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Antonino Colanzi

Research Focus : The Golgi Mitotic Checkpoint

Mechanisms and regulation of Golgi fragmentation and mitotic progression in health and disease. The general aim of our research group is to define the mechanisms and regulation behind the mitotic inheritance of intracellular organelles, with a particular attention to those involving the partitioning of the Golgi complex. This addresses a basic cell biology problem since the cellular functions in eukaryotic cells are compartmentalized and organized into membrane-bound organelles and, therefore, their correct partitioning between daughter cells during mitosis is essential for the correct maintenance of cell function.The Golgi complex has a crucial role in the processing, sorting and transport of newly synthesized proteins and lipids. In mammalian cells, the Golgi complex is organized as a continuous membranous system, known as the “Golgi ribbon”, composed of stacks that are interconnected by tubules.The mitotic inheritance of this organelle involves the progressive and reversible disassembly of the ribbon into dispersed fragments, a process that occurs following a set of distinct, consecutive steps each involving a specific aspect of cell division.The first step of Golgi fragmentation occurs during G2 and consists of the cleavage of the tubular membranes that interconnect the Golgi stacks into a ribbon structure. The fragmentation of the Golgi ribbon into isolated stacks and small groups of stacks allows the equal distribution of Golgi membranes into the dividing cells. Importantly, ribbon cleavage is a process essential for entry into mitosis since its inhibition induces a potent and prolonged cell cycle arrest in G2 by blocking the centrosomal recruitment and activation of the kinase Aurora-A. These findings have suggested the existence of a novel checkpoint that senses the integrity of the Golgi complex, the “Golgi checkpoint”.The specific research interest of our group is focused on the definition of the molecular mechanisms governing the mitotic inheritance of the Golgi complex and the definition of the signaling pathway at the basis of the Golgi checkpoint. These studies have the potential to lead to the identification of novel proteins/mechanisms that are involved in the overall maintenance of the function and structure of the Golgi complex and in cell cycle regulation, ultimately leading to potential targets for therapeutic intervention in cancer proliferation.

Curriculum Vitae


  • 1994    Specialist in Biomedical Research, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Chieti, Italy
  • 1988    MsSc in Biological Sciences, Università degli studi de L’Aquila, Italy,

Scientific Biography

  • 2011- today Researcher, Institute of Protein Biochemistry, National Research Council, Naples, Italy,
  • 2009-2011 Investigator, Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Naples, Italy,
  • 2005-2009 Chief of the Organelle Inheritance Research Unit, Department of Cell Biology and Oncology, 
    Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Chieti, Italy, 
  • 1999-2003 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, San  Diego, California, USA,
  • 1998-1999 Staff Scientist, Department of Cell Biology and Oncology, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Chieti, Italy, 
  • 1991–1997 Postgraduate Fellow, Department of Cell Biology and Oncology, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Chieti, Italy,
  • 1991–1994 Specialty School in Biomedical Research, Department of Cell Biology and Oncology, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, S. Maria Imbaro, Chieti, Italy, 
  • 1988-1991 Postgraduate Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Università degli studi de L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy,  

Selected Publications (10)

  1. Barretta ML, Spano D, D'Ambrosio C, Cervigni RI, Scaloni A, Corda D, Colanzi A (2016).  
    “Aurora-A recruitment and centrosomal maturation are regulated by a Golgi-activated pool of Src during G2”.
    Nat Commun. ; 7:11727.  PMID: 27242098.

  2. Cervigni RI, Bonavita R, Barretta ML, Spano D, Ayala I, Nakamura N, Corda D, Colanzi A (2015).
    “JNK2 controls fragmentation of the Golgi complex and the G2/M transition through phosphorylation of GRASP65”.
    J Cell Sci;128(12):2249-60. PMID: 25948586.
  3. Bonavita R, Walas D, Brown AK, Luini A, Stephens DJ, Colanzi A (2014).
    “Cep126 is required for pericentriolar satellite localisation to the centrosome and for primary cilium formation”.
    Biol Cell;106(8):254-67.PMID: 24867236.

  4. Colanzi A, Grimaldi G, Catara G, Valente C, Cericola C, Liberali P, Ronci M, Lalioti VS, Bruno A, Beccari AR, Urbani A, De Flora A, Nardini M, Bolognesi M, Luini A, Corda D (2013).
    “Molecular mechanism and functional role of brefeldin A-mediated ADP-ribosylation of CtBP1/BARS”.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A;110(24):9794-9. PMID: 23716697 

  5. Persico A, Cervigni RI, Barretta ML, Corda D, Colanzi A (2010).
    “Golgi partitioning controls mitotic entry through Aurora-A kinase”.
    Mol Biol Cell ;21(21):3708-21 PMID: 20844084.

  6. Colanzi A, Hidalgo Carcedo C, Persico A, Cericola C, Turacchio G, Bonazzi M, Luini A, Corda D (2007).
    “The Golgi mitotic checkpoint is controlled by BARS-dependent fission of the Golgi ribbon into separate stacks in G2”.
    EMBO J; 26(10):2465-76. PMID: 17431394.

  7. Hidalgo Carcedo C, Bonazzi M, Spanò S, Turacchio G, Colanzi A, Luini A, Corda  D (2004).
    “Mitotic Golgi partitioning is driven by the membrane-fissioning protein CtBP3/BARS”.
    Science;305(5680):93-6. PMID: 15232108.

  8. Colanzi A, Sutterlin C, Malhotra V (2003).
    “RAF1-activated MEK1 is found on the Golgi  apparatus in late prophase and is required for Golgi complex fragmentation in mitosis.”
    J Cell Biol;161(1):27-32. PMID: 12695496.

  9. Liljedahl M, Maeda Y, Colanzi A, Ayala I, Van Lint J, Malhotra V (2001).
    “Protein kinase D regulates the fission of cell surface destined transport carriers from the trans-Golgi network”.
    Cell;104(3):409-20. PMID: 11239398.

  10. Colanzi A, Deerinck TJ, Ellisman MH, Malhotra V (2000).
    “A specific activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1 (MEK1) is required for Golgi fragmentation during mitosis.”J Cell Biol;149(2):331-9. PMID:10769026