Molecular biology and applied genetics. Coordinator: Ambrosetti

To study transcription factors and retrotransposons as regulators of gene expression

Research themes

Our group is interested in the characterization of molecular mechanisms regulating transcription in eukaryotic cells.

1) We focus on SOX transcription factors and their role in the determination and differentiation of the different lineages originating from the neural crest cells (melanocytes, chondrocytes, osteoblasts and glial cells). We are also interested in understanding how the aberrant expression of Sox factors may lead to the formation and/or metastasization of cancers such as osteosarcomas, melanomas, lung carcinomas.

2) We study the mechanism of retrotransposition of LINE-1 elements in both physiological and pathological cell response. In particular we investigate several steps of L1 retrotransposition process (L1 transcription, promoter methylation, insertion) in human cell lines subjected to several stress conditions.

Internship projects

- Cloning of gRNA for CRISP/Cas9 mediated knock out of target genes of lung tumor cells

- Role of the transcription factor Sox 5 in melanoma

- Activity of LINE-1 elements in cultured cells treated with chemical or physical agents

Main publications

Sancisi, V., Gandolfi, G., Ambrosetti, D.C., Ciarrocchi, A. (2015) Histone deacetylase inhibitors repress tumoral expression of the proinvasive factor RUNX2. Cancer Res.75(9):1868-1882. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-2087 PDF

Ambrosetti, D., Holmes, G., Mansukhani, A., Basilico, C. (2008) Fibroblast growth factor signaling uses multiple mechanisms to inhibit Wnt-induced transcription in osteoblasts. Mol. Cell Biol. 28(15):4759-4771. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01849-07 PDF

Giorgi, G., Pirazzini, C., Bacalini, M.G., Giuliani, C., Garagnan,i P., Capri, M., Bersani, F., Del Re, B. (2017) Assessing the combined effect of extremely low-frequency magnetic field exposure and oxidative stress on LINE-1 promoter methylation in human neural cells Radiat Environ Biophys 56:193-200. doi:10.1007/s00411-017-0683-8

Giorgi, G., Marcantonio, P., Del Re, B. (2011) LINE-1 retrotransposition in human neuroblastoma cells is affected by oxidative stress. Cell Tissue Res. 346 :383-391. doi:10.1007/s00441-011-1289-0

Del Re, B., Marcantonio, P., Capri, M., Giorgi, G.(2010) Evaluation of LINE-1 mobility in neuroblastoma cells by in vitro retrotransposition reporter assay: FACS analysis can detect only the tip of the iceberg of the inserted L1 elements. Exp Cell Res. 316: 3358-3367 doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2010.06.024