Maria D Ganfornina

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The lipocalins are a family of extracellular proteins that bind and transport small hydrophobic molecules. They are found in eubacteria and a great variety of eukaryotic cells, in which they play diverse physiological roles. We report here the detection of two new eukaryotic lipocalins and a phylogenetic analysis of 113 lipocalin family members performed(More)
Many nervous system pathologies are associated with increased levels of apolipoprotein D (ApoD), a lipocalin also expressed during normal development and aging. An ApoD homologous gene in Drosophila, Glial Lazarillo, regulates resistance to stress, and neurodegeneration in the aging brain. Here we study for the first time the protective potential of ApoD in(More)
Metabolic homeostasis in metazoans is regulated by endocrine control of insulin/IGF signaling (IIS) activity. Stress and inflammatory signaling pathways--such as Jun-N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signaling--repress IIS, curtailing anabolic processes to promote stress tolerance and extend lifespan. While this interaction constitutes an adaptive response that(More)
Rabbit carotid body (CB) chemoreceptor cells possess a fast-inactivating K+ current that is specifically inhibited by hypoxia. We have studied the expression of Kvalpha subunits, which might be responsible for this current. RT-PCR experiments identified the expression of Kv1.4, Kv3.4, Kv4.1 and Kv4.3 mRNAs in the rabbit CB. There was no expression of Kv3.3(More)
Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is the most common form of autosomal recessive ataxia caused by a deficit in the mitochondrial protein frataxin. Although demyelination is a common symptom in FRDA patients, no multicellular model has yet been developed to study the involvement of glial cells in FRDA. Using the recently established RNAi lines for targeted(More)
We have found two novel lipocalins in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster that are homologous to the grasshopper Lazarillo, a singular lipocalin within this protein family which functions in axon guidance during nervous system development. Sequence analysis suggests that the two Drosophila proteins are secreted and possess peptide regions unique in the(More)
The vertebrate Apolipoprotein D (ApoD) is a lipocalin secreted from subsets of neurons and glia during neural development and aging . A strong correlation exists between ApoD overexpression and numerous nervous system pathologies as well as obesity, diabetes, and many forms of cancer . However, the exact relationship between the function of ApoD and the(More)
The Lipocalins are an ancient protein family whose expression is currently confirmed in bacteria, protoctists, plants, arthropods, and chordates. The evolution of this protein family has been assessed previously using amino acid sequence phylogenies. In this report we use an independent set of characters derived from the gene structure (exon-intron(More)
Gap junctions are membrane channels that directly connect the cytoplasm of neighboring cells, allowing the exchange of ions and small molecules. Two analogous families of proteins, the connexins and innexins, are the channel-forming molecules in vertebrates and invertebrates, respectively. In order to study the role of gap junctions in the embryonic(More)
Arthropodan hemocyanins, prophenoloxidases (PPOs), and insect hexamerins form a superfamily of hemolymph proteins that we propose to call the AHPH superfamily. The evolutionary and functional relationships of these proteins are illuminated by a new embryonic hemolymph protein (EHP) that is expressed during early stages of development in the grasshopper(More)