Fabiana Geraci
Fabiana Geraci
affiliation: Dip. STEMBIO
research area(s): Cell Biology
Course: Cell Biology
University/Istitution: Università di Palermo
1995: Degree in Biological Sciences (110/110 magna cum laude), University of Palermo, Italy. Title of the thesis: “Regulation of the heat shock gene expression in sea urchin embryos”.
1996: Recipient of a Fellowship from “Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia”
1998: “Embryology: Concepts and Techniques in Modern Developmental Biology”. Course at Marine Biological Laboratories (Woods Hole, MA)
2000: “Microinjection techniques in cell biology”. Course at Marine Biological Laboratories (Woods Hole, MA)
2002-2003: Recipient of a Fellowship from Neuropsychiatric Institute
2003: PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology (full marks), University of Palermo, Italy. Title of the thesis: “Identification and characterization of two HSF in P.lividus embryos during embryogenesis”.
2003/2008: Recipient of a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Italian Health Ministry, Palermo, Italy
From 2008 researcher in the Faculty of Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy (SSD BIO/06).

Educational activity:
2004/2005: Comparative Anatomy
2005/2006: Comparative Anatomy
2006/2007: Comparative Anatomy
2007/2008: Developmental Biology
2008/2009: Comparative Anatomy and Developmental Biology
2009/2010: Cellular Biology
2010/2011: Cellular Biology
2009/present day: Member of the Scientific Committee of the PhD course in Cell and Developmental Biology

2003/present day: Member of the CSSI
2010/present day: Member of ABCD society
Cell communication in mouse mesoangioblast stem cells through membrane vesicles.
Nowadays it has been demonstrated that membrane vesicles (MVs) represent an important mediator of cell-to-cell communication and are an integral part of the intracellular microenvironment. Upon release, they may either circulate in the extracellular space adjacent to the site of release and break down rapidly, or may enter into biological fluids thus moving away from the site of generation and reaching distant sites. MVs can be used by the cells to direct morphogens to developing tissues. They also deliver cytoplasmic proteins lacking of exocytosis signal (e.g. interleukin beta-1 and FGF2), they are involved in cancer metastasis formation also through the promotion of neovascolarization phenomena, and in inflammatory response. Recently, a particular attention has been focused on the capacity of MVs to alter the phenotype of neighboring cells towards the phenotype of MV producing cells. It has been observed that stem cells, especially embryonic stem cells (ESCs), are an abundant source of MVs. Stem cells are characterized by an unlimited self-renewal and by high multilineage.
Mesoangioblasts are vessel derived stem cells isolated from dorsal aorta of E9.5 mouse embryos. They are able to release membrane vesicles containing both structural proteins (e.g. actin , tubulin, filamin) and also some biological relevant molecules in their active form (e.g. MMP2/9, FGF2).
I am now studying the mechanisms which regulate MMP expression and release. Moreover, I am also interested in mechanism which regulates information transfer from the cell which releases MVs and the target cell.
Turturici G, Sconzo G, Geraci F. (2011) Hsp70 and its molecular role in nervous system diseases. Biochem Res Int. 2011:1-18
Aridon P, Geraci F, Turturici G, D'Amelio M, Savettieri G, Sconzo G. (2011) Protective role of heat shock proteins in Parkinson's disease. Neurodegener Dis. 8: 155-68
Pinsino A, Turturici G, Sconzo G, Geraci F. (2011) Rapid changes in heat-shock cognate 70 levels, heat-shock cognate phosphorylation state, heat-shock transcription factor, and metal transcription factor activity levels in response to heavy metal exposure during sea urchin embryonic development. Ecotoxicology 20: 246-54
Candela ME, Geraci F, Turturici G, Taverna S, Albanese I, Sconzo G. (2010) Membrane vesicles containing matrix metalloproteinase-9 and fibroblast growth factor-2 are released into the extracellular space from mouse mesoangioblast stem cells. J Cell Physiol. 224: 144-51
Carfí-Pavia F, Turturici G, Geraci F, Brucato V, La Carrubba V, Luparello C, Sconzo G. (2009) Porous poly (L-lactic acid) scaffolds are optimal substrates for internal colonization by A6 mesoangioblasts and immunocytochemical analyses. J Biosci. 34: 873-9
Turturici G, Geraci F, Candela ME, Cossu G, Giudice G, Sconzo G. (2009 )Hsp70 is required for optimal cell proliferation in mouse A6 mesoangioblast stem cells. Biochem J. 421: 193-200
Turturici G, Geraci F, Candela ME, Giudice G, Gonzalez F, Sconzo G. (2008) Hsp70 localizes differently from chaperone Hsc70 in mouse mesoangioblasts under physiological growth conditions. J Mol Histol. 39: 571-8
Sisino G, Bellavia D, Corallo M, Geraci F, Barbieri R. (2006) A homemade cytospin apparatus. Anal Biochem. 359:283-4.
Geraci F, Turturici G, Galli D, Cossu G, Giudice G, Sconzo G. (2006) Stress response in mesoangioblast stem cells. Cell Death Differ. 13:1057-63.
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.