Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences Dpt, University of Milan, Milan (Italy) – Full Professor of Experimental Biology

Angelo Poletti


My laboratory is involved in the study of the molecular mechanisms at the basis of motor neuron diseases (MNDs). Our main focus is on two forms of MNDs named spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which are associated to the formation of aberrant mutant protein conformations that, for this, become neurotoxic. Our major aims are those to boost the intracellular protein quality control system to clear neurotoxic protein from affected neuronal cells. We recently identified a protective effect of a small heat shock protein (HSPB8) in the two diseases. This action seems to be mediated by the activation of autophagy.

We have also projects on prostate and breast cancers in which we have described the antiproliferative, antimetastatic action of an androgenic metabolite, the 3beta-diol, which exert this protective role via the activation of an estrogenic pathway, as well as the role of autophagy and HSPB8 in these context.