• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

gene expression, RNA biology, epigenetics

In eukaryotes, the capacity to generate specialised cell types from an identical genome sequence is based on a plethora of different regulatory mechanisms that, acting at the epigenetic, transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, orchestrate specific gene expression programs. The main components of the sophisticated networks underlying the distinctive identity of each cell type are proteins and RNAs that, acting as single molecules or in complexes, recognise specific DNA elements on the genome and influence transcription, modify chromatin, shape the 3-dimensional genome architecture. Notably, deregulation of these circuitries contributes to common pathologies including cancer, neuro-muscular diseases.
A large research area of IBPM focuses on studies of gene expression regulation during normal cell differentiation, development and disease. This is achieved using different cell systems (e.g. tumour-derived cell lines, muscular dystrophy patient derived myoblasts, murine embryonic stem cells, IPs-derived neural stem cells) and model organisms (S. cerevisiae, D. melanogaster, A. thaliana, mdx mice), and exploiting genomic approaches combined with molecular biology, cell biology, and functional assays.