Marta Daniela Costa

  • Machado-Joseph disease
  • Genetic modifiers
  • Neurodegeneration
  • C. elegans
  • Aging

Marta Daniela Costa graduated in Biology (scientific domain) in 2006 by the University of Porto. In 2013, she finished her PhD in Human Evolutionary Genetics by the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. Since then, her research work has been focused on the study of a genetic neurodegenerative disease known as Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) or Spinocerebellar ataxia 3 (SCA3). Using a transgenic C. elegans model of this disorder, she aims to identify and to characterize genetic modifiers of MJD with potential to be targeted therapeutically, adding insights to a disorder that remains without any effective cure. In this effort to create therapeutic strategies that could reach the patients, Marta D. Costa also participates in studies to find novel biactive compounds, namely from plant extracts, to counteract neurodegeneration in several C. elegans models. Most recently, Marta D. Costa received an award from the National Ataxia Foundation to pursue her research on MJD. She published a total of 20 original articles representing a total of 635 citations and a h-índex of 12 (source: Web of Science).

Scientific Highlights

Costa, M. D., & Maciel, P. (2022). Modifier pathways in polyglutamine (PolyQ) diseases: from genetic screens to drug targets. Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, 79(5), 274.

Da Silva, J. D., Oliveira, S., Pereira-Sousa, J., Teixeira-Castro, A., Costa, M. D., & Maciel, P. (2020). Loss of egli-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans Orthologue of a Downstream Target of SMN, Leads to Abnormalities in Sensorimotor Integration. Molecular neurobiology, 57(3), 1553–1569.

Jalles, A.*, Vieira, C.*, Pereira-Sousa, J., Vilasboas-Campos, D., Mota, A. F., Vasconcelos, S., Ferreira-Lomba, B., Costa, M. D., Da Silva, J. D., Maciel, P., & Teixeira-Castro, A. (2022). Aripiprazole Offsets Mutant ATXN3-Induced Motor Dysfunction by Targeting Dopamine D2 and Serotonin 1A and 2A Receptors in C. elegans. Biomedicines, 10(2), 370.

Oliveira-Pinto, S., Pontes, O., Lopes, D., Sampaio-Marques, B., Costa, M. D., Carvalho, L., Gonçalves, C. S., Costa, B. M., Maciel, P., Ludovico, P., Baltazar, F., Proença, F., & Costa, M. (2020). Unravelling the anticancer potential of functionalized chromeno[2,3-b]pyridines for breast cancer treatment. Bioorganic chemistry, 100, 103942.

Pereira-Sousa, J., Ferreira-Lomba, B., Bellver-Sanchis, A., Vilasboas-Campos, D., Fernandes, J. H., Costa, M. D., Varney, M. A., Newman-Tancredi, A., Maciel, P., & Teixeira-Castro, A. (2021). Identification of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor as a novel therapeutic target in a C. elegans model of Machado-Joseph disease. Neurobiology of disease, 152, 105278.

Pohl, F., Teixeira-Castro, A., Costa, M. D., Lindsay, V., Fiúza-Fernandes, J., Goua, M., Bermano, G., Russell, W., Maciel, P., & Kong Thoo Lin, P. (2019). GST-4-Dependent Suppression of Neurodegeneration in C. elegans Models of Parkinson’s and Machado-Joseph Disease by Rapeseed Pomace Extract Supplementation. Frontiers in neuroscience, 13, 1091.

Vilasboas-Campos, D., Costa, M. D., Teixeira-Castro, A., Rios, R., Silva, F. G., Aierken, A., Zhang, X., Bessa, C., Dias, A. C. P., & Maciel, P. (2020). Data on the effects of Hyptis spp. and Lycium spp. plant extracts in C. elegans models of genetically determined neurodegenerative diseases. Data in brief, 33, 106598.

Vilasboas-Campos, D., Costa, M. D., Teixeira-Castro, A., Rios, R., Silva, F. G., Bessa, C., Dias, A. C. P., & Maciel, P. (2021). Neurotherapeutic effect of Hyptis spp. leaf extracts in Caenorhabditis elegans models of tauopathy and polyglutamine disease: Role of the glutathione redox cycle. Free radical biology & medicine, 162, 202–215.

Funding and Awards
Seed money research award (2019-2020), National Ataxia Foundation (USA): Genetic screening for identification of novel therapeutic targets in SCA3