Coccetti Paola, PhD

Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Paola Coccetti - BtBs -UNIMIB


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

lab 3011, building U3, tel. +39 02 6448 3513

Budding yeast, metabolism, cell cycle, aging, signaling, nutrients, functional food.

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

Research group

Milanesi Riccardo – PhD Student
lab 5011, building U3, tel. +39 02 6448 3513,

Sara Bonetti - Master student
lab 5011/5013, building U3, tel. +39 02 6448 3513/3521,

Research interest

Mechanisms regulating metabolism, signaling and cycle cycle; the role of nutrition to prevent diseases; how functional foods 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

2019-2022: 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)

Selected publications

-Milanesi R, Tripodi F, Vertemara J, Renata Tisi R, Coccetti P*. AMPK phosphorylation is controlled by glucose transport rate in a PKA-independent manner. (2021) Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(17), 9483;

-Conti M.V, Guzzetti L, Panzeri D, De Giuseppe R, Coccetti P, Labra M, Cena H. Bioactive compounds in legumes: Implications for sustainable nutrition and health in the elderly population. (2021) Trends in Food Science & Technology, In press. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2021.02.072.

-Tripodi F, Badone B, Vescovi M, Milanesi R, Nonnis S, Maffioli E, Bonanomi M, Gaglio D, Tedeschi G, Coccetti P*. Methionine supplementation affects metabolism and reduces tumor aggressiveness in liver cancer cells. (2020) Cells 9, 2491; doi:10.3390/cells9112491.

-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.

-Tripodi F, Fraschini R, Zocchi M, Reghellin V, Coccetti P*. Snf1/AMPK is involved in the mitotic spindle alignment in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (2018) Sci Rep. 8(1):5853. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24252-y.

-Tanvi Shekhar-Guturja, G. M. Kamal B. Gunaherath, E. M. Kithsiri Wijeratne, Jean-Philippe Lambert, Anna F. Averette, Soo Chan Lee, Taeyup Kim, Yong-Sun Bahn, Farida Tripodi, Ron Ammar, Katja Döhl, Karolina Niewola-Staszkowska, Lutz Schmitt, Robbie J. Loewith, Frederick P. Roth, Dominique Sanglard, David Andes, Corey Nislow, Coccetti P., Anne-Claude Gingras, Joseph Heitman, A. A. Leslie Gunatilaka, and Leah E. Cowen. Dual action antifungal small molecule modulates multidrug efflux and TOR signaling. (2016) Nat Chem Biol 12(10):867-75.

* corresponding author

International and national collaborations

-Dr. Luigi Russo, Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, CNR, Avellino, Italy.

-Dr. Stefania Sarno, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Italy.

-Dr. Roberto Pagliarin, Dipartimento di Chimica Organica e Industriale, Università di Milano, UNIMI. Italy

-Dr. Elia Di Schiavi, Institute of Biosciences and BioResources, CNR, Napoli, Italy.

-Prof. Rosa Maria Moresco, PET and Nuclear Medicine Unit, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

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

-Prof.ssa Nadia Canu, University of Rome “TorVergata”, Rome, Italy.

-Prof.ssa Barbara Campanini, University of Parma, Italy

Coccetti’s Lab – #CoccettiLab_BtBs
last update September 2021