- Terza Missione
- Il BO Live
1993 : Visiting student, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay Cedex, France
1996: Degree in Biology, University of Padova
1997: Research fellow, Zoological Institute, University of Munich, Germany (Svante Pääbo’s lab).
2001: PhD in Genetics, Department of Biology, University of Ferrara (Guido Barbujani’s lab).
2001-2003: Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova (Tullio Pozzan’s lab).
2004-2009: Post-doctoral fellow, Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM)(Manuela Zaccolo’s lab).
2010-present: Research scientist, National Research Council (CNR)
The research interests of Dr. Di Benedetto include cAMP and Ca2+ signalling and their subcellular compartmentalization. Her recent activity has been directed in particular to the study of cAMP signalling impacting mitochondria, from both the cytosol and the matrix side. Indeed, mitochondria constantly respond to changes in substrate availability and energy utilization to maintain cellular ATP supplies; it is becoming increasingly clear that reversible phosphorylation and other post-translational modifications of mitochondrial proteins play fundamental roles in metabolic homeostasis, but little is known about the involved signalling pathways. cAMP plays several different roles in distinct cellular compartments but its impact on mitochondrial functions has only recently received experimental support, and still remains largely unknown.
The main research of Dr. Di Benedetto is presently focused on investigating the role of mitochondrial matrix cAMP in the regulation of mitochondrial bioenergetics. To this aim, a FRET-based cAMP biosensor has been targeted to the mitochondrial matrix of living cells; this, in conjunction with other genetic and pharmacological tools, allowed to directly show that a mitochondrial form of soluble adenylate cyclase (sAC) is responsible for the generation of cAMP inside the organelles, and that matrix cAMP regulates the organelles ATP synthesizing efficiency. What also emerged from these studies is that cAMP- and Ca2+-signalling interact within the matrix, with Ca2+ increases stimulating cAMP production. The existence within mitochondria of a hitherto unknown crosstalk between cAMP and Ca2+ opens the way to a re-evaluation of these organelles as integrators of multiple second messengers.
The research of Dr. Di Benedetto is now aimed at defining the identity of mitochondrial cAMP effectors and targets, and elucidating the impact of cAMP signalling on mitochondrial function.
Tullio Pozzan (University of Padova and CNR)
Mario Costa (CNR-IN, Pisa)
Marina de Bernard (University of Padova)
Nicola Elvassore (University of Padova and VIMM)
Yury Ladilov, (Charité, Berlin)
Giovanni Manfredi (Cornell University, New York, USA)
Andras Spat (Semmelweis University, Hungary)
Jean-Pierre Vilardaga (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
Mario Zoratti and Lucia Biasutto (CNR-IN, Padova)