Coccetti Paola, PhD

Associate Professor of Biochemistry

Paola Coccetti - BtBs -UNIMIB


room 5013, building U3, tel.: +39 02 6448 3521

lab 5011, building U3, tel. +39 02 6448 3513

PubMed, ReserachGate, Scopus, ORCID


Budding yeast, metabolism, cell cycle, aging, signaling, nutrients, functional food, neurodegeneration, protein aggregation, systems biology

The activity is focused on the following research lines

Health research area BtBs UNIMIB

Aging Diseases, Cancer and Systems Biology

FOOD BtBs UNIMIB research area


Novel and Functional food and Phytoextract and natural bioactive compounds

Graphical Abstract

GA per sito BtBs Coccetti lab

The research activity concerns the study of the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell cycle, signal transduction and cell growth, with a focus on energetic metabolism and its dysfunctions linked to human diseases. The main topics of research are:
1) The effects of plant-derived bioactive compounds on aging and protein aggregation responsible for neurodegeneration.
2) Serine metabolism as sex-specific hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease and during astrocyte differentiation
3) The role of Snf1/AMPK in the regulation of metabolism and TORC1 pathway in response to nutrients.

Research group

Alessia Lambiase – PhD Student
lab 5011, building U3, tel. +39 02 6448 3513,

Hind Moukham - Research Fellow
lab 5011, building U3, tel. +39 02 6448 3513,

Vincenzo Pellegrino - Master student
lab 5011, building U3, tel. +39 02 6448 3513,

Stefano Rossi - Master student
lab 5011, building U3, tel. +39 02 6448 3513,

Research interest

Mechanisms regulating metabolism, signaling and cycle cycle; the role of nutrition to prevent diseases; how functional foods and bioactive compounds regulate the molecular pathways governing cellular aging and neurodegeneration.

Research areas

Coccetti’s research activity concerns the study of the molecular mechanisms which regulate signal transduction, cell cycle progression and metabolism by using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism of eukaryotic systems. In recent years, the study has focused mainly on the effects of specific amino acids on intracellular metabolism, mitochondrial functionality as well as cellular proliferation.

New drugs with anti-proliferative activity on colorectal cancer were also studied in the last few years. A series of novel synthesized molecules, deriving from resveratrol, were evaluated for G2/M cell cycle arrest and inhibition of tubulin polymerization. The antitumor and apoptotic activities were studied both in vitro cultures and in a mouse xenograft model of colorectal cancer, opening the route to a new class of potential therapeutic agents.

Currently, the research activity is focused on the study of the role of nutrition to prevent diseases and to reach a healthy aging. Since food has long been considered an important key to promoting well-being and preventing disease, this line of research is aimed at better understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie healthy nutrition. Specific legumes, fungi and purified bioactive components from these edible matrices are actually under study to investigate their effect on the specific pathways which regulate cellular aging and neurodegeneration both in unicellular and pluricellular organisms.

Research projects

-2023-present: Partecipant of the National Biodiversity Future Center, "NBFC", Financing of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Spoke 6, Biodiversity and human wellbeing). Title of the research activity: “Identification of bioactive molecules extracted from plants with anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties”.
-2023-present: Partecipant of the ONFOODS project (Research and innovation network on food and nutrition Sustainability, Safety and Security – Working ON Foods). Title of the project: “FOODSMALT” “new FOOD Supplements ingredients for MALnutrition Treatment” P10, PNRR.
-2019-present: Principal investigator of the research unit of Milano-Bicocca University within the PRIN 2017 project (2017H4J3AS_004, ERC LS1 sector, coordinator Prof. Loredano Pollegioni), title of the project: "Dissecting serine metabolism in the brain"(CUP: H45J19000470006).
-2017-2021: Scientific referent of metabolism unit within the MIUR project, coordinator Prof. Massimo Labra, title of the project: "Food Systems and Sustainable Development, creating synergies between international and African research and processes "(SASS, CUP: H42F16002450001).


Selected publications

-Caligaris M, Nicastro R, Hu Z, Tripodi F, Hummel JE, Pillet B, Deprez MA, Winderickx J, Rospert S, Coccetti P, Dengjel J, De Virgilio C. Snf1/AMPK fine-tunes TORC1 signaling in response to glucose starvation. Elife. 2023 12:e84319. doi: 10.7554/eLife.84319.

-Maffioli E, Murtas G, Rabattoni V, Badone B, Tripodi F, Iannuzzi F, Licastro D, Nonnis S, Rinaldi AM, Motta Z, Sacchi S, Canu N, Tedeschi G, Coccetti P*, Pollegioni, Loredano (2022). Insulin and serine metabolism as sex-specific hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease in the human hippocampus. Cell Rep. 2022 40(10):111271. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111271. *Co-corresponding author with Pollegioni L e Tedeschi G.

-Tripodi F, Lombardi L, Guzzetti L, Panzeri D, Milanesi R, Leri M, Bucciantini M, Cristina Angeloni C, Beghelli D, Hrelia S, Onorato G, Di Schiavi E, Falletta E, Nonnis S, Tedeschi G, Labra M, Coccetti P*. Protective effect of Vigna unguiculata extract against aging and neurodegeneration. (2020) Aging (Albany NY) doi: 10.18632/aging.104069.

-Nicastro R, Tripodi F, Gaggini M, Castoldi A, Reghellin V, Nonnis S, Tedeschi G, Coccetti P*. Snf1 Phosphorylates Adenylate Cyclase and Negatively Regulates Protein Kinase A-dependent Transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (2015) J Biol Chem. 290(41):24715-26.

*Corresponding author.


International and national collaborations

-Prof. Oriano Marin, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

-Prof. Gabriella Tedeschi, Department of Veterinary Medicine,University of Milano, UNIMI, Italy.

-Prof. Cristina Angeloni, School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Italy.

-Prof. Monica Bucciantini, Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Firenze, Italy.

-Prof. Hellas Cena, Laboratory of Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition, Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Italy.

-Prof. Loredano Pollegioni, Università degli Studi INSUBRIA Varese-Como, Italy.

-Dr. Milo Frattini, Institute of Pathology, Locarno, Switzerland.

-Prof. Jens Nielsen, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg , Sweden.

-Prof. Johan Thevelein, Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Botany and Microbiology, KU Leuven, Belgium.

-Prof. Leah Cowen, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto,Canada.

-Prof. Rajendra Prasad, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India.

-Prof.Claudio De Virgilio, Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland.

-Prof. Paula Ludovico, Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Medicine, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal.

Prof. Marina Cvijovic, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Coccetti’s Lab – #CoccettiLab_BtBs
last update April 2023