You are here: HomeStaffList of PersonnelMirra SerenaMirra Serena

Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms Department

Stazione Zoologica Anton DohrnVilla Comunale
80121 Napoli - Italia

E-mail: serena.mirra(at)szn.it

Curriculum Vitae


Research Interests

Mitochondria are very dynamic organelles that can fuse and divide, move throughout the cell and undergo regulated turnover through mitophagy. They can readily adapt to changes in cellular requirements after physiological or environmental cues. When cells are subjected to mild stresses such as nutrient deprivation, mitochondria fuse and form a branched and interconnected network, as a means to increase ATP production and recover cellular homeostasis. Conversely, in the case of severe stress, mitochondria are fragmented to facilitate mitophagy. Defects in general autophagy, mitophagy and mitochondrial dynamics regulation have been associated with several pathological conditions, such as neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, age-associated diseases, and lysosomal storage diseases.

Exploiting my experience and knowledge in mitochondrial biology, I focus my interest on elucidating the resilience mechanisms specific of the nervous system in marine organisms, with a particular focus on mitochondrial homeostasis (dynamics, function, bioenergetics), autophagy, cell death and inflammatory responses. Molecular dissection of the pathways underlying these resilience strategies will allow us to identify evolutionarily tested solutions to overcome susceptibility to several environmental stressors. These studies will have a strong biomedical and translational impact, bringing to light the evolutionarily tested solutions to prevent or mitigate the damage associated with neural damage induced by genetic and/or environmental stress in humans.

Selected Publications

García-Arroyo R, Domènech EB, Herrera-Úbeda C, Asensi MA, Núñez de Arenas C, Cuezva JM, Garcia-Fernàndez J, Pallardó FV, Mirra S±, Marfany G±. Exacerbated response to oxidative stress in the Retinitis Pigmentosa CerklKD/KO mouse model triggers retinal degeneration pathways upon acute light stress. (2023). Redox biology vol. 66 102862.

García-Arroyo R, Marfany G±, Mirra S±. (2022). CERKL, a Retinal Dystrophy Gene, Regulates Mitochondrial Transport and Dynamics in Hippocampal Neurons. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 23(19):11593.

Mirra S±, Sánchez-Bellver L, Casale C, Pescatore A, Marfany G±. (2022). Ubiquitin Specific Protease USP48 Destabilizes NF-κB/p65 in Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 23(17):9682.

García-Arroyo R, Gavaldà-Navarro A, Villarroya F, Marfany G±, Mirra S±. (2021). Overexpression of CERKL Protects Retinal Pigment Epithelium Mitochondria from Oxidative Stress Effects. Antioxidants (Basel). 10(12):2018.

Mirra S±, García-Arroyo R, B Domènech E, Gavaldà-Navarro A, Herrera-Úbeda C, Oliva C, Garcia-Fernàndez J, Artuch R, Villarroya F, Marfany G±. (2021). CERKL, a retinal dystrophy gene, regulates mitochondrial function and dynamics in the mammalian retina. Neurobiol Dis., 156:105405.

Mirra S*, Gavaldà-Navarro A*, Manso Y, Higuera M, Serrat R, Salcedo MT, Burgaya F, Balibrea JM, Santamaría E, Uriarte I, Berasain C, Avila MA, Mínguez B, Soriano E, Villarroya F. (2021). ARMCX3 Mediates Susceptibility to Hepatic Tumorigenesis Promoted by Dietary Lipotoxicity. Cancers. 13(5):1110.

Navas-Pérez E*, Vicente-García C* Mirra S*, Burguera D, Fernàndez-Castillo N, Ferrán JL, López-Mayorga M, Alaiz-Noya M, Suárez-Pereira I, Antón-Galindo E, Ulloa F, Herrera-Úbeda C, Cuscó P, Falcón-Moya R, Rodríguez-Moreno A, D'Aniello S, Cormand B, Marfany G, Soriano E, Carrión ÁM, Carvajal JJ, Garcia-Fernàndez J. (2020). A transposon domestication shared by placental mammals with relevance to autism spectrum disorder. Genome Biology, 21(1):267.

Mirra S, Ulloa F, Gutierrez-Vallejo I, Martì E, Soriano E. (2016). Function of Armcx3 and Arm10/SVH genes in the regulation of progenitor proliferation and neural differentiation in the chicken spinal cord. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 10,47.

Barbosa DJ*, Serrat R*, Mirra S, Quevedo M, Gómez de Barreda E, Avila J, Fernandes E, Bastos Mde L, Capela JP, Carvalho F, Soriano E. (2014) MDMA impairs mitochondrial neuronal trafficking in a Tau- and Mitofusin2/Drp1-dependent manner. Archives of Toxicology, 88-8, pp.1561-1572.

Serrat R*, Mirra S*, Figueiro-Silva J, Navas-Pérez E, Quevedo M, López-Doménech G, Podlesniy P, Ulloa F, Garcia-Fernàndez J, Trullas R, Soriano E. (2014). The Armc10/SVH gene: genome context, regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and protection against Abeta-induced mitochondrial fragmentation. Cell Death and Disease, 5(4):e1163.

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