Lina Dagnino

Lina Dagnino


PH.D. University of Alberta
B. Chemistry Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
Western University
Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Children's Health Research Institute
Scientist, Genetics and Development Program
Lawson Health Research Institute

Office: Medical Science Building, Room 288
t. 519.661.4264 
f: 519.661.3827


See publications by Lina Dagnino on PubMed

Lina DagninoDr. Dagnino’s research focus is on skin biology and stem cells. Her expertise includes cellular and molecular biology, as well as developmental genetics.

The skin is the largest organ in the body. It weighs 6-9 pounds and, if one could take it off and lay it flat, it would cover an area of about 20 ft2 (2 m2). The skin fulfills myriad functions. It serves as a barrier between the body and the outside environment, protecting it from chemicals, physical damage, and entry of infectious organisms. It also prevents dehydration and heat loss, and allows perception of touch, a quintessential source of sensory stimulation.

Lina Dagnino

Three layers form the skin. The uppermost layer is the epidermis, which is formed by epithelial cells called keratinocytes, as well as melanocytes, which provide pigmentation to the skin and hair. Keratinocyte stem cells constantly differentiate and migrate from the base of the epidermis towards the outer surface of the skin, where they are sloughed off. This process normally takes about a month, but in people suffering from skin disorders, such as psoriasis, it can be accelerated, sometimes occurring in a few days. Over 30,000 cells are shed from the skin every minute, and the skin can be maintained only because it has a large reservoir of keratinocyte stem cells.

Dr. Dagnino’s research team works on the mechanisms that are involved in cellular decisions to maintain an undifferentiated, stem-cell phenotype or follow a pathway of terminal differentiation in the keratinocytes of the epidermis. Her group is currently investigating how those mechanisms regulate normal regeneration after wounding, abnormal proliferation and cancer, as well as how they contribute to block microbial invasion. In a state-of-the-art laboratory, Dr. Dagnino and her trainees isolate and grow epidermal keratinocytes and melanocytes. They use approaches similar to those in gene therapy, to understand how epidermal cells are formed, function, maintain stem-cell properties for tissue regeneration, and become transformed to form skin tumours.

Selected Publications

BC Jackson, D Ivanova and L Dagnino. An ELMO2-RhoG-ILK network modulates microtubule dynamics. Mol Biol Cell  26(14):2712-2725, 2015

Lina Dagnino

S Sayedyahossein, A Rudkouskaya, V LeClerc and L Dagnino. Integrin-linked kinase is indispensable for keratinocyte differentiation and epidermal barrier function. J Invest Dermatol 136(2): 425-435, 2016

RK Singh and L Dagnino. E2F1 interactions with hHR23A inhibit its degradation and promote DNA repair. Oncotarget, 7(18): 26275-26292, 2016, doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.8362

E Ho, IA Ivanova, and L Dagnino. Integrin-linked kinase and ELMO2 modulate recycling endosomes in keratinocytes. BBA Molec Cell Res, 1863:2892-2904, 2016

RK Singh, and L Dagnino. Cdh1 regulates E2F1 degradation during keratinocyte differentiation. Oncotarget, 7(18): 26275-26292, 2016, doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.8362

KC Alaga, M Crawford, L Dagnino and DW Laird. Aberrant Cx43 expression and mislocalization in metastatic human melanomas. J Cancer 8:1123-1128, 2017 doi: 10.7150/jca.18569

Lina Dagnino

M Crawford and L Dagnino. Scaffolding proteins in the development and maintenance of the epidermal permeability barrier. K. Tissue Barriers 2017 Jun 13:e1341969. doi: 10.1080/21688370.2017.1341969

M Crawford, V Leclerc and L Dagnino. A mouse model for in vivo tracing and in vitro molecular studies of melanocytic lineage cells. Biol Open 15:1219-1228, 2017 doi: 10.1242/bio.025833

M Im and L Dagnino. Protective role or integrin-linked kinase against oxidative stress and in maintenance of genomic integrity. Oncotarget 9:13637-13651, 2018

T Freeman, S Sayedyahossein, D Johnston, R Sanchez-Pupo, B O’Donnell, K Huang, Z Lakhani, D Nouri-Nejad, K Barr, L Harland, S Latosinsky, A Grant, L Dagnino, S Penuela. Inhibition of pannexin 1 reduces tumorigenic properties of human melanoma cells. Cancers 11: pii: E102. doi: 10.3390/cancers11010102, 2019

R Wei, X Liu, C Voss, W Qin, Dagnino L, L Li, M Vigny, SS Li. NUMB regulates the endocytosis and activity of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase in an isoform-specific manner. J Mol Cell Biol epub Feb 6, 2019 doi: 10.1093/jmcb/mjz003

I Ivanova, S Arulantham, K Barr, M Cepeda, K Parkins, AM Hamilton, D Johnston, S Penuela, DA Hess, JA Ronald and L Dagnino. Targeting FER kinase inhibits melanoma growth and metastasis. Cancers (Basel) 11(3):pii E419, 2019, doi: 10.3390/cancers11030419

M Crawford, V Leclerc, K Barr and L Dagnino. Essential role for integrin-linked kinase in melanoblast colonization of the skin. J Invest Dermatol 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2019.07.681