Marcella Canton is assistant professor of Biochemistry at the University of Padova. She obtained her M.D degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1991 and her Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathology in 1996 from the University of Padova. During her PhD training, she began her research on mitochondrial physiology and ion transport under the supervision of G.F. Azzone, one of the founding Fathers of Bioenergetics, characterizing mechanisms underlying energy dissipation of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in hyperthyroidism. Her education in Cellular and Molecular Biology was completed as a post-doc under the supervision of F. Di Lisa, where she characterized mitochondrial function in intact cells in anoxic conditions. She provided evidence of the mechanisms underlying PUVA therapy (psoralen +UVA), highlighting the central role of mitochondria. In parallel, she focused on the study of the oxidative modifications of myofibrillar proteins thanks to the collaboration with Dr. J. van Eyk’s laboratory, Kingston, Canada where she started her research. She demonstrated that the oxidation of cardiac myofibrillar proteins correlates linearly with contractile dysfunction in murine models of heart diseases and human heart failure. The characterization has been extended to the oxidative modifications of skeletal muscle in muscular dystrophy. She showed that the excess of reactive oxygen species (ROS) observed in two different murine models of muscular dystrophy and in myoblasts from patients affected by collagen VI myopathies is mainly due to monoamine oxidase overactivation. Moreover, she highlighted a causal link between monoamine oxidase-dependent ROS production and contractile impairment. Altogether, these data provided the rationale for a translational study of monoamine oxidase inhibitors for treatment of muscle dystrophy. Recently, based on her interesting premises, she joined Antonella Viola’s group to unravel the role of monoamine oxidase in the immunity system, taking advantage of her outstanding expertise in the immunological field.
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