Adriana Pontiggia

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The testis determining factor, SRY, is a DNA binding protein that causes a large distortion of its DNA target sites. We have analysed the biochemical properties of the DNA binding domains (HMG-boxes) of mutant SRY proteins from five patients with complete gonadal dysgenesis. The mutant proteins fall into three categories: two bind and bend DNA almost(More)
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the major cause of bacterial pneumonia, and it is also responsible for otitis media and meningitis in children. Apart from the capsule, the virulence factors of this pathogen are not completely understood. Recent technical advances in the field of bacterial pathogenesis (in vivo expression technology and signature-tagged(More)
HMG boxes are DNA binding domains present in chromatin proteins, general transcription factors for nucleolar and mitochondrial RNA polymerases, and gene- and tissue-specific transcriptional regulators. The HMG boxes of HMG1, an abundant component of chromatin, interact specifically with four-way junctions, DNA structures that are cross-shaped and contain(More)
Genetic studies in medicine exploited age of onset as a criterion to delineate subgroups of illness. Bipolar patients stratified with this criterion were shown to share clinical characteristics and patterns of inheritance of illness. The molecular mechanisms driving the biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus may play a role in(More)
BACKGROUND Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are effective in approximately 70% of patients with a major depressive episode, but therapeutic changes usually require 2 weeks of administration to become clinically relevant. Adjunct light therapy has been proposed to hasten the effects of drug treatment. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate(More)
The molecular mechanisms driving the biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus may play a role in mood disorders. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (-50 T/C) falling into the effective promoter region (nt -171 to +29) of the gene coding for glycogen synthase kinase 3-beta (GSK3-beta) has been linked with different age at onset(More)
BACKGROUND A functional polymorphism within the promoter of the serotonin transporter has been shown to influence the antidepressant response to serotonergic drug treatments and to total sleep deprivation (TSD). The short-term relapse that follows acute response to TSD has been successfully prevented by combining TSD with light therapy. The mechanism of(More)
We have purified the main four-way junction DNA-binding protein of Escherichia coli, and have found it to be the well-known HU protein. HU protein recognizes with high-affinity one of the angles present in the junction, a molecule with the shape of an X. Other DNA structures characterized by sharp bends or kinks, like bulged duplex DNAs containing unpaired(More)
BACKGROUND Drug resistance remains a persistent source of morbidity and mortality for patients with bipolar depression. A growing number of clinical studies support the usefulness of chronotherapeutic interventions, such as total sleep deprivation (TSD) and light therapy (LT), in the treatment of nonresistant bipolar depression. METHOD To investigate the(More)
PURPOSE OF REVIEW Clinical studies support a bidirectional link between depression and neurological diseases. Here we review the most recent findings supporting the hypothesis that major depression is a medical illness of the brain which can be elicited by neurological illnesses. RECENT FINDINGS In the last year major improvements in brain-imaging(More)