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Zoratti Mario

Research associate
c/o Complesso Biologico Interdipartimentale
A. Vallisneri
Viale Giuseppe Colombo 3
35121 Padova
Tel 049-8276054
Fax 049-8276040


Chemistry and Biology
of natural compounds

Lab Site

Curriculum Vitae
Birth: May 6, 1950, at Ragogna (UD), Italy

Research Director, Italian National Research Council (CNR)

06/1979: Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, USA)
10/1974: Laurea in Industrial Chemistry (cum laude, University of Padova)

06/2015: mandatory retirement; association to the Institute of Neuroscience
2008-present: Head of the Padova section of the CNR Institute of Neuroscience
02/2013-06/2014: Acting Director, CNR Institute of Neuroscience
07/2006-06/2015: Research Director, CNR
07/1997-06/2006: “Primo Ricercatore”, CNR
04/1982-06/1997: Researcher, CNR
05/1980-04/1982: Contract Researcher, CNR

2002-2009: member of the Advisory Committee of the Institute of Neuroscience
1985-2002: member of the Scientific Council of the CNR Center for Biomembranes
1988-92, 2000-02: in the Council of the Italian Group for Biomembranes and Bioenergetics
2001-2003: Contract Professor in Cellular Biochemistry, University of Padova
1997-2001: Contract Professor in Cellular Biochemistry, University of Bologna
1989, 1993: Short-term lecturer at the University of Paris XI
08/1985-02/1986: Visiting scientist (University of California, Irvine, USA)
06/1979-04/1980: Post-doc (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA)

Bibliometric data (as of Feb. 1, 2016)

Total papers in journals with IF: 118 (first/last/corr. author in: 72)
Total IF: 561
Total citations: 6960 (without self-citations: 6400) (Web of Knowl.); 7780 (Google Scholar)
Other papers (book chapters, extended proceedings etc.): 14 (f./l./c. au. in: 12)
Communications at congresses: >160
H factor: ISI Web of Knowl.: 38; Google scholar: 41; VIA Academy: 43. 

Research summary

Dr Zoratti was educated as an organic chemist, receiving a Ph.D. from the University of California in this field. In 1980 he was recruited by the then Center for Mitochondrial Physiology of the CNR, in Padova.
His group has made significant contributions in the fields of mitochondrial and prokaryotic physiology, discovering and characterizing from the biophysical and functional points of view various channels in the membranes of these organelles/cells. Dr. Zoratti organized and coordinated an EEC-financed European project dealing with these topics (1990-93).
His interest in this research area continues; he has lately focused on the role of these channels in cancer. He then investigated the role of pores in the transport of macromolecules (proteins, DNA) across biomembranes and the mechanism of action of the ulcer-causing H.pyloritoxin, VacA.
The discovery that polyphenols block the VacA channels led to Dr. Zoratti's current interest in polyphenols. An appreciation of the biomedical potential of these natural compounds and of the obstacles posed by their poor absorption and rapid metabolism led to his currently main project, which uses their chemical elaboration to reduce the obstacles to their pharmacological exploitation and seeks to identify the molecular mechanisms accounting for their biological effects.

20 selected publications 

Szabo I, Zoratti M.
Mitochondrial channels: ion fluxes and more.Physiol Rev. 94:519-608 (2014).

Biasutto L, Zoratti M.
Prodrugs of Quercetin and Resveratrol: A Strategy under Development. Curr Drug Metab. 15:77-95 (2014).

Leanza L, Trentin L, Becker KA, Frezzato F, Zoratti M, Semenzato G, Gulbins E, Szabo I.
Clofazimine, Psora-4 and PAP-1, inhibitors of the potassium channel Kv1.3, as a new and selective therapeutic strategy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Leukemia 27:1782-5 (2013).

Leanza L, Henry B, Sassi N, Zoratti M, Chandy KG, Gulbins E, Szabò I.
Inhibitors of mitochondrial Kv1.3 channels induce Bax/Bak-independent death of cancer cells.EMBO Mol Med. 4:577-93 (2012).

Biasutto L, Szabo' I, Zoratti M.
Mitochondrial effects of plant-made compounds. Antioxid Redox Signal. 15:3039-59 (2011).

Biasutto L, Dong LF, Zoratti M, Neuzil J.
Mitochondrially targeted anti-cancer agents.Mitochondrion 10:670-81 (2010).

De Marchi U, Sassi N, Fioretti B, Catacuzzeno L, Cereghetti GM, Szabò I, Zoratti M.
Intermediate conductance Ca2+-activated potassium channel (KCa3.1) in the inner mitochondrial membrane of human colon cancer cells. Cell Calcium 45:509-16 (2009).

Mattarei A, Biasutto L, Marotta E, De Marchi U, Sassi N, Garbisa S, Zoratti M, Paradisi C.
A mitochondriotropic derivative of quercetin: a strategy to increase the effectiveness of polyphenols. Chembiochem 9:2633-42 (2008).

Szabó I, Bock J, Grassmé H, Soddemann M, Wilker B, Lang F, Zoratti M, Gulbins E.
Mitochondrial potassium channel Kv1.3 mediates Bax-induced apoptosis in lymphocytes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105:14861-6 (2008).

Biasutto L, Marotta E, De Marchi U, Zoratti M, Paradisi C.
Ester-based precursors to increase the bioavailability of quercetin. J Med Chem. 50:241-53 (2007).

Szabò I, Brutsche S, Tombola F, Moschioni M, Satin B, Telford JL, Rappuoli R, Montecucco C, Papini E, Zoratti M.
Formation of anion-selective channels in the cell plasma membrane by the toxin VacA of Helicobacter pylori is required for its biological activity. EMBO J. 18:5517-27 (1999).

Tombola F, Carlesso C, Szabò I, de Bernard M, Reyrat JM, Telford JL, Rappuoli R, Montecucco C, Papini E, Zoratti M.
Helicobacter pylori vacuolating toxin forms anion-selective channels in planar lipid bilayers: possible implications for the mechanism of cellular vacuolation.Biophys J. 76:1401-9 (1999).

Zoratti M, Szabò I.
The mitochondrial permeability transition.Biochim Biophys Acta. 1241:139-76 (1995).

Szabó I, Petronilli V, Zoratti M.
A patch-clamp study of Bacillus subtilis. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1112:29-38 (1992).

Szabó I, Zoratti M.
The mitochondrial megachannel is the permeability transition pore. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 24:111-7 (1992).

Szabó I, Zoratti M.
The giant channel of the inner mitochondrial membrane is inhibited by cyclosporin A. J Biol Chem. 266:3376-9 (1991).

Petronilli V, Szabò I, Zoratti M.
The inner mitochondrial membrane contains ion-conducting channels similar to those found in bacteria. FEBS Lett. 259:137-43 (1989).

Zoratti M, Petronilli V.
Ion-conducting channels in a gram-positive bacterium. FEBS Lett. 240:105-9 (1988).

Zoratti M, Bunnett JF
The mechanism of non-aryne hydroxydehalogenation of unactivated aryl halides. J Org Chem. 45:1769-76 (1980).