Epigenetics and Signal Transduction Lab | Fondazione Santa Lucia
FSL - Laboratorio di Epigenetica e Trasduzione del Segnale

Epigenetics and Signal Transduction Lab

Areas of Investigation 

The Laboratory of Epigenetics and Signal Transduction studies the signaling pathways that modulate the epigenetic profile and nuclear architecture of muscle stem cells. In particular, the Laboratory carries out research on the molecular mechanisms that alter the epigenome in response to changes in the extracellular environment. For this, the research concentrates on muscular dystrophies and muscle-derived tumors. The ultimate goal is to identify new therapeutic standards for the treatment of muscle diseases. The approach is multidisciplinary and is based on sequencing technologies, proteomics, biochemistry, molecular biology, mouse models and patient-derived samples.

 

Focus on Chromatin

In eukaryotic cells, DNA is associated with histone and non-histone proteins to form chromatin. This organization allows the genetic material to enter the limited size of the nucleus. All cells of a multicellular organism contain the same genetic information, but each of them performs a different function. The acquisition of cell identity is determined by epigenetic mechanisms, covalent modifications of DNA and histones that modulate chromatin structure and function.

The introduction and use of large-scale genomic sequencing techniques has allowed us to understand how changes in chromatin structure regulate gene expression and ultimately cell fate. The challenge of modern biology is to integrate this information with the idea of a dynamic chromatin, able to respond to changes that disturb the extracellular environment.

Collaborations 
  • Children Hospital Bambino Gesù, Rome (Italy)
  • European Institute of Oncology, Milan (Italy)
  • IMDEA Nanociencia, Madrid (Spain)
  • Italian Institute of Technology, Milan (Italy)
  • National Institute of Molecular Genetics, Milan (Italy)
Ongoing Research Projects 
  • Dissecting the epigenetic landscape of rhabdomyosarcoma: role of p38alpha kinase in the control of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2
  • Epigenetic modifiers in rhabdomyosaroma
Completed Research Projects 
  • The involvement of stress-activated pathways in stem cell mediated regeneration of the atrophic muscle
  • p38-mediated genome reorganization in rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Mechanisms of p38α-mediated genome reorganization in muscle stem cells

Laboratory of Epigenetics and Signal Transduction

Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Via del Fosso di Fiorano, 64 00143 Rome

European Centre for Brain Research (CERC) – Floor 4 – Room 403