Pagano Lab’s research work is focused on urological malignancies, with particular attention to prostate and bladder cancer. Cancer is the prototype signal transduction disease where aberrant signaling leads to the re-programming of normal cells turning them into malignant tumor cells. We are interested in finding novel and feasible points of intervention within the intricate signaling network that governs cell death in cancer cells.
We are interested in defining pathogenetic mechanisms and clinical outcomes in hepatitis C, with specific focus on direct antiviral agents. This is approached by prospective studies in a large cohort of HCV patients which are currently followed up in the Veneto Region.
We are also investigating pathogenetic and metabolic mechanisms in the development of esophageal cancers, using a combination of animal models and human materials derived from patients at different pre-neoplastic and neoplastic stages.
We have developed a highly sensitive single muscle fiber proteomics workflow to study human aging and found that the senescence of slow and fast muscle fibers is characterized by diverging metabolic and protein quality control adaptations (Murgia et al, 2017). Whereas mitochondrial content declines with aging in both fiber types, glycolysis and glycogen metabolism are upregulated in slow but downregulated in fast muscle fibers. Slow fibers upregulate a subset of actin and myosin chaperones whereas an opposite change happens in fast fibers. These changes in metabolism and sarcomere quality control may be related to the ability of slow, but not fast, muscle fibers to maintain their mass during aging.
The general theme of the research in the Group is the signaling role of Ca2+, with emphasis on its transport across biological membranes. As is well known, Ca2+ is the most important carrier of biological signals. It conveys essential information to the most important processes of cell life: its concentration and movements within the cell must thus be very precisely regulated.