Francesco Fortunato

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Achieving efficient distribution of neural stem cells throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and robust generation of specific neurons is a major challenge for the development of cell-mediated therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. We isolated a primitive neural stem cell subset, double positive for LeX(Le) and CXCR4(CX) antigens that possesses CNS(More)
OBJECTIVE Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective motoneuron death. Understanding of the molecular mechanisms that trigger and regulate motoneuron degeneration could be relevant to ALS and other motoneuron disorders. This study investigates the role of Fas-linked motoneuron death in(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurological disease characterized by the degeneration of the motor neurons. We tested whether treatment of superoxide dismutase (SOD1)-G93A transgenic mouse, a model of ALS, with a neural stem cell subpopulation double positive for Lewis X and the chemokine receptor CXCR4 (LeX+CXCR4+) can modify the disease's(More)
A disulfide relay system (DRS) was recently identified in the yeast mitochondrial intermembrane space (IMS) that consists of two essential components: the sulfhydryl oxidase Erv1 and the redox-regulated import receptor Mia40. The DRS drives the import of cysteine-rich proteins into the IMS via an oxidative folding mechanism. Erv1p is reoxidized within this(More)
A severe muscle enolase deficiency, with 5% of residual activity, was detected in a 47-year-old man affected with exercise intolerance and myalgias. No rise of serum lactate was observed with the ischemic forearm exercise. Ultrastructural analysis showed focal sarcoplasmic accumulation of glycogen beta particles. The enzyme enolase catalyzes the(More)
Hereditary inclusion body myopathy (IBM) with Paget's disease of the bone (PDB) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a rare autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the valosin-containing protein (VCP) gene. We report a novel heterozygous VCP gene mutation (R159C) in a 69-year-old Italian patient presenting with slowly progressive muscle weakness(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a motor neuron disease (MND) and one of the most common genetic causes of infant mortality, currently has no cure. Patients with SMA exhibit muscle weakness and hypotonia. Stem cell transplantation is a potential therapeutic strategy for SMA and other MNDs. In this study, we isolated spinal cord neural stem cells (NSCs) from(More)
An out-of-frame mutation of the mitochondrial DNA-encoded subunit I of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) was discovered during investigation of a severe isolated muscle COX deficiency in a patient with motor neuron-like degeneration. The mutation is a heteroplasmic 5-bp microdeletion located in the 5' end of the COI gene, leading to premature termination of the(More)
We describe a new mitochondrial DNA mutation in a male infant who presented clinical and magnetic resonance imaging features of Leigh syndrome and died at the age of 9 mo. The patient's development was reportedly normal in the first months of life. At the age of 5 mo, he presented severe generalized hypotonia, nystagmus, and absent eye contact. Laboratory(More)
BACKGROUND Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a major cause of neurological disability and its pathogenesis remains elusive despite a multitude of studies. Although defects of the mitochondrial respiratory chain have been described in several ALS patients, their pathogenic significance is unclear. OBJECTIVE To review systematically the muscle biopsy(More)