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Biagio Saitta

TitleAssociate Professor of Research Medicine
InstitutionUniversity of Southern California
DepartmentMedicine
AddressMMR 518/528 1333 San Pablo Street
Off Campus
Los Angeles CA 90033
Phone+1 323 442 3800
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    Dr. Saitta is a molecular and stem cell biologist who studies regulation of extracellular matrix genes during cartilage and bone development. His recent studies explore the impact of the kidney’s metabolic pathways on the development and maintenance of bone. His projects and collaborations combine work in basic gene regulation and in regenerative medicine, which includes work with human stem cells. He is studying their common biochemical and signaling pathways toward translational applications for therapies of human disorders involving kidney and bone.

    Dr. Saitta earned his PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Messina, followed by fellowships in Molecular Pharmacology at the Mario Negri Institute in Milano and in Developmental and Molecular Biology at the Institute of the Council of National Research (CNR) in Palermo, Italy. He was a postdoctoral fellow and junior faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia studying the transcriptional regulation of collagen genes. He then joined the Coriell Institute for Medical Research as an Associate Professor at UMDNJ, to develop a research program utilizing mesenchymal stem cells isolated from neonatal cord blood. Afterwards Dr. Saitta relocated to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as a Research Adj. Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA, and there he developed a novel in vitro model of chondrogenesis using human induced pluripotent stem cells generated from reprogrammed cells of patients with skeletal dysplasia. Dr. Saitta joined the University of Southern California in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Broad CIRM Center as a Research Scientist studying the maintenance of the articular cartilage phenotype using human embryonic stem cells. He began collaborative efforts with the USC/UKRO Kidney Research Center and joined the group as Associate Professor of Research Medicine in November, 2017.


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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Saitta B, Passarini J, Sareen D, Ornelas L, Sahabian A, Argade S, Krakow D, Cohn DH, Svendsen CN, Rimoin DL. Patient-derived skeletal dysplasia induced pluripotent stem cells display abnormal chondrogenic marker expression and regulation by BMP2 and TGFß1. Stem Cells Dev. 2014 Jul 01; 23(13):1464-78. PMID: 24559391; PMCID: PMC4066255.
    2. Anderson DG, Markova D, An HS, Chee A, Enomoto-Iwamoto M, Markov V, Saitta B, Shi P, Gupta C, Zhang Y. Human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells in the cultured rabbit intervertebral disc: a novel cell source for disc repair. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 May; 92(5):420-9. PMID: 23598901; PMCID: PMC4238943.
    3. Joyce NC, Harris DL, Markov V, Zhang Z, Saitta B. Potential of human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells to heal damaged corneal endothelium. Mol Vis. 2012; 18:547-64. PMID: 22419848; PMCID: PMC3298421.
    4. Karamichos D, Rich CB, Hutcheon AE, Ren R, Saitta B, Trinkaus-Randall V, Zieske JD. Self-assembled matrix by umbilical cord stem cells. J Funct Biomater. 2011 Sep 01; 2(3):213-29. PMID: 24956304; PMCID: PMC4030936.
    5. William DA, Saitta B, Gibson JD, Traas J, Markov V, Gonzalez DM, Sewell W, Anderson DM, Pratt SC, Rappaport EF, Kusumi K. Identification of oscillatory genes in somitogenesis from functional genomic analysis of a human mesenchymal stem cell model. Dev Biol. 2007 May 01; 305(1):172-86. PMID: 17362910; PMCID: PMC1899184.
    6. Markov V, Kusumi K, Tadesse MG, William DA, Hall DM, Lounev V, Carlton A, Leonard J, Cohen RI, Rappaport EF, Saitta B. Identification of cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cell populations with distinct growth kinetics, differentiation potentials, and gene expression profiles. Stem Cells Dev. 2007 Feb; 16(1):53-73. PMID: 17348805.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Sandorfi N, Louneva N, Hitraya E, Hajnoczky G, Saitta B, Jimenez S.Inhibition of collagen gene expression in systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts by mithramycin. Ann. Rheum. Dis. 2005; (64):1685-1691.
    8. Cicchillitti L, Jimenez SA, Sala A, Saitta B. B-Myb acts as a repressor of human COL1A1 collagen gene expression by interacting with Sp1 and CBF factors in scleroderma fibroblasts. Biochem J. 2004 Mar 01; 378(Pt 2):609-16. PMID: 14613485; PMCID: PMC1223966.
    9. Louneva N, Saitta B, Herrick DJ, Jimenez SA. Transcriptional inhibition of type I collagen gene expression in scleroderma fibroblasts by the antineoplastic drug ecteinascidin 743. J Biol Chem. 2003 Oct 10; 278(41):40400-7. PMID: 12881530.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Jimenez SA, Gaidarova S, Saitta B, Sandorfi N, Herrich DJ, Rosenbloom JC, Kucich U, Abrams WR, Rosenbloom J. Role of protein kinase C-delta in the regulation of collagen gene expression in scleroderma fibroblasts. J Clin Invest. 2001 Nov; 108(9):1395-403. PMID: 11696585.
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    11. Sallinen R, Latvanlehto A, Kvist AP, Rehn M, Eerola I, Chu ML, Bonaldo P, Saitta B, Bressan GM, Pihlajaniemi T, Vuorio E, Palotie A, Wessman M, Horelli-Kuitunen N. Physical mapping of mouse collagen genes on chromosome 10 by high-resolution FISH. Mamm Genome. 2001 May; 12(5):340-6. PMID: 11331940.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Saitta B, Gaidarova S, Cicchillitti L, Jimenez SA. CCAAT binding transcription factor binds and regulates human COL1A1 promoter activity in human dermal fibroblasts: demonstration of increased binding in systemic sclerosis fibroblasts. Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct; 43(10):2219-29. PMID: 11037881.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Rosenbloom J, Saitta B, Gaidarova S, Sandorfi N, Rosenbloom JC, Abrams WR, Hamilton AD, Sebti SM, Kucich U, Jimenez SA. Inhibition of type I collagen gene expression in normal and systemic sclerosis fibroblasts by a specific inhibitor of geranylgeranyl transferase I. Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Jul; 43(7):1624-32. PMID: 10902768.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Pepe G, Bertini E, Giusti B, Brunelli T, Comeglio P, Saitta B, Merlini L, Chu ML, Federici G, Abbate R. A novel de novo mutation in the triple helix of the COL6A3 gene in a two-generation Italian family affected by Bethlem myopathy. A diagnostic approach in the mutations' screening of type VI collagen. Neuromuscul Disord. 1999 Jun; 9(4):264-71. PMID: 10399756.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Pepe G, Giusti B, Bertini E, Brunelli T, Saitta B, Comeglio P, Bolognese A, Merlini L, Federici G, Abbate R, Chu ML. A heterozygous splice site mutation in COL6A1 leading to an in-frame deletion of the alpha1(VI) collagen chain in an italian family affected by bethlem myopathy. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 May 19; 258(3):802-7. PMID: 10329467.
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    16. Sala A, Saitta B, De Luca P, Cervellera MN, Casella I, Lewis RE, Watson R, Peschle C. B-MYB transactivates its own promoter through SP1-binding sites. Oncogene. 1999 Feb 11; 18(6):1333-9. PMID: 10022815.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Comeglio P, Saitta B, Pepe G, Chu ML. Identification of a polymorphic CA repeat in the COL6A2 gene on human chromosome 21q22.3. Hum Hered. 1996 Jul-Aug; 46(4):239-40. PMID: 8807328.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Gambino R, Salamone M, Alaimo MG, Saitta B, Ghersi G. Presence of different collagens and collagen mRNAs during embryogenesis and in adult tissues of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. J Submicrosc Cytol Pathol. 1996 Jan; 28(1):41-7. PMID: 8929625.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Saitta B, Chu ML. Characterization of the human alpha 1(VI) collagen promoter and its comparison with human alpha 2(VI) promoters. Eur J Biochem. 1995 Dec 01; 234(2):542-9. PMID: 8536701.
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    20. Heiskanen M, Saitta B, Palotie A, Chu ML. Head to tail organization of the human COL6A1 and COL6A2 genes by fiber-FISH. Genomics. 1995 Oct 10; 29(3):801-3. PMID: 8575781.
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    21. Saitta B, Chu ML. Two promoters control the transcription of the human alpha 2(VI) collagen gene. Eur J Biochem. 1994 Jul 15; 223(2):675-82. PMID: 8055937.
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    22. Saitta B, Timpl R, Chu ML. Human alpha 2(VI) collagen gene. Heterogeneity at the 5'-untranslated region generated by an alternate exon. J Biol Chem. 1992 Mar 25; 267(9):6188-96. PMID: 1556127.
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    23. Saitta B, Wang YM, Renkart L, Zhang RZ, Pan TC, Timpl R, Chu ML. The exon organization of the triple-helical coding regions of the human alpha 1(VI) and alpha 2(VI) collagen genes is highly similar. Genomics. 1991 Sep; 11(1):145-53. PMID: 1765372.
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    24. Dodge GR, Kovalszky I, McBride OW, Yi HF, Chu ML, Saitta B, Stokes DG, Iozzo RV. Human clathrin heavy chain (CLTC): partial molecular cloning, expression, and mapping of the gene to human chromosome 17q11-qter. Genomics. 1991 Sep; 11(1):174-8. PMID: 1765375.
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    25. Fazio MJ, O'Leary J, Kähäri VM, Chen YQ, Saitta B, Uitto J. Human nidogen gene: structural and functional characterization of the 5'-flanking region. J Invest Dermatol. 1991 Aug; 97(2):281-5. PMID: 1906509.
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    26. Stokes DG, Saitta B, Timpl R, Chu ML. Human alpha 3(VI) collagen gene. Characterization of exons coding for the amino-terminal globular domain and alternative splicing in normal and tumor cells. J Biol Chem. 1991 May 05; 266(13):8626-33. PMID: 2022673.
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    27. Saitta B, Stokes DG, Vissing H, Timpl R, Chu ML. Alternative splicing of the human alpha 2(VI) collagen gene generates multiple mRNA transcripts which predict three protein variants with distinct carboxyl termini. J Biol Chem. 1990 Apr 15; 265(11):6473-80. PMID: 1690728.
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    28. Fazio MJ, Kähäri VM, Bashir MM, Saitta B, Rosenbloom J, Uitto J. Regulation of elastin gene expression: evidence for functional promoter activity in the 5'-flanking region of the human gene. J Invest Dermatol. 1990 Feb; 94(2):191-6. PMID: 2299194.
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    29. Saitta B, Buttice G, Gambino R. Isolation of a putative collagen-like gene from the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 Feb 15; 158(3):633-9. PMID: 2537631.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Acuto S, Butticé G, Saitta B, Pirrone AM, Gambino R, Costa C, Giambona A, Lo Gioco P, Di Marzo R, Maggio A. alpha alpha alpha anti-4.2 Haplotype and heterozygous beta null thalassemia in a Sicilian family. Hum Genet. 1985; 70(4):318-20. PMID: 4018798.
      View in: PubMed
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