Francesca Ruberti

Research Areas: Neurobiology


Monterotondo Scalo – Campus “A.Buzzati Traverso”
+39 06 90091362
+39 06 90091244
francesca.ruberti@cnr.it

Research Focus: Molecules involved in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Keywords: microRNAs, LncRNAs, and neuropathologies

Non-coding RNAs and in particular microRNAs tunes brain cell differentiation and synaptic development and modulates brain functions such as synaptic plasticity, memory formation and behavioral performance.
Our research aims to identify long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and/or microRNAs as well as their interactions, and to investigate their roles in neuronal and glia cells during physiological and pathological conditions. Main focus is the study of these molecules in Ageing and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  
Primary rodent neural cell cultures, cell lines, human neuronal and glia cells differentiated from iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cells)-derived NSC (neural stem cells) as well as mouse models are instrumental to our studies. Previous findings in our laboratory have shown that miR-101 regulates directly AD-related genes, Amyloid precursor protein (APP) and Ranbp9, in rodent hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo (Vilardo et al., 2010; Barbato et al., 2014). More recently we found that inhibition of miR-101post-transcriptional regulation in CA1 hippocampal neurons of adult C57BL/SJ mice, by stereotaxic injection of a lentiviral miRNA sponge, leads to cognitive decline (Barbato et al., submitted). We are now characterizing the molecular pathways involved in hippocampal dependent cognitive decline after miR-101downregulation that may occur during aging and AD. Furthermore, we are searching for lncRNAs that might regulate miR-101 and/or other microRNAs and pathways associated to Ageing/AD.

 

Education: 

2000                        Research contract, International School of Advanced Studies (ISAS) Trieste, Italy

1998-2000               Postdoctoral fellow, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Heidelberg, Germany

1996                         PhD in Biophysics (Neurobiology), International School of Advanced Studies (ISAS) Trieste, Italy

1991-1992               CNR fellow “Biotechnology and Molecular Biology” Institute of Neurobiology, CNR, Roma

1990                         Degree in Biological Sciences, Sapienza University Roma, Italy

 

Positions:  

2001-present            CNR Researcher, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (IBBC) Monterotondo (Roma), Italy (2019-present); Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology (IBCN), CNR Roma (2010-2019); Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine (INMM), CNR Roma (2001-2010).

 

Awards:       

1998                          European Community postdoctoral research fellowship award, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany

1997                          CNR postdoctoral research fellowship award, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany (not accepted)

Cognitive decline and modulation of Alzheimer’s disease-related genes after inhibition of microRNA-101 in mouse hippocampal neurons Barbato C, Giacovazzo G, Albiero F, Scardigli R, Scopa C, Ciotti MT, Strimpakos G, Coccurello R, Ruberti F (submitted)

MicroRNA Biology and Function in the Nervous System Barbato C and Ruberti F (2016) in “Mapping Nervous System Diseases via MicroRNAs” (2016) (eds. Barbato C and Ruberti F) by CRC Press, Pages 3-18, ISBN 9781482263527- cat K24373. Series: Frontiers in Neurotherapeutics.

MicroRNA Landscape in Alzheimer’s Disease. Cogoni C, Ruberti F. and Barbato C (2015) CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets 14(2):168-75.

Selective inhibition of miR-92 in hippocampal neurons alters contextual fear memory. Vetere G, Barbato C, Pezzola S, Frisone P, Aceti M, Ciotti M, Cogoni C, Ammassari-Teule M, Ruberti F. (2014) Hippocampus. 24:1458-65. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22326.

A lentiviral sponge for miR-101 regulates RanBP9 expression and amyloid precursor protein metabolism in hippocampal neurons. Barbato C, Pezzola S, Caggiano C, Antonelli M, Frisone P, Ciotti MT and Ruberti F (2014) Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 8:37. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00037

MicroRNA-101 regulates amyloid precursor protein expression in hippocampal neurons. Vilardo E, Barbato C, Ciotti MT, Cogoni C and Ruberti F (2010) J. Biol Chem 285:18344-18351.

view all publications

  • Barbato C, Giacovazzo G, Albiero F, Scardigli R, Scopa C, Ciotti MT, Strimpakos G, Coccurello R, Ruberti F Cognitive decline and modulation of Alzheimer’s disease-related genes after inhibition of microRNA-101 in mouse hippocampal neurons (submitted)
  • Cogoni C, Ruberti F and Barbato C (2015) MicroRNA Landscape in Alzheimer’s Disease. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 14(2):168-75
  • Vetere G, Barbato C, Pezzola S, Frisone P, Aceti M, Ciotti M, Cogoni C, Ammassari-Teule M, Ruberti F (2014) Selective inhibition of miR-92 in hippocampal neurons alters contextual fear memory. Hippocampus. 24:1458-65. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22326.
  • Barbato C, Pezzola S, Caggiano C, Antonelli M, Frisone P, Ciotti MT and Ruberti F (2014) A lentiviral sponge for miR-101 regulates RanBP9 expression and amyloid precursor protein metabolism in hippocampal neurons. Front Cell Neurosci 8:37. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00037
  • Ruberti F, Barbato C and Cogoni C (2012) “Targeting microRNAs in neurons: tools and perspectives” Exp Neurol 235(2):419-26.
  • Papoff G, Trivieri N, Crielesi R, Ruberti F, Marsilio S, Ruberti G. (2010) FADD-calmodulin interaction: a novel player in cell cycle regulation. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1803:898-911
  • Ruberti F, Barbato C, Cogoni C (2010) “Post-transcriptional regulation of amyloid precursor protein by microRNAs and RNA binding proteins” Commun & Integr Biol 3(6):499-503.
  • Vilardo E, Barbato C, Ciotti MT, Cogoni C and Ruberti F (2010) “MicroRNA-101 regulates amyloid precursor protein expression in hippocampal neurons” J Biol Chem 285:18344-18351.
  • Barbato C, Ruberti F, Vilardo E, Pieri M, Costanzo M, Ciotti MT, Zona C and Cogoni C (2010) “MicroRNA-92 modulates KCC2 expression in cerebellar granule neurons’. J Neurochem 113:591-600.
  • Barbato C, Ruberti F Cogoni (2009) “Searching for MIND: microRNA In Neurodegenerative Diseases” J Biomed Biotechnol. 2009:871313.
  • Romano A, Serafino AL, Krasnowska E, Ciotti MT, Calissano P, Ruberti F and Galli C (2003) “Neuronal fibrillogenesis: Amyloid fibrils from primary neuronal cultures inhibits long term memory in the crab Chasmagnatus” Behav Brain Res , 147(1-2):73-82
  • Ruberti F., C.G. Dotti. (2000). “Involvement of the Proximal Carboxy-Terminus of the a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid Receptor GluR1 Subunit in Dendritic Sorting”. J. of Neurosci. 20: RC78.
  • Poyatos I, F Ruberti, R Martinez-Maza, C Gimenez, C.G. Dotti, F Zafra. (2000). “Polarized distribution of glycine transporter isoforms in epithelial and neuronal cells”. Mol Cell Neurosci. 15: 99-111.
  • Capsoni S., G. Ugolini, E. Comparini, F. Ruberti, N. Berardi, A. Cattaneo. (2000). “Alzheimer-like neurodegeneration in aged anti-Nerve Growth Factor transgenic mice”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 97: 6826-31.
  • Capsoni S, F. Ruberti, E. Di Daniel E, A. Cattaneo. (2000). Muscular dystrophy in adult and aged anti-NGF transgenic mice resembles an inclusion body myopathy. J Neurosci Res. 59: 553-560.
  • Ruberti F., S. Capsoni, A. Comparini, E. Di Daniel, J. Franzot, S. Gonfloni, G. Rossi, N. Berardi and A. Cattaneo. (2000). “Phenotypic Knock-out of Nerve Growth Factor in adult transgenic mice reveals severe deficits in basal forebrain cholinergic neurons, cell death in the spleen and skeletal muscle dystrophy”. J Neurosci. 20: 2589-61.
  • Molnar M., E. Tongiorgi, E. Avignone, S. Gonfloni, F. Ruberti, L. Domenici, A. Cattaneo. (1998). “The effect of anti-NGF monoclonal antibody on developing basal forebrain neurons are transient and reversible”. Eur J Neurosci. 10: 3127-40.
  • Avignone E., M. Molnar, N. Berretta, F.Casamenti, C. Prosperi, F. Ruberti, A. Cattaneo, E. Cherubini (1998). “Cholinergic function in the hippocampus of juvenile rats chronically deprived of NGF”. Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 109: 137-147.
  • Ruberti F., N. Berretta, A. Cattaneo, E. Cherubini (1997). “NGF antibodies impair LTD at the mossy fiber-CA3 synapse in the developing hippocampus”. Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 101: 295-297.
  • Molnar M., F. Ruberti, C. Cozzari, L. Domenici, A. Cattaneo (1997). “A critical period
  • in the sensitivity of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons to NGF deprivation”. Neuroreport 8: 575-579.
  • Biocca S., F. Ruberti, M. Tafani, P. Pierandrei Amaldi, A. Cattaneo. (1995). “Redox state of Single Chain Fv fragments targeted to the Endoplasmic Reticulum, Cytosol and Mitochondria” Biotechnology 13: 1110-1115.
  • Ruberti F., A. Cattaneo, A. Bradbury (1994). “The use of the RACE method to clone hybridoma cDNA when V region primers fail” J Immunol Methods 173: 33-39.
  • Ruberti F., A. Bradbury, A. Cattaneo (1993). “Cloning and expression of an anti-NGF antibody for studies using the neuroantibody approach.” Cell. Mol. Neurobiol. 13: 559-568.
  • Piccioli, P., F. Ruberti, S. Biocca, A. Di Luzio, T. Werge, A. Bradbury, A. Cattaneo. (1991). “Neuroantibodies: molecular cloning of a monoclonal antibody against substance P for expression in the central nervous system.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 88: 5611-5615. 

    book chapters
  • Ruberti F and Barbato C. (2016) MicroRNA Biology and Function in the Nervous System (2016) in “Mapping Nervous System Diseases via MicroRNAs” (2016) (eds. Barbato C and Ruberti F) by CRC Press. Pages 3-18. ISBN 9781482263527-K24373. Series: Frontiers in Neurotherapeutics.
  • “Mapping Nervous System Diseases via MicroRNAs” (2016) (eds. Barbato C and Ruberti F) by CRC Press. Reference – 262 Pages – 17 B/W Illustrations ISBN 9781482263527- cat # K24373. Series: Frontiers in Neurotherapeutics.
  • Barbato C and Ruberti F, (2012) “MicroRNA Regulation of Neuronal Differentiation and Plasticity”, in Regulatory RNAs, B. Mallick (eds.), DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-22517-8_2, pg 175-195, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Ruberti F, Pezzola S and Barbato C (2011) “Advances in MicroRNAs and Alzheimer’s Disease Research”. In: Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis-Core Concepts, Shifting Paradigms and Therapeutic Targets, Suzanne De La Monte (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-690-4, pg 273-294, InTech. DOI 10.5772/17635
  • Bradbury, A., F. Ruberti, T. Werge, V. Amati, A. Di Luzio, S. Gonfloni, H. Hoogenboom, P. Piccioli, S. Biocca, A. Cattaneo. (1995). “The cloning of hybridoma V regions for their ectopic expression in intracellular and intercellular imunisation”. In Antibody Engineering II: a Practical Approach IRL Press, New York pp 295-361.

Researchers:
Dr. Christian Barbato christian.barbato@cnr.it
Dr. Roberto Coccurello roberto.coccurello@cnr.it

Associated Scientists:
Prof. Nadia Canu nadia.canu@uniroma2.it

PNR-CNR Aging Program 2012-2016

“Study of microRNAs in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis and progression”.

Role: Principal Investigator

 

Progetto Bandiera Nanomax 2012-2014


Nadine, Workpackage 8 “Serum miRNAs in Alzheimer’s Disease”

Role: Coinvestigator

 

3886 SD/sd 2008.2404 Programma Neuroscienze Barbato (PI) 9/01/09-9/01/11           

‘MIND: MicroRNA In Neurodegenerative Diseases’

This study is dedicated to analyze the expression of microRNAs in human Alzheimer’s disease brains.

Role: Coinvestigator

 

RSTL.059.012 –CNR grant- Study of APP regulation by microRNAs and implication in Alzheimer’s Disease 01/2008-12/2009.

Role: Principal Investigator

 

“Fondo speciale per le Neuroscienze”-Regione Lazio-FILAS SpA 2005-2007

Role: Co-Investigator