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limatola nunziaScholarship
Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms Department

Tel. +39 081 5833407 - +39 081 5833416
e-mail nunzia.limatola(at)szn.it

Download Curriculum Vitae


Research interests

Molecular mechanisms regulating the meiotic maturation and fertilization of starfish and sea urchin eggs.
A crucial prerequisite for fertilization and normal embryonic development is the proper synchronization of the interactions between the cytoplasm and the nucleus of the oocytes during the meiotic maturation. The availability of a large number of oocytes makes the starfish an excellent experimental model system in which to study biochemical and morphological events associated with maturation, fertilization, and early development. The major aim of my PhD project is to characterize the intracellular calcium increases in the maturing oocytes and fertilized eggs, and to study their physiological functions. First, I am investigating whether the breakdown of the nuclear envelope and the intermixing of the nucleoplasm with the cytoplasm are under the control of the Ca2+ increase in the cytoplasm (cortex) or in the nucleus. Secondly, I am studying the role of the cortical and nuclear actin in the modulation of the calcium signalling during the process of maturation and fertilization of starfish and sea urchin eggs.

Journal Papers

Limatola N, Chun JT, Kyozuka K, Santella L. (2015) Novel Ca2+ increases in the maturing oocytes of starfish during the germinal vesicle breakdown. Cell Calcium (in press).

Santella, L, Limatola, N, & Chun, JT. (2015) Calcium and actin in the saga of awakening oocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 460:104-13.

Chun JT, Limatola N, Vasilev F, Santella L. (2014) Early events of fertilization in sea urchin eggs are sensitive to actin-binding organic molecules. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 450: 1166-74.

Book chapters
Santella, L, Limatola, N, & Chun, JT. (2014) Actin Cytoskeleton and Fertilization in Starfish eggs. In: Sexual Reproduction in Animals and Plants, Chapter: 13., Edition : 978-4-43154588-0, Publisher: Springer Verlag, Editors: H. Sawada, N. Inoue, M. Iwano, pp. 141-155

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