Sestina Falcone

Research scientist

Sestina Falcone


PhD; HDR; Researcher – CRCN (INSERM)


  • Pathophysiology of skeletal muscle
  • Sarcopenia
  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Microscopy
  • In vivo gene modulation by AAV vectors


During my PhD in Pharmacology in Milan, Hospital San Raffaele Institute, I followed two main projects and was involved in different collaborations ranging from immune system biology to cell metabolism. In these studies I strengthened my knowledge in pharmacology and deepen my expertise in microscopy. The analysis of mitochondrial shape and metabolism in muscle cells using live microscopy methods has been the bridge putting my interest toward skeletal muscle physiology and imaging and pushed me to move to E.R. Gomes’s team (2008-2012). In this period I optimized a cellular model allowing to study the formation of mature muscle myofibers from primary myoblasts, with a functional contractile system, organized triads and peripherally positioned nuclei. In 2013 I joined the team of France Piétri-Rouxel, Myology Research Center (Sorbonne University – INSERM U974 – Association Institute of Myology) in Paris (France). In the team, I developed studies focused on a key aspect of skeletal muscle physiopathology: the mass maintenance. In particular, we discovered that CAVβ1E is the upstream player activating GDF5 signaling and that CAVβ1E /GDF5 is a fundamental axis for the maintenance of skeletal muscles after nerve injury as well as during age-related muscle atrophy (Traoré et al, SciTranslMed 2019). In addition, we have shown that an analogous of CAVβ1E is expressed in human muscle and that its levels are correlated with skeletal muscle mass and aging. Our data suggest that GDF5, that is altered as in aging, a major public health concern, or neuromuscular disorders, in which nerve-muscle connections are disrupted, could be a therapeutic measure to improve muscle mass and strength. As a result of these hypotheses, two patent applications have been filed indicating GDF5 as a potential therapeutic treatment. The elucidation of molecular mechanisms and the establishment of therapeutic use are the objectives of my ongoing scientific projects.

Principales publications

  1. Vergnol, A, Traoré, M, Pietri-Rouxel, F, Falcone, S. New Insights in CaVβ Subunits: Role in the Regulation of Gene Expression and Cellular Homeostasis. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022;10 :880441. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2022.880441. PubMed PMID:35465309 PubMed Central PMC9019481.
  2. Grassi, F, Falcone, S. Report and Abstracts of the 18th Meeting of the Interuniversity Institute of Myology: Virtual meeting, October 21-24, 2021. Eur J Transl Myol. 2021;31 (4):. doi: 10.4081/ejtm.2021.10270. PubMed PMID:34850623 PubMed Central PMC8758965.
  3. Gargaun, E, Falcone, S, Solé, G, Durigneux, J, Urtizberea, A, Cuisset, JM et al.. The lncRNA 44s2 Study Applicability to the Design of 45-55 Exon Skipping Therapeutic Strategy for DMD. Biomedicines. 2021;9 (2):. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9020219. PubMed PMID:33672764 PubMed Central PMC7924625.
  4. Traoré, M, Gentil, C, Benedetto, C, Hogrel, JY, De la Grange, P, Cadot, B et al.. An embryonic CaVβ1 isoform promotes muscle mass maintenance via GDF5 signaling in adult mouse. Sci Transl Med. 2019;11 (517):. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaw1131. PubMed PMID:31694926 .
  5. Fongy, A, Falcone, S, Lainé, J, Prudhon, B, Martins-Bach, A, Bitoun, M et al.. Nuclear defects in skeletal muscle from a Dynamin 2-linked centronuclear myopathy mouse model. Sci Rep. 2019;9 (1):1580. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-38184-0. PubMed PMID:30733559 PubMed Central PMC6367339.
  6. Pimentel, MR, Falcone, S, Cadot, B, Gomes, ER. In Vitro Differentiation of Mature Myofibers for Live Imaging. J Vis Exp. 2017; (119):. doi: 10.3791/55141. PubMed PMID:28117796 PubMed Central PMC5408763.
  7. Gentil, C, Le Guiner, C, Falcone, S, Hogrel, JY, Peccate, C, Lorain, S et al.. Dystrophin Threshold Level Necessary for Normalization of Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase, Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase, and Ryanodine Receptor-Calcium Release Channel Type 1 Nitrosylation in Golden Retriever Muscular Dystrophy Dystrophinopathy. Hum Gene Ther. 2016;27 (9):712-26. doi: 10.1089/hum.2016.041. PubMed PMID:27279388 .
  8. Falcone, S, Roman, W, Hnia, K, Gache, V, Didier, N, Lainé, J et al.. N-WASP is required for Amphiphysin-2/BIN1-dependent nuclear positioning and triad organization in skeletal muscle and is involved in the pathophysiology of centronuclear myopathy. EMBO Mol Med. 2014;6 (11):1455-75. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201404436. PubMed PMID:25262827 PubMed Central PMC4237471.
  9. Cadot, B, Gache, V, Vasyutina, E, Falcone, S, Birchmeier, C, Gomes, ER et al.. Nuclear movement during myotube formation is microtubule and dynein dependent and is regulated by Cdc42, Par6 and Par3. EMBO Rep. 2012;13 (8):741-9. doi: 10.1038/embor.2012.89. PubMed PMID:22732842 PubMed Central PMC3410389.
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