97 PhD Course (Corso di Perfezionamento) in Biological Sciences. Classe di Scienze, Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa, Italy).
4 Nov/93 Graduated with honours (110/110 cum laude) in Biological Sciences at the University of Pisa (Italy) with the Thesis
“Strategie per l’uso di ribozimi per l’inattivazione di funzioni geniche: il sistema “newt self-cleaving RNA”/ metilguanina:DNA metiltrasferasi”.
Nov/88-Nov/93 Faculty of Sciences, University of Pisa: Corso di Laurea in Biological Sciences.
Jul/88 Diploma di Maturita' Scientifica (60/60) at the Liceo Scientifico Statale “E. Fermi”, Cosenza, Italy.

Member of the Società Italiana di Biochimica (SIB, Italian Society of Biochemistry) since 1996.
Member of the Associazione Alunni, Ricercatori e Professori della Scuola Normale Superiore since 1997.
* microRNAs (miRNAs). These are ca. 21 nt regulatory RNAs that control development and differentiation acting as post-transcriptional negative regulators of the expression of key target genes. Recent studies have demonstrated that there is altered expression of miRNA genes in several human malignancies and that miRNAs may act as oncogenes or tumour suppressors. MiRNAs are now also exploited as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. We carry out a functional analysis of the miRNAs specifically over- or under-expressed in lung cancers, melanoma, epithelial ovarian cancers nd neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Frontotemporal dementia) search for their target genes and investigate their role in pathogenesis;
* Antisense RNA-induced exon skipping in gene therapy. The importance of alternative splicing for the diversity of the proteome and the large number of genetic diseases that are due to splicing defects call for methods to modulate alternative splicing decisions. Although splicing can be modulated by antisense oligonucleotides, this approach is confronted with problems of efficient delivery and the need for repeated administrations of large amounts of oligonucleotides. Therefore, we developed a method to induce the efficient and specific skipping of an exon with the help of the U1 small nuclear RNA involved in pre-messenger RNA splicing in the nucleus. Antisense U1 snRNA-induced exon skipping has been successfully employed to devise a therapeutic strategy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We are now exploring the possibility to apply antisense U1 snRNA-induced exon skipping to other genetic disorders, such as Frontotemporal dementia, retinal dystrophies and metabolic diseases.
Barbareschi M, Cantaloni C, Del Vescovo V, Cavazza A, Monica V, Carella R, Rossi G, Morelli L, Cucino A, Silvestri M, Tirone G, Pelosi G, Graziano P, Papotti M, Dalla Palma P, Doglioni C, Denti MA.“Heterogeneity of large cell carcinoma of the lung: an immunophenotypic and miRNA based analysis”. Accepted upon revision. 2011 Am. J. Clin. Pathol.

Del Vescovo V, Cantaloni C, Cucino A, Girlando S, Silvestri M, Bragantini E, Fasanella S, Cuorvo LV, Dalla Palma P, Rossi G, Papotti M, Pelosi G, Graziano P, Cavazza A, Denti MA, Barbareschi M. "miR-205 expression levels in non-small cell lung cancer do not always distinguish adenocarcinomas from squamous cell carcinomas." Am. J. Surg. Pathol. 2011 35:268-275

Di Benedetto R, Denti MA, Salvati S, Attorri L, Di Biase A “PMP70 knock-down generates oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in C6 glial cells” Neurochem. Intl. 2009 54:37-42.

Denti MA, Incitti T, Sthandier O, Nicoletti C, De Angelis FG, Rizzuto E, Auricchio A, Musaro’ A, and Bozzoni I. “Long-term benefit of AAV/antisense-mediated exon skipping in dystrophic mice.” Hum. Gene Ther. 2008 19:601-608.

Paradisi S, Matteucci A, Fabrizi C, Denti MA, Abeti R, Breit SN, Malchiodi-Albedi F, Mazzanti M “Blockade of Chloride Intracellular Ion Channel CLIC1 stimulates A-beta phagocytosis.” J. Neurosci. Res. 2008 86:2488-2498. DOI: 10.1002/jnr.21693

Di Benedetto R, Denti MA, Salvati S, Sanchez M, Attorri L, David G, Di Biase A “RNAi-mediated silencing of ABCD3 gene expression in rat C6 glial cells: a model system to study PMP70 function” Neurochem. Intl. 2008 52:1106-1113.

Kalantidis K, Denti MA, Tzortzakaki S, Marinou E, Tabler M, Tsagris M “Virp1 is a host protein with a major role in Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid infection in Nicotiana plants” J. Virol. 2007, 81:12872-12880.

Tessitore A, Parisi F, Denti MA, Allocca M, Di Vicino U, Domenici L, Bozzoni I and Auricchio A “Preferential silencing of a common dominant rhodopsin mutation does not inhibit retinal degeneration in a transgenic model”. Mol. Ther. 2006, 14:692-699.

Denti MA, Rosa A, D’Antona G, Sthandier O, De Angelis FG, Nicoletti C, Allocca M, Pansarasa O, Parente V, Musaro’ A, Auricchio A, Bottinelli R and Bozzoni I “A chimeric AAV/antisense-U1snRNA effectively rescues dystrophin synthesis and muscle function by local treatment of mdx mice”. Hum. Gene Ther. 2006, 17:565-574.

Denti MA, Rosa A, D’Antona G, Sthandier O, De Angelis FG, Nicoletti C, Allocca M, Pansarasa O, Parente V, Musaro’ A, Auricchio A, Bottinelli R and Bozzoni I “Body-wide gene therapy of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in the mdx mouse model”. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 2006, 103:3758-3763.
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.