Research Activity

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The group is mainly involved in genome analysis, aiming to identify novel functional elements through a comparative approach. Work in this area led to the generation of two databases containing a large number of conserved sequence elements (CSTs) identified within the human genome and their counterparts identified in the genome of other vertebrates, ranging from mouse to fish. Occasionally such elements are also found in more distant organisms such as insects and other invertebrates. CSTs have been searched in the genomic regions including and surrounding genes involved in genetically transmitted diseases (DG-CST) and genes coding for the full complement of human protein kinases (KINWEB). The two databases are being maintained and are made available online to the scientific community at http://dgcst.ceinge.unina.it and http://kinweb.ceinge.unina.it.

An important goal of genome analysis is the identification of elements corresponding to non coding RNAs. With this scope, 50 bacterial genomes have been used as a model system, and analyzed in search of families of repeated sequence elements characterized by the presence of stable stem-loop secondary RNA structures. This approach led to the identification of all previously described families and of several novel ones, which have been collected within an annotated database, currently in the process of being made available to the public.

Finally, a specific interest in image analysis and its application to the study of cell movement, led to the production of a number of tools aimed to store and process multidimensional images, generated in video time-lapse microscopy experiments, in order to extract statistics about motion features of fibroblasts and other cell lines. The role of oncogenes such as Ras and Src in cell motility has been evaluated, by using single cell transformed fibroblast cell lines.

The laboratory is currently involved in the SCOPE and LITBIO national projects, aimed to use the national GRID for biological data analysis.


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[edit] References

  • PETRILLO M., SILVESTRO G., DI NOCERA P., BOCCIA A. and PAOLELLA G. Stem-loop structures in prokaryotic genomes (2006) BMC GENOMICS 2006, 7:170
  • BARONE MV, GIMIGLIANO A, CASTORIA G, PAOLELLA G, MAURANO F, PAPARO F, MARIA M, NANAYAKKARA M, MINEO A, MIELE E, TRONCONE R, AURICCHIO S. (2006) Growth factor-like activity of gliadin, an alimentary protein: implications for celiac disease (CD). Gut. 2006 Aug 4;
  • MILANESI L., PETRILLO M., SEPE L., BOCCIA A., D'AGOSTINO N., PASSAMANO M., DINARDO S., CASADIO R. and PAOLELLA G. (2005). Systematic analysis of human kinase genes: a large number of genes and alternative splicing events result in functional and structural diversity. BMC BIOINFORMATICS. 6(Suppl 4):S20 ISSN: 1471-2105.
  • BOCCIA A., PETRILLO M, DI BERNARDO D., GUFFANTI A., MIGNONE F., CONFALONIERI S., LUZI L, PESOLE G., PAOLELLA G., BALLABIO A., BANFI S. (2005). DG-CST (Disease Gene Conserved Sequence Tags), a database of human-mouse conserved elements associated to disease genes. NUCLEIC ACIDS RESEARCH. vol. 33 pp. D505-D510 ISSN: 0305-1048
  • PAOLELLA G., MARTINI G (2003). Bioinformatica. In TRECCANI Enciclopedia del Novecento ROMA: Istituto Enciclopedia Italiana (ITALY).



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