Keck School Faculty

Biagio Saitta
Biagio Saitta
Associate Professor of Research Medicine
MMR 518/528 1333 San Pablo Street Off Campus Los Angeles
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.

Mapping molecular landmarks of human skeletal ontogeny and pluripotent stem cell-derived articular chondrocytes Nat Commun. 2018 Sep 07; 9(1):3634. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

Potential of human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells to heal damaged corneal endothelium Mol Vis. 2012; 18:547-64. . View in PubMed

Self-assembled matrix by umbilical cord stem cells J Funct Biomater. 2011 Sep 01; 2(3):213-29. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

Inhibition of collagen gene expression in systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts by mithramycinAnn. Rheum. Dis. 2005; (64):1685-1691. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

Physical mapping of mouse collagen genes on chromosome 10 by high-resolution FISH Mamm Genome. 2001 May; 12(5):340-6. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

A novel de novo mutation in the triple helix of the COL6A3 gene in a two-generation Italian family affected by Bethlem myopathyA diagnostic approach in the mutations' screening of type VI collagen. Neuromuscul Disord. 1999 Jun; 9(4):264-71. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

B-MYB transactivates its own promoter through SP1-binding sites Oncogene. 1999 Feb 11; 18(6):1333-9. . View in PubMed

Identification of a polymorphic CA repeat in the COL6A2 gene on human chromosome 21q223. Hum Hered. 1996 Jul-Aug; 46(4):239-40. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

Head to tail organization of the human COL6A1 and COL6A2 genes by fiber-FISH Genomics. 1995 Oct 10; 29(3):801-3. . View in PubMed

Two promoters control the transcription of the human alpha 2(VI) collagen gene Eur J Biochem. 1994 Jul 15; 223(2):675-82. . View in PubMed

Human alpha 2(VI) collagen geneHeterogeneity at the 5'-untranslated region generated by an alternate exon. J Biol Chem. 1992 Mar 25; 267(9):6188-96. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

Human nidogen gene: structural and functional characterization of the 5'-flanking region J Invest Dermatol. 1991 Aug; 97(2):281-5. . View in PubMed

Human alpha 3(VI) collagen geneCharacterization 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. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

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. . View in PubMed

Isolation of a putative collagen-like gene from the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 Feb 15; 158(3):633-9. . View in PubMed

alpha alpha alpha anti-42 Haplotype and heterozygous beta null thalassemia in a Sicilian family. Hum Genet. 1985; 70(4):318-20. . View in PubMed

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