Faculty : Departmental- Primary

Susana G. Rossi, Ph.D.

Our major research efforts focus on the biogenesis, sorting and regulation of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) using a wide variety of cellular and molecular approaches. AChE is an essential component of the neuromuscular junction and cholinergic synapses in the central and peripheral nervous systems where it is responsible for terminating neurotransmission by rapidly hydrolysing the acetylcholine released.

The expression of AChE in nerves and muscles is regulated by cellular activity, such as the frequency of membrane depolarization, and by signals from pre-synaptic cells. The specific signalling pathways involved, however, are still poorly defined. We have used primary cultures of quail muscles cells to study the regulation of AChE because they organize the enzyme on their surface in the form of clusters associated with several extracellular matrix components where the specific binding sites are the same as at adult neuromuscular junctions. Our studies so far suggest that multiple signalling pathways are involved in regulating AChE activity in skeletal muscle.

Select Publications

  • Marrero, E., Rossi, S.G., Darr, A., Tsoulfas, P., and Rotundo, R.L. Translational regulation of acetylcholinesterase by the RNA-binding protein pumilio-2 at the neuromuscular synapse. J. Biol. Chem. (2011) [Epub ahead of print]
  • Wenz, T., Rossi, S.G., Rotundo, R.L., Spiegelman, B., and Moraes, C. Increased Muscle PGC-1a Expression Protects from Sarcopenia and Metabolica Disease During Aging. PNAS, 106:20405-20410 (2009).
  • Rotundo, R.L., Ruiz, C.A., Marrero, E., Rossi, S.G., Rosenberry, T., Darr, A., and Tsoulfas, P., Assembly and Regulation of Acetylcholinesterase at the Vertebrate Neuromuscular Junction. Chem. Biol. Interact. 175:26-9 (2008).
  • Rotundo, R.L., Rossi, S.G., Kimbell, L.M., Ruiz, C., and Marrero, E. Targeting Acetylcholinesterase to the Neuromuscular Synapse. Chem. Biol. Interact. 157-158:15-21 (2005).
  • Rossi, S.G., Dickerson, I., and Rotundo, R.L. Localization of CGRP Receptor Complex at the Vertebrate Neuromuscular Junction and its Role in Regulating Acetylcholinesterase Expression. J Biol Chem, 278:24994-25000 (2003).
  • Arikawa-Hirasawa, E., Rossi, S.G., Rotundo, R.L., and Yamada, Y. Absence of Acetylcholinesterase at the Neuromuscular Junctions of Perlecan-Null Mice. Nat. Neurosc., 5: 119-123 (2002).
  • Jacobson, C., Cote, P., Rossi, S.G., Rotundo, R.L., and Carbonetto, S. The Dystroglycan Complex is Necessary for Stabilization of Acetylcholine Receptor Clusters at Neuromuscular Junctions and Formation of the Synaptic Basement Membrane. J. Cell Biol., 152: 435-450 (2001).
  • Adams, M.E., Kramarcy, N., Krall, S.P., Rossi, S.G., Rotundo, R.L., Sealock, R., and Froehner, S.C., Absence of a-Syntrophin Leads to Structurally Aberrant Neuromuscular Synapses Deficient in Utrophin. J. Cell Biol. 150: 1385-1398 (2000).
  • Rossi, S.G., Vazquez, A.E., and Rotundo, R.L., Local Control of Acetylcholinesterase Gene Expression in Multinucleated Skeletal Muscle Fibers. J. Neurosci. 20: 919-928 (2000).
  • Peng, H.B., Xie, H., Rossi, S.G., and Rotundo, R.L. Acetylcholinesterase Clustering at the Neuromuscular Junction Involves Perlecan and Dystroglycan. J. Cell Biol. 145: 911-921 (1999).
  • Rotundo, R.L., Rossi, S.G., and Peng, H.B. Targeting Acetylcholinesterase Molecules to the Neuromuscular Synapse. J. Physiol. Paris 92: 195-198 (1998).

View published research articles by Dr. S.G. Rossi in the National Library of Medicine.