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Luca Pellegrini,
Ph.D.

Full Professor, Université Laval


Professor Luca Pellegrini's research aims to understand the factors that control the structure, morphology and localization of mitochondria in cells. Mitochondria are essential components of cells that are responsible for energy production, that are also important for communication between cells and cell survival. They are considered as the power plants of the cell and their organization and location are precisely regulated in cells.

Defects in the production or maintenance of mitochondria are responsible for several degenerative diseases and severe metabolic syndromes.

In neurons, mitochondria are concentrated near synapses, which are the places where neurons communicate with each other and with other cells, and where large amounts of energy are required. Professor Pellegrini's research aims to understand how the mitochondria network is organized, and how it responds to the energy requirements of cells.


Molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial dynamics

The regulation of primary mitochondrial activities like ATP synthesis, calcium signaling and apoptosis impinges on the activity of proteins controlling the shape and structure of the mitochondrial network. Consequently, dysfunctions in mitochondria biogenesis and homeostasis are central to the development of a plethora of degenerative diseases and metabolic syndromes.

To understand the etiology of these disorders it is imperative to discover, therefore, how mitochondria morphology remodeling is regulated and which signaling pathways link physiological transitions to structural changes of the mitochondrial architecture. To this goal, the machinery coordinating mitochondria membrane fusion and fission must be dissected, and its mechanism of regulation understood.

In the PelleLAB we are working toward this goal by studying the mechanism of regulation of the rhomboid protease PARL and of the dynamin-related GTPase OPA1, two central regulators of mitochondria morphology and structure.


Keywords: 

Molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial dynamics



 
 
418-663-5000-6879

 
 

2601 Chemin de la Canardiere
Québec (Québec) G1J 2G3
Canada


Office: 
F-6500

 

Recent Publications

An ode to mitochondria biologists, new and old., Pellegrini, Luca, and Scorrano Luca , Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 2018 May 27, Volume 500, Issue 1, p.1, (2018)
The coming of age of the mitochondria-ER contact: a matter of thickness., Giacomello, M, and Pellegrini Luca , Cell Death Differ, 2016 Sep 01, Volume 23, Issue 9, p.1417-27, (2016)
The dynamin GTPase OPA1: more than mitochondria?, Belenguer, Pascale, and Pellegrini Luca , Biochim Biophys Acta, 2013 Jan, Volume 1833, Issue 1, p.176-83, (2013)

Funding / Support / Partners

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