Riassunti dei progetti del corso di dottorato di ricerca in biologia molecolare e cellulare

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A.A. 2013 (XXIX CICLO)

1.Beltrame Monica: Deciphering the molecular network involving the transcription factor Sox18 in blood vascular and lymphatic development

2.Berruti Giovanna: An organ culture-approach to study the fertility gene product USP8/UBPy
3.Bertoni Giovanni (1): Detailing of small RNA-based regulatory networks by parallel transcriptomic-proteomic profiling
4.Bertoni Giovanni (2): Characterization of novel essential functions in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa

5.Bolognesi Martino: Structure-based epitope discovery from B. pseudomallei antigens for vaccine


6.Briani Federica: Looking for novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa inhibitors: S1 ribosomal protein as an unexploited target for new antibacterial molecules
7.Caporali Elisabetta: Key cell wall modelling factors to design fruit shapes in Arabidopsis

8. Cappelletti Graziella, Francesco Demartin (Co-Tutor): Dissecting microtubule dynamics at the synapse

9.Caretti Giuseppina: Epigenetic mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle atrophy.

10.Cattaneo Elena: hES cells differentiation into striatal neurons by conditional over-expression of

transcription factors

11.Colombo Lucia: Genetic and epigenetic control of seed number in Arabidopsis
12.Costa Alex: Functional characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana iGluRs (glutamate receptors)


13.Cotelli Franco: Characterization of the role played by numblike during vascular development of the brain and Cerebral Cavernous Malformations onset using zebrafish as model system
14.Duga Stefano: Whole-exome sequencing applied to the study of the genetic basis of Parkinson


15. Fornara Fabio: Molecular control of flowering in rice

16. Gissi Carmela: Evolutionary dynamics of nuclear genes involved in replication and repair of the mitochondrial genome in fast-evolving chordates

17.Gnesutta Nerina: NF-Y partners in the regulation of CCAAT promoters

18.Guerrini Luisa: Role of the p300 acetylase in regulating the activities of the p63 transcription factor

19.Kater Martin: Mining the Molecular Pathways Controlling Rice Reproductive Development

20.Lazzaro Federico: Determine the biological significance of the rNMPs incorporated in genomic

21.Mantovani Roberto: NF-YA isoforms in ES cells and cancer

22.Marini Federica: Unravelling the role of the Fanconia anemia protein P/Slx4 and the DNA damage checkpoint factor 53BP1/Rad9 in responding to double strand DNA lesions
23.Messina Graziella: Identification of the mechanism(s) regulating Nfix expression during fetal


24.Messina Graziella: Genome-wide mapping of Nfix binding sites in skeletal muscle
25.Moroni Anna: The structural mechanism of KAT1 channel regulation by the cytoplasmic domain CNBHD
26.Muzi Falconi Marco: Haspin kinase: a new regulator of cell polarity and cell division

27.Nardini Marco: Structural analysis of transcription factor/DNA complexes

28.Pavesi Giulio: Development and Application of Bioinformatic Tools for the Analysis of ChIP-Seq Data

29. Petroni Katia: Role of anthocyanin-enriched diet on cardioprotection

30.Plevani Paolo/Giacomo Buscemi: DAXX protein and the human DNA damage response:

chromatin remodeling, gene expression, genome stability and tumorigenesis

31.Pesaresi Paolo: Chromatin Remodeling Enzymes are at the basis of SVP transcription factor

32.Ricagno Stefano: Structural-Based Drug Discovery against RNA-based VIRUSES

33.Riva Paola: Competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) Cross-Talk in Neurofibromatosis type 1 phenotype expression variability

34.Soldà Giulia: Identification of genetics and molecular bases of inherited sensorineural hearing loss by whole-exome sequencing
35.Tonelli Chiara/Conti Lucio: The role of ABA in the floral transition: site and mechanism of

36.Zuccato Chiara: An in vivo study of the impact of ADAM10 dysfunction in Huntington’s Disease

Project leader: MONICA BELTRAME (monica.beltrame@unimi.it)

Location: Department of Biosciences, University of Milan, Italy


Deciphering the molecular network involving the transcription factor Sox18 in blood vascular and lymphatic development
Our group is interested in gene expression regulation during embryonic development in vertebrates. We are studying a family of transcription factors, the Sox (Sry-related HMG box) proteins, which are found throughout the animal kingdom and play key roles in embryonic development. Mutations in several Sox genes have been shown to result in developmental anomalies, from fly to mammals. The emerging picture of SOX transcription factors is one of tissue-specific switches that induce changes in gene expression required for cell-type specification or differentiation.

Our interest is currently centered on SOX18, which is mutated in patients affected by the Hypotrichosis-Lymphedema-Telangiectasia syndrome. SOX18 is transiently expressed in the endothelial component of nascent blood and lymphatic vessels during embryonic development and in adult life, when neovascularization occurs.

Despite its relevance, relatively little is known about upstream factors and downstream targets involving SOX18 in endothelial cell differentiation and vascular development. We are addressing these questions using the zebrafish model system, as it provides several advantages over other vertebrate model organisms for the in vivo imaging of the vascular system and for the genetic or experimental manipulation of vascular development. We have shown that Sox18 and the closely related Sox7 protein (both belonging to the SoxF group) play redundant roles in arterio-venous differentiation of endothelial cells in zebrafish, while only Sox18 plays a conserved role in lymphatic development (Cermenati et al., 2008, Blood; Cermenati et al. 2013, ATVB). Gene expression profiling, at key developmental stages, under conditions of perturbed SoxF protein expression will serve as a basis to shed light on the molecular networks controlling blood vascular and lymphatic development. Loss-of-function and gain-of-function approaches in specific transgenic lines will be used to assess the functional relevance of interesting genes, whose expression is modified when SoxF proteins are perturbed. Given the pathological relevance of angiogenesis/lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic dysfunction in humans, the identification of new players might open up new therapeutic perspectives.

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