Prof. Dafna Benayahu

Emeritus in Cell and Developmental Biology
ביולוגיה תאית והתפתחותית אמריטוס
Prof. Dafna Benayahu
Phone: 03-6406187
Office: Sackler School of Medicine, 310


Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Tel Aviv University

Director, Marian Gertner Institute for Medical Nanosystems


Our lab's interest is to follow the differentiation of skeletal stem cells and their lineage fate. The balance between skeletal stem cells and the adipose lineage is studied at the cellular and molecular biology levels. In sillico characterization using bioinformatics of genes profiling and identification of biomarkers networks to identify markers for stem cells. Recent projects we gave shown that biomechanics play a role in the stem cells activation and function under normal physiology and along aging. The ultimate goal of the research is to study how to improve the stem cells functionality. Such knowledge will provide novel approaches to combat skeletal changes due to aging or metabolic disease. The use of stem cell is also developed towards tissue regeneration along with development of novel collagen-based-scaffold. 


Research methods used include bioinformatics, gene cloning, qRT-PCR, cell biology analysis including immunofluorescence, scanning electron microscopy and biochemistry. Nanotechnology combines the cell fate differentiation with multidisciplinary approaches for the development new plat formed for cell analysis.

Patents and Publications


  • US 8552153 Coral-derived collagen and methods of farming same

  • US 20060246498 HNRPLL polypeptides, polynucleotides encoding same and compositions and methods of using same

  • US 7829296 Kinesin polypeptides, polynucleotides encoding same and compositions and methods of using same

  • US 8299219 Polypeptides, polynucleotides encoding same, antibodies thereagainst and methods

  • US 20050250717 Chromatin remodeling protein as a marker expressed by stromal progenitor cells

  • US 6074833 Osteoblast and fibroblast antigen and antibodies recognizing it

  • US 5688531 Method for regulating bone forming cells




( out of 150  )   Selected Publications

Kislev N, Mor-Yossef Moldovan L, Barak R, Egozi M, Benayahu D, 2022. MYH10 governs adipocyte function and adipogenesis through its interaction with GLUT4. Int J Mol Sci. 23(4):2367. doi: 10.3390/ ijms23042367.


Benayahu D and Benayahu Y, 2021. A unique marine-derived collagen: Its characterization towards biocompatibility applications for tissue regeneration. Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(8), 419; md19080419


Benayahu D, Pomeraniec L, Shemesh S, Heller S, Rosenthal Y, Rath-Wolfson L, Benayahu Y. 2020.     Biocompatibility of a marine collagen-based scaffold in vitro and in vivo. Mar Drugs. 18(8):420.       doi:10.3390/md18080420


Mor-Yossef Moldovan, L, Kislev N., Lustig M., Pomeraniec L., Benayahu D., 2020. Biomechanical stimulation effects on the metabolism of adipocyte. J Cell Physiol 235(11):8702-8713. jcp.29714


Pomeraniec L., Benayahu D., 2020. Mesenchymal Cell Growth and Differentiation on a New Biocomposite Material: A Promising Model for Regeneration Therapy. Biomolecules 2020, 10(3), 458; /10.3390/biom10030458


Lustig M, Zadka Y, Levitsky I, Gefen A, Benayahu D 2019. Adipocytes migration is altered through differentiation. Microsc Microanal. 30:1-6.


Sidon E, Shemesh S, Mor-Yossef Moldovan L, Wiesenfeld Y, Ohana N, Benayahu D .2018. Molecular profile of ultrastructure changes of the ligamentum flavum related to lumbar spinal canal stenosis. J Cell Biochem doi: 10.1002/jcb.28451


Mor-Yossef Moldovan L., Lustig M., Naftaly A., Mardamshina M., Geiger T., Gefen A., Benayahu. 2019. Cell shape alteration during adipogenesis is associated with coordinated matrix cues. J Cell Physiol. 234(4):3850-3863106.


Benayahu D, Sharabi M, Pomeraniec L, Awad L, Haj-Ali R, Benayahu Y. 2018. Unique collagen fibers for biomedical applications. Marine Drugs 16(4). 102. * Journal Cover.


Sharabi M, Varssano D, Eliasy R , Benayahu Y, Benayahu D, Haj-Ali R, 2016 Mechanical flexure behavior of bio-inspired collagen-reinforced thin composites. Composite structures 153: 392 – 400

Mandelberg Y., Benayahu D., Benayahu Y. 2016. The octocoral Sarcophyton auritum Verseveldt & Benayahu, 1978:  Microanatomy and presence of collagen fibers. The Biological Bulletin 230 (1): 68-77.

 * Journal Cover page



Mandelberg Y, Benayahu D, Benayahu Y. Octocoral Sarcophyton auritum Verseveldt & Benayahu, 1978: Microanatomy and Presence of Collagen Fibers. Biol Bull. 2016;230(1):68-77.


Shkolyar A, Gefen A, Benayahu D, Greenspan H. Automatic detection of cell divisions (mitosis) in live-imaging microscopy images using Convolutional Neural Networks. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2015;2015:743-6.


Salomon-Kent R, Marom R, John S, Dundr M, Schiltz LR, Gutierrez J, Workman J, Benayahu D, Hager GL. New face for chromatin-related mesenchymal modulator: n-chd9 localizes to nucleoli and interacts with ribosomal genes. J Cell Physiol. 2015;230(9):2270-80.


Shoham N, Mor-Yossef Moldovan L, Benayahu D, Gefen A.Multiscale modeling of tissue-engineered fat: is there a deformation-driven positive feedback loop in adipogenesis? Tissue Eng Part A. 2015;21(7- 8):1354-63.


Katzengold R, Shoham N, Benayahu D, Gefen A. Simulating single cell experiments in mechanical testing of adipocytes. Biomech Model Mechanobiol. 2015;14(3):537-47.


Katzengold R, Benayahu D, Gefen A. 2015 Simulating single cell experiments in mechanical testing of adipocytes. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 14: 537-547.


Yildirima C, Benayahu D, Adamovskia M, Wollenberger U. 2015. An electrochemical assay for differentiation of the osteoblastic cell line (MBA-15) on the sensor chip. Electroanalysis 27:1350-1358.


Sharabi M, Benayahu D, Benayahu Y, Issacs J, Haj-Ali R, 2015. Laminated Collagen-based biocomposites for tailor designed soft tissue mimetics. Composites Science and Technology 117:268-275.


Sharabi  M, Mandelberg Y, Benayahu D, Benayahu Y, Azem A, Haj-Ali R. 2014. A new class of bio-composite materials of unique collagen fibers. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 36:71-8.


Shoham N, Girshovitz P, Katzengold R, Shaked NT, Benayahu D, Gefen A. 2014. Adipocyte Stiffness Increases with Accumulation of Lipid Droplets. Biophysical J 106: 1-11.


Shefer G, Rauner G, Stuelsatz P, Benayahu D, Yablonka-Reuveni Z. 2013. Moderate-intensity treadmill running promotes expansion of the satellite cell pool in young and old mice. FEBS J. 280(17): 4063-4073.


 Glait-Santar C, Pasmanik-Chor M, Benayahu D.  2012. Expression pattern of SVEP1 alternatively-spliced forms. Gene 15; 505(1):137-145.


Akavia UD, Socher R, Benayahu D. 2012. Tracking the Molecular Signature of Developing Skeletal Tissues. Front. Biosci 4:1941-50.


Glait-Santar C, Pasmanik-Chor M, Oron-Karni V, Benayahu D, 2012. Molecular profiling of functional interactions between pre-osteoblastic and breast carcinoma cells. Genes Cells 17(4):302-15.


 Glait-Santar C, Benayahu D. 2012. Regulation of SVEP1 gene expression by 17beta-estradiol and TNFalpha in pre-osteoblastic and mammary adenocarcinoma cells. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 130:36-44.


Glait-Santar C, Benayahu D. 2011. SVEP1 promoter regulation by methylation of CpG sites. Gene 490 (1-2): 6-14.


Shefer G, Rauner G, Yablonka-Reuveni Z, Benayahu D,  2010. Reduced satellite cell numbers and myogenic capacity in aging can be alleviated by endurance exercise. PloS One, 5 (10)  e13307.


Shefer G and Benayahu D. 2010. SVEP1 is a Novel Marker of Activated Pre-determined Skeletal Muscle Satellite Cells. Stem Cell Rev. 6(1):42-9.


Ron A, Shur I, Singh RR, Daniel R, Fishelson N, Croitoriu N, Benayahu D, Shacham-Diamand Y. 2010. Dielectric screening of early differentiation patterns in mesenchymal stem cells induced by steroid hormones. Bioelectrochemistry. 78(2):161-72.


Ron A, Fishelson N, Shur I, Croitoriu N, Benayahu D, Shacham-Diamand Y. 2009. The Effect of Irregularity on the Dielectric Dispersion Characteristics of Spherical Cellular Suspension. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 74: 127-135.


Zusev M, Benayahu D. 2009. The crosstalk between MS-KIF18A kinesin and estrogen receptor alpha PloS One4(7):e6407.


Eliaz N, Shmueli S, Shur I, Benayahu D, Aronov D, Rosenman G. 2009. The effect of surface treatment on the surface texture and contact angle of electrochemically deposited hydroxyapatite coating and on its interaction with bone-forming cells. Acta Biomater 5:3178-3191.


Benayahu D, Shefer, G, Shur I. 2009. Insights on chromatin remodellers in mesenchymal stem cells and differentiation. Front. Biosci 14:398-409.


Akavia UD, Benayahu D, 2008. Meta-Analysis and Profiling of Cardiac Expression Modules. Physiological Genomics 35:305-315.


Zusev M, Benayahu D. 2008. New insights on cellular distribution, microtubule interactions and post-translational modifications of MS-KIF18A. J Cell Physiol. 217:618-625.


Akavia UD, Veinblat O, Benayahu D, 2008. Comparing the transcriptional profile of mesenchymal cells to cardiac and skeletal muscle cells. J Cell Physiol 216:663-672.


Ron A, Singh RR, Fishelson N, Shur I, Socher R, Benayahu D, Shacham-Diamand Y. 2008. Cell-based screening for membranal and cytoplasmatic markers using Dielectric spectroscopy. Biophysl Chem 135: 59-68.


Socher R, Benayahu D. 2008. Comparative study using scanning electron techniques for imaging of micro architecture and antigen appearance. Journal of Microscopy 230:233-239.


Shefer G, Carmeli, E, Rauner, G, Yablonka-Reuveni Z, Benayahu, D. 2008. Exercise running and tetracycline as means to enhance Skeletal muscle stem cell performance after external fixation. J Cell Physiol 215:265-275.


Ron A, Singh RR, Fishelson N, Socher R, Benayahu D, Shacham-Diamand Y. 2008. Site localization of membrane-bound proteins on whole cell level using Atomic Force Microscopy. Biophys Chem 132:127-138.


Shur I, Zemer-Tov E, Socher R, Benayahu D. 2007. SVEP1 Expression is Regulated in Estrogen Dependent Manner. J Cell Physiol 210:732-739.


Luboshits G, Benayahu D. 2007. MS-KIF18A, a new Kinesin Associated with Estrogen Receptor. J Cell Biochem 100:693-702.


Shur I, Socher R, Hameiri M, Fried A, Benayahu D. 2006. Molecular and cellular characterization of SEL-OB/SVEP1 in osteogenic cells in vivo and in vitro. J Cell Physiol 206:420-427.


Shur I, Socher R, Benayahu D. 2006. In vivo association of CReMM/CHD9 with promoters in osteogenic cells. J Cell Physiol  207:  374-378.


Akavia UD, Shur I, Rechavi G, Benayahu D. 2006. Transcriptional profiling of mesenchymal stromal cells from young and old rats in response to Dexamethasone. BMC Genomics. 27:95.


Marom R, Shur I, Hager G, Benayahu D. 2006. Expression and regulation of CReMM, a Chromodomain Helicase-DNA-Binding (CHD), in Marrow Stoma derived Osteogenitors. J Cell Physiol. 207:628-635.


Shur I, Salomon R, Benayahu D. 2006. Dynamic Interactions of Chromatin-Related Mesenchymal Modulator, a Chromodomain Helicase-DNA-Binding Protein, with Promoters in Osteoprogenitors. Stem Cells. 24:1288-1293.



Tel Aviv University makes every effort to respect copyright. If you own copyright to the content contained
here and / or the use of such content is in your opinion infringing, Contact us as soon as possible >>