His project “AUTOSELECT” (Dissecting cargo selectivity in autophagy) aims to study the signals mediating degradation of cellular components following forced fasting, exercise and drug intake, with the goal of opening future therapeutic perspectives to combat numerous human diseases associated with aging. AUTOSELECT will focus on the analysis of cellular waste disposal, a mechanism that plays a key role in maintaining organ function and preventing aging. In addition, many human diseases, especially those associated with the aging process, are characterized by the progressive accumulation of toxic substances within our cells.
For these reasons, the characterization of the mechanisms by which cells are able to identify and select the components to be degraded, sparing the essential ones, is of fundamental importance for human health. On this basis, Carmine and his team will work to discover these mechanisms by analyzing how the different cells of our body respond to different degradative stimuli. These analyses will be carried out thanks to innovative cellular reporters recently developed by Carmine’s team, which allow simultaneous monitoring of the degradation of multiple cellular components using high-resolution fluorescent microscopy.
The results obtained through this analysis will be integrated with functional genomics and proteomics studies to link each degradative event to certain intracellular signals.