The main interest of our laboratory is to understand the physiological and pathological role of mono-ADP-ribosylation, by investigating the enzymes and the substrates involved in this post-translational modification, along with their regulation. The main projects of our laboratory can be summarised as follow:
1. Study of mono-ADP-ribosyltransferases of the PARP family (PARP6-16). GTPases to the control of RNA as well as to the regulation of cell cycle progression, with particular emphasis on mitosis.
2. Study of the BFA-mediated ADP-ribosylation of CtBP/BARS. Our laboratory has defined a novel mechanism of ADP-ribosylation catalysed by the ADP-ribosyl cyclase CD38 and the fungal toxin brefeldin A; this reaction is exquisitely selective for the CtBP1/BARS protein and causes the inhibition of its activity, that is required for mitotic progression, with important implications for treatment of tumors characterized by high levels of CD38.
3. Study of the mechanism of action of bacterial toxins. This project is based on the identification and study of ADP-ribosylated substrates by bacterial toxins that cause human disfunctions, with the aim to find druggable molecular targets.