Santiago Di Pietro Professor

Office: Mrb 281

Phone: (970) 491-5302


  • Ph.D., University of Buenos Aires
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California at Los Angeles Medical School


This laboratory focuses on fundamental aspects of membrane protein transport. We are particularly interested in clathrin mediated endocytosis and transport pathways to lysosomes, melanosomes, platelet granules and other lysosome related organelles (LROs). The physiological significance of these pathways is manifold. The endocytic pathway is required for nutrient uptake, down-regulation of signal transduction events, antigen presentation, and virus internalization, while the biosynthetic pathways to lysosomes and LROs are critical for the biogenesis of these organelles. We have gained a solid expertise in the integrated use of biochemistry, biophysics, mammalian and yeast cell biology, and genetics. We are applying that experience to identify new components of the transport machinery protein network, to study novel mechanisms regulating clathrin coat formation, and to understand the link between the transport machinery and the actin cytoskeleton. Our work has implications not only in basic cell biology but also in deciphering the pathogenesis of diseases associated with defects in protein transport pathways.


Mechanism of platelet a-granule biogenesis: study of cargo transport and the VPS33B-VPS16B complex in a model systemAmbrosio A.L., Di Pietro S.M.Blood Advances 3(17): 2617-2626., 2019
The Sla1 adaptor-clathrin interaction regulates coat formation and progression of endocytosisTolsma T.O., Cuevas L.M., Di Pietro S.M. Traffic, 19:446-462, 2018
Novel function of a dynein light chain in actin assembly during clathrin mediated endocytosisFarrell K.B., McDonald S., Lamb A.K., Worcester C., Peersen O.B., Di Pietro S.M.The Journal of Cell Biology, 216:2565-2580, 2017
Storage pool diseases illuminate platelet dense granule biogenesisAmbrosio A.L., Di Pietro S.M.Platelets, 28:138-146, 2017
Reduce, reuse, recycle: a retrieval transport pathway for the membrane fusion machinery involved in melanosome biogenesisBultema J.J., Di Pietro S.M.Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 30:10-12, 2017
TPC2 controls pigmentation by regulating melanosome pH and sizeAmbrosio A.L., Boyle J.A., Aradi A., Christian K.A., Di Pietro S.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 113:5622-5627, 2016
TPC2 mediates new mechanisms of platelet dense granule membrane dynamics through regulation of Ca2+Ambrosio A.L., Boyle J.A., Di Pietro S.M.Mol. Biol. Cell. 26:3263-3274, 2015
New Regulators of Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis Identified by Systematic Quantitative Fluorescence MicroscopyFarrell K.B., Grossman C., Di Pietro S.M.Genetics, 201:1061-1070, 2015
A second Las17 monomeric actin-binding motif functions in Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization during endocytosisFeliciano D., Tolsma T.O., Farrell K.B., Aradi A., Di Pietro S.M.Traffic, 16:379-397, 2015
Myosin Vc interacts with Rab32 and Rab38 proteins and works in the biogenesis and secretion of melanosomesBultema J.J., Boyle J.A., Malenke P.B., Martin F.E., Dell'Angelica E.C., Cheney R.E., Di Pietro S.M.J. Biol. Chem. 289: 33513-33528, 2014