1970 Degree in Biological Sciences, University of Padova (Italy)

1976-1978 Post-doctoral fellow in bioenergetics at the Dept. of Biochemistry of the University of Oxford, U.K. (c/o Prof. G.K. Radda)

1986-1988 Post-doctoral fellow in mitochondrial electrophysiology at the Abteilung Membrane Biophysik of the Max-Planck Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany (c/o Prof. E. Neher and W. Stühmer)

1971-1987 Research Fellow of the Italian Research Council (CNR), in the Unit for the Study of Mitochondrial Physiology, Dept. of Biological Chemistry, University of Padova

1988-1993 Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy, University of Padova

1994-present Chair, Professor of Medical Chemistry in the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Padova

Originally, the work of Dr. Sorgato has dealt mainly within the field of energy transduction processes and intracellular channels (Sorgato, M.C., Keller, B.U. and Stühmer, W. (1987) “ Patch-clamping of the inner mitochondrial membrane reveals a voltage-dependent ion channel”. Nature 330, 498-500). Her recognized contribution to these fields resulted in invitations to speak at major symposia, and to write reviews that have appeared in leading journals (Ferguson, S.J. and Sorgato, M.C. (1982) “Proton electrochemical gradients and energy-transduction processes”. Ann. Rev. Biochem. 51, 185-217; Sorgato, M.C. and Moran, O. (1993) "Channels in mitochondrial membranes: knowns, unknowns and prospects for the future". CRC Crit. Rev. Biochem. Mol. Biol. 18, 127-171). Her most significant contribution to these areas of research has been the application of the patch clamp technique to the mitochondrion. The result of this work has opened new perspectives in the physiology of the inner membrane of mitochondria, particularly in the now very popular area of mitochondrial channels, as well as on the in situ single channel analysis of other cellular organelles.

At the end of the ‘90s, she has moved her research interests to the field of the prion protein and diseases. The availability of large amounts of the full length mature prion protein, generated in bacteria and purified in a structured form, has led to the choice of Dr. Sorgato as the co-ordinator of a major EU project (1998-2001) on the structural pathogenic transition of the prion protein. Although her laboratory has examined the issue of soil contamination by prions, which resulted in the development of a method to detect prions directly in soil samples, the main interest of Dr. Sorgato in the field has always been focused on the elusive physiology of the prion protein. In this framework, her laboratory was the first to adopt imaging techniques to follow the metabolism of the protein (fused with fluorescent probes) in live cells, and to analyze if and how the protein modulates Ca2+ movements in specific cell domains. Another aspect of her work worth mentioning – she envisaged it as a bridge over the gap between isolated cell and whole animal approaches - is the application of a strategy that considers the in vivo use of skeletal muscles, and the use of intact muscle organs, i.e. perfused hearts, in which to verify the role of the protein in cell differentiation, and in protecting cells against oxidative stress injury.

  1. Negro A., Meggio F., Bertoli A., Battistutta M., Sorgato M.C., and Pinna L.A. "Susceptibility of the prion protein to enzymic phosphorylation". Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 271, 337-341 (2000)
  2. Meggio, F., Negro, A., Sarno, S., Ruzzene, M., Bertoli, A., Sorgato, M.C., and Pinna, L.A. "Bovine prion protein as a modulator of protein casein kinase CK2". Biochem. J. 352, 191-196 (2000)
  3. Negro A., Ballarin C., Bertoli A., Massimino M.L, and Sorgato M.C. "The metabolism and imaging in live cells of the bovine prion protein in its native form or carrying single amino acid substitutions". Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 17, 521-538 (2001)
  4. Peoc’h, K., Volland, H., De Gassart, A., Beaudry, P., Sazdovitch, V., Sorgato, M.C., Creminon, C., Laplanche J-L., and Lehmann, S. "Prion-like protein Doppel expression is not modified in scrapie infected cells and in brain of patients with Creuzfeldt-Jacob disease". FEBS Lett. 536, 61-65 (2003)
  5. Cereghetti, G.M., Negro, A., Vinck, E., Massimino, M.L., Sorgato, M.C., and Van Doorslaer, S. "Copper(II) binding to the human Doppel protein may mark its functional diversity from the prion protein" J. Biol. Chem. 279, 36497-36503 (2004)
  6. Massimino, M.L., Ballarin, C., Bertoli, A., Casonato, S., Genovesi, S., Negro A., and Sorgato, M.C. "Human Doppel and prion protein share common membrane microdomains and internalization pathways when co-expressed in neuroblastoma cells" Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 36, 2016-2031 (2004)
  7. Morel, N., Simon, S., Frobert, Y., Volland, H., Mourton-Gilles, C., Negro, A., Sorgato, M.C., Creminon, C., and Grassi, J. "Selective and efficient immunoprecipitation of the disease-associated form of the prion protein can be mediated by nonspecific interactions between monoclonal antibodies and scrapie-associated fibrils" J. Biol. Chem. 279, 30143-30149 (2004)
  8. Brini, M., Miuzzo, M., Pierobon, N., Negro, A., and Sorgato M.C. " The prion protein and its paralogue doppel affect calcium signaling in chinese hamster ovary cells" Mol. Biol. Cell 16, 2799-2808 (2005)
  9. Massimino, M.L., Ferrari, J., Sorgato, M.C., and Bertoli, A. "Heterogeneous PrPC metabolism in skeletal muscle cells". FEBS Lett. 580, 878-884 (2006)
  10. Sorgato, M.C., and Bertoli, A. Physiopathologic implications of the structural and functional domains of the prion protein. Ital. J. Biochem. 55, 222-231 (2006)
  11. Genovesi, S., Leita, L., Sequi, P., Andrigheto, I., Sorgato, M.C., and Bertoli, A. "Direct Detection of Soil-Bound Prions". PloS ONE 2, e1069 (2007)
  12. Sorgato, M.C., and Bertoli, A. "From cell protection to death: may Ca2+ signals explain the chameleonic attributes of the mammalian prion protein?". Biochem Biophys. Res. Comm. 379, 171-179 (2009)
  13. Sorgato, M.C., Peggion, C., and Bertoli, A. "Is indeed the prion protein an Harlequin servant of "many" masters?" PRION, 3, 202-205 (2009)
  14. Caputo, A., Sarnataro, D., Campana, V., Costanzo, M., Negro, A., Sorgato, M.C., and Zurzolo, C. "Doppel and PrPC co-immunoprecipitate in detergent-resistant membrane domains of epithelial FRT cells". Biochem. J. 425:341-51 (2009)
  15. Stella, R., Massimino, M.L., Sandri, S., Sorgato, M.C., and Bertoli, A. "Cellular prion protein promotes regeneration of adult muscle tissue". Mol. Cell. Biol. 30, 4864-4876 (2010)
  16. Stella, R., Massimino, M.L., Sorgato, M.C., and Bertoli, A. "Prion and TNF alpha TAC(E) it agreement between the prion protein and cell signalling". Cell Cycle 9, 4616-4621 (2010)
  17. Lazzari, C., Peggion, C., Massimino, M.L., Lim, D., Bertoli, A., and Sorgato, M.C. "The control of Ca2+ metabolism may underlie the multi-faceted attributes of the prion protein." J. Neurochem. 113, 56-56 (2010)
  18. Lazzari, C., Peggion, C., Stella, R., Massimino, M.L., Bertoli, A., and Sorgato, M.C. "Cellular prion protein is implicated in the regulation of local Ca2+ movements in cerebellar granule neurons". J. Neurochem. 116, 881–890 (2011)
  19. Stella, R., Biancotto, G., Krogh, M., Angeletti, R., Pozza, G. Sorgato, M.C., James, P., and Andrighetto, I. "Protein Expression Changes in Skeletal Muscle in Response to Growth Promoter Abuse in Beef Cattle". J. Proteome Res. 10:2744-57 (2011)
  20. Dibattista, M., Massimino, M.L., Maurya, D.K., Bertoli, A., Menini A., and Sorgato M.C. "The cellular prion protein is expressed in olfactory sensory neurons of adult mice, but does not affect the early events of the olfactory transduction pathway". Chem. Senses 36:791-7 (2011)
  21. Peggion, C. Bertoli, A, and Sorgato, M.C. "Possible role for Ca2+ in the pathophysiology of the prion protein?". Biofactors 37, 241-249 (2011)
  22. Stella, R., Cifani, P., Peggion, C., Hansson, K., Lazzari, C., Bendz, M., Levander, F., Sorgato, M. C., Bertoli, A., and James, P. "Relative Quantification of Membrane Proteins in Wild-type and PrP-knockout Cerebellar Granule Neurons". J. Proteome Res. 11:523-36 (2012)
  23. Massimino, M.L., Redaelli, M., Bertoli, A., Sorgato, M.C., and Mucignat-Caretta, C. "Altered behavioral aspects of aged mice lacking the cellular prion protein". Physiology & Behavior 119: 86–91 (2013)
  24. Peggion, C., Sorgato, M.C., and Bertoli, A. "Prions and prion-like pathogens in neurodegenerative disorders". Pathogens, (2014) in press

Sorgato, M. C., and Bertoli, A. (2004). Mitochondrial Channels. In Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry (Lennarz, W. J. & Lane, D. M., eds.), Vol. 2, pp. 689-692. Elsevier, New York

Sorgato, M. C., and Bertoli, A. (2013). Mitochondrial Channels. In Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry (Lennarz, W. J. & Lane, D. M., eds.), Vol. 3, pp. 127-131. Waltham, MA: Academic Press