Alessandro Esposito

Affiliated Researcher

Research Lines



+39 010 5558 357



2019: PhD in “Neuroscience and Brain Technologies” at Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genoa, Italy.

2014: Master's degree in Neurobiology  at the Sapienza University of  Rome, Italy.

2010: Bachelor’s degree in General and Applied Biology  at the University of  Naples “Federico II”, Italy.

2004: High School Diploma  at Liceo Scientifico statale of Naples “Vincenzo Cuoco”, Italy.



March 2019-present: Laboratory activities at the Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Genoa, Italy, under the supervision of Dr Silvia Giovedi  . Projects title: “The neuronal protein APache is implicated in synaptic vesicle and autophagosome trafficking”.

November 2015-February 2019 : Laboratory activities at the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genoa, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Fabio Benfenati and Prof.Anna Fassio. Projects title: “Lysosomal dysfunction in epileptic encephalopathy”; “Vacuolar ATPase and synaptic homeostasis: a new pathway for neurodevelopmental disorders”; “Dmxl2 and epilepsy.

July 2014-October 2015: Laboratory activities at the at the Department of Neuroscience and Brain Techologies, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Genoa, Italy, under the supervision of Dr. Evelina Chieregatti. Project title: “ Effect of extracellular alpha-synuclein on the morphology, connectivity and synaptic efficiency of neurons in culture and brain slices”

March 2014-June 2014: Laboratory activities at the Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources (IBBR-CNR), Naples, Italy, under the supervision of Dr. Elia Di Schiavi. Project title: “Study the role of tcab-1 genes in the survival and functionality of Cholinergic Motor Neurons of  the animal model Caenorhabditis elegans”

March 2013-March 2014: Experimental thesis in Neurobiology at the Institute of Genetics and Biophysics (IGB-CNR), Naples, Italy, under the supervision of Dr. Elia Di Schiavi. Project title: “Study and characterization of genetic and/or physical interactors o smn-1 gene in a model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy set in Caenorhabditis elegans”

February 2010-May 2010: Experimental thesis in Cytology and Histology at the Departement of Biology, University of  Naples “Federico II”, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Gaetano Odierna. Project title: “Characterization of family of satellite DNA in Patella intermedia (Mollusca, Gasteropoda)



  • Lysosomal functional assay: Lysotracker and Lysosensor assay, cathepsin D activity assay, EGF-induced degradation of EGF receptors assay, degradation of ectopically introduced dextran, subcellular fractionation of cultured cell lines, lentiviral production, DNA estraction and purification, mouse genotyping, agarose gel electrophoresis, mouse brain slices dissection and ex-vivo treatment, purification and analysis of complex protein samples by SDS PAGE and western blot, lipid rafts isolation with sucrose gradient, surface biotinylation of cell membranes, proteins pulldown, co-immunoprecipitation, handling of small laboratory animals, immunofluorescence, dissection, plating, and maintenance of mouse embryonic cortical and hippocampal neurons, neurons live imaging (FRAP, vesicles tracking), acquisition and analysis of images from immunostained neurons or brain slices with confocal microscope, lentiviral production, C. elegans techniques: maintaining, cleaning and freezing worms, performing genetic crosses, PCR and fusion PCR, RNA interference (neuron specific RNAi and systemic RNAi), generation of transgenic lines by microinjection, mutants genotyping, behavioral analysis, epifluorescence and DIC microscopy for morphological analysis of C. elegans neurons.


Current projects:

- Vacuolar ATPase and synaptic homeostasis: a new pathway for neurodevelopmental disorders



 - Characterization of new genes involved in childhood epileptic encephalopathy 


Selected Publications


-Nature Communications (2015 Jul 22)

HDAC6 and RhoA are novel players in Abeta-driven disruption of neuronal polarity.

Hanako Tsushima, Marco Emanuele, Alice Polenghi, Esposito Alessandro, Massimo Vassalli, Andrea Barberis, Francesco Difato, and Evelina Chieregatti

-EBioMedicine (2016 May 7)

Exogenous Alpha-Synuclein Alters Pre- and Post-Synaptic Activity by Fragmenting Lipid Rafts.

 Emanuele Marco, Esposito Alessandro, Camerini Serena, Antonucci Flavia, Ferrara Silvia, Seghezza Silvia, Catelani Tiziano, Crescenzi Marco, Marotta Roberto, Canale Claudio, Matteoli Michela, Menna Elisabetta, Chieregatti Evelina.

-Hum Mol Genet. (2016 Jun 15)

Neuron-specific knock-down of SMN1 causes neuron degeneration and death through an apoptotic mechanism.

 Ivan Gallotta, Nadia Mazzarella, Alessandra Donato, Alessandro Esposito, Justin C. Chaplin, Silvana Castro, Giuseppina Zampi, Giorgio S. Battaglia, Massimo A. Hilliard, Paolo Bazzicalupo, Elia Di Schiavi.

 -Neurobiology of disease (2017 May 11)

WDR79/TCAB1 plays a conserved role in the control of locomotion and ameliorates phenotypic defects in SMA models.

Esposito Alessandro+, Di Giorgio Maria Luisa+, Maccallini Paolo+, Micheli Emanuela, Bavasso Francesca, Gallotta Ivan,Vernì Fiammetta, Feiguin Fabian, Cacchione Stefano, McCabe Brian D, Di Schiavi Elia, Raffa Grazia Daniela.

-The Journal of neuroscience (2018 January 18)


 Leo D, Sukhanov I, Zoratto F, Illiano P, Caffino L, Sanna F, Messa G, Emanuele M, Esposito A, Dorofeikova M, Budygin EA, Mus L, Efimova EE, Niello M, Espinoza S, Sotnikova TD, Hoener MC, Laviola G, Fumagalli F, Adriani W, Gainetdinov RR.

-Brain (2018 April 13)

De novo mutations of the ATP6V1A gene cause developmental encephalopathy with epilepsy

 Alessandro Esposito*, Anna Fassio*, Mitsuhiro Kato, Hirotomo Saitsu, Davide Mei, Carla Marini, Valerio Conti, Mitsuko Nakashima, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Akgun Olmez Turker, Burcu Albuz, C. Nur Semerci Gündüz, Keiko Yanagihara, Elisa Belmonte, Luca Maragliano, Keri Ramsey, Chris Balak, Ashley Siniard, Vinodh Narayanan, Keri Ramsey, Chris Balak, Ashley Siniard, Chihiro Ohba, Masaaki Shiina, Kazuhiro Ogata, Naomichi Matsumoto, Fabio Benfenati, and Renzo Guerrini

-Brain (2019 November 5)

Biallelic DMXL2 mutations impair autophagy and cause Ohtahara syndrome with progressive course

Alessandro Esposito*, Antonio Falace*, Matias Wagner*, Moran Gal*, Davide Me*i, Valerio Conti, Tiziana Pisano, Davide Aprile, Maria Sabina Cerullo, Antonio De Fusco, Silvia Giovedì, Annette Seibt, Daniella Magen, Tilman Polster, Ayelet Eran, Sarah L Stenton, Chiara Fiorillo, Sarit Ravid, Ertan Mayatepek, Hava Hafner, Saskia Wortmann, Erez Y Levanon, Carla Marini, Hanna Mandel, Fabio Benfenati, Felix Distelmaier, Anna Fassio, Renzo Guerrini

-Eur J Paediatr Neurol. (2019 Dec 12)

Lesional and non-lesional epilepsies: A blurring genetic boundary

Guerrini R, Parrini E, Esposito A, Fassio A, Conti V.