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Dr Pia Ragno
Institute of Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology
Via Pansini, 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
Email: ragno@unina.it
Tel: +39-0817463309
Fax: +39-0817701016

I am Investigator at the “Institute of Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology”, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Naples, Italy. My research is focused on the role of the urokinase-mediated Plasminogen Activation (PA) system in tumor growth and metastasis.
Our studies elucidated the fate of complexes formed by urokinase (uPA) and its specific inhibitors, PAI1 and PAI2, upon binding the uPA receptor (uPAR), and characterized the expression and function of the PA components in thyroid tumors. More recent studies on the regulation of uPAR expression and function have shown that uPAR cleavage can regulate the multiple uPAR functions in cell adhesion and migration and that uPAR expression can be regulated at a post-transcriptional level, through a uPAR-mRNA binding protein. uPA is able both to cleave its receptor and to induce the synthesis and\or the activity of the uPAR-mRNA binding protein, thus regulating both the functions and the expression of its receptor. A high correlation of uPA, uPAR and uPAR-mRNA binding protein/s levels has been shown in lung carcinomas, thus suggesting a uPA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation of uPAR expression also “in vivo”.
P.Ragno, N.Montuori, B.Covelli, Gunilla Hoyer-Hansen, G. Rossi. Differential expression of a truncated form of the urokinase-type plasminogen-activator receptor in normal and tumor thyroid cells. Cancer Research, 58, 1315-1319, 1998.

N.Montuori, S. Salzano, G. Rossi, P.Ragno. Urokinase-type plasminogen activator up-regulates the expression of its cellular receptor. FEBS Letters, 476, 166-170, 2000.

N. Montuori, A. Mattiello, A. Mancini, M. Santoli, P.Taglialatela, M. Caputi, G. Rossi and P. Ragno. Urokinase-type plasminogen activator up-regulates the expression of its cellular receptor through a post-transcriptional mechanism. FEBS Letters, 508: 379-84, 2001.
N. Montuori, M.V. Carriero , S. Salzano , G. Rossi and P. Ragno. The cleavage of the urokinase receptor regulates its multiple functions. J Biol Chem., 277: 46932-9, 2002.
N. Montuori, A. Mattiello, A. Mancini, P. Taglialatela, M. Caputi, G. Rossi and P. Ragno. Urokinase-mediated post-transcriptional regulation of urokinase-receptor expression in non small cell lung carcinoma. Int. J. Cancer, 105: 353-360, 2003.

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