Luca Lignitto, PhD
Throughout my career, I have been interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying the degradation of proteins controlled by the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System (UPS). For the last 14 years, I specialized in the study of E3 ubiquitin ligases, identifying their proteolytic substrates and defining the pathophysiological relevance of their degradation. For my investigations I acquired extensive expertise in a wide range of experimental methods of molecular biology, biochemistry, proteomics, genomics, and mouse models. During my PhD training in the lab of Dr. Antonio Feliciello at the University of Naples “Federico II” in Italy, I dissected the molecular machinery mediating the cross-regulation between the cyclic AMP signaling pathway and the UPS (Lignitto et al., Nature Cell Biol., 2011). As a postdoc, first, in my graduate student lab, and afterwards at New York University (NYU) in the USA, I focused my studies on the UPS-regulated signaling networks underpinning oncogenesis (Lignitto et al., Nature Commun., 2013) (Lignitto et al., Cell, 2019). In particular, during my postdoc in the lab of Dr. Michele Pagano at NYU, I uncovered the existence of a molecular network that links mutations of the oxidative stress pathway to alterations of the heme signaling and UPS-mediated protein degradation, which ultimately promotes oncogenesis. Currently, I am a Group Leader at the Marseille Cancer Research Centre (CRCM) and at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Marseille. My laboratory focuses on understanding how heme signaling and oxidative stress regulate cellular physiology and cancer pathogenesis. Our long-term goal is to identify new therapeutic approaches for cancer patients harboring alterations of the heme-oxidative stress pathway.