Alessandra Sacco, Ph.D.
Alessandra Sacco's Research Focus
Skeletal muscle wasting is a devastating pathology that occurs in several human conditions, including muscular dystrophies, aging, and HIV. There is currently no cure for it. Muscle stem cells offer great promise for future therapies, but their use is currently limited by our poor understanding of the regulatory mechanisms directing their behavior. We are interested in understanding how extrinsic and intrinsic factors regulate muscle stem cells in vivo. Current projects include:
- Developing stem cell-based strategies for treating muscle wasting diseases
- Understanding how aging affects the muscle stem cell compartment.
Alessandra Sacco's Bio
Alessandra Sacco completed her studies at La Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. In 2002, Dr. Sacco joined the laboratory of Prof. Helen M. Blau at Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow (2002-2009), where she studied cell fusion between hematopoietic cells and muscle cells, as a potential mechanism for tissue repair. Recently she defined strategies to isolate adult skeletal muscle stem cells and performed single cell transplantation experiments, providing the first definitive evidence that adult muscle stem cells are able to self-renew in vivo. She received research funding from Muscular Dystrophy Association (2006-2008). In 2010, Dr. Sacco was recruited as Assistant Professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys.
Substrate elasticity regulates skeletal muscle stem cell self-renewal in culture.
Gilbert PM, Havenstrite KL, Magnusson KE, Sacco A, Leonardi NA, Kraft P, Nguyen NK, Thrun S, Lutolf MP, Blau HM
Science 2010 Aug 27 ;329(5995):1078-81
Reprogramming towards pluripotency requires AID-dependent DNA demethylation.
Bhutani N, Brady JJ, Damian M, Sacco A, Corbel SY, Blau HM
Nature 2010 Feb 25 ;463(7284):1042-7
A home away from home: challenges and opportunities in engineering in vitro muscle satellite cell niches.
Cosgrove BD, Sacco A, Gilbert PM, Blau HM
Differentiation 2009 Sep-Oct ;78(2-3):185-94
Conserved transcription factors promote cell fate stability and restrict reprogramming potential in differentiated cells.
Missinato MA, Murphy S, Lynott M, Yu MS, Kervadec A, Chang YL, Kannan S, Loreti M, Lee C, Amatya P, Tanaka H, Huang CT, Puri PL, Kwon C, Adams PD, Qian L, Sacco A, Andersen P, Colas AR
Nat Commun 2023 Mar 27 ;14(1):1709
Muscle stem cells and fibro-adipogenic progenitors in female pelvic floor muscle regeneration following birth injury.
Sesillo FB, Rajesh V, Wong M, Duran P, Rudell JB, Rundio CP, Baynes BB, Laurent LC, Sacco A, Christman KL, Alperin M
NPJ Regen Med 2022 Dec 16 ;7(1):72
The jam session between muscle stem cells and the extracellular matrix in the tissue microenvironment.
Loreti M, Sacco A
NPJ Regen Med 2022 Feb 17 ;7(1):16
Pannexin 1 Regulates Skeletal Muscle Regeneration by Promoting Bleb-Based Myoblast Migration and Fusion Through a Novel Lipid Based Signaling Mechanism.
Suarez-Berumen K, Collins-Hooper H, Gromova A, Meech R, Sacco A, Dash PR, Mitchell R, Shestopalov VI, Woolley TE, Vaiyapuri S, Patel K, Makarenkova HP
Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 ;9:736813
The San Diego Nathan Shock Center: tackling the heterogeneity of aging.
Shadel GS, Adams PD, Berggren WT, Diedrich JK, Diffenderfer KE, Gage FH, Hah N, Hansen M, Hetzer MW, Molina AJA, Manor U, Marek K, O'Keefe DD, Pinto AFM, Sacco A, Sharpee TO, Shokriev MN, Zambetti S
Geroscience 2021 Oct ;43(5):2139-2148
Activation of skeletal muscle-resident glial cells upon nerve injury.
Proietti D, Giordani L, De Bardi M, D'Ercole C, Lozanoska-Ochser B, Amadio S, Volonté C, Marinelli S, Muchir A, Bouché M, Borsellino G, Sacco A, Puri PL, Madaro L
JCI Insight 2021 Apr 8 ;6(7)