Alessandra Mozzi

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Humans possess a communication system based on spoken and written language. Other animals can learn vocalization by imitation, but this is not equivalent to human language. Many genes were described to be implicated in language impairment (LI) and developmental dyslexia (DD), but their evolutionary history has not been thoroughly analyzed. Herein we(More)
OAS (2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthases) proteins and cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS, gene symbol: MB21D1) patrol the cytoplasm for the presence of foreign nucleic acids. Upon binding to double-stranded RNA or double-stranded DNA, OAS proteins and cGAS produce nucleotide second messengers to activate RNase L and STING (stimulator of interferon genes, gene(More)
Dietary shifts can drive molecular evolution in mammals and a major transition in human history, the agricultural revolution, favored carbohydrate consumption. We investigated the evolutionary history of nine genes encoding brush-border proteins involved in carbohydrate digestion/absorption. Results indicated widespread adaptive evolution in mammals, with(More)
UNLABELLED Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) spreads to humans via zoonotic transmission from camels. MERS-CoV belongs to lineage C of betacoronaviruses (betaCoVs), which also includes viruses isolated from bats and hedgehogs. A large portion of the betaCoV genome consists of two open reading frames (ORF1a and ORF1b) that are(More)
The albuminoid gene family comprises vitamin D-binding protein (GC), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), afamin (AFM), and albumin (ALB). Albumin is the most abundant human serum protein, and, as the other family members, acts as a transporter of endogenous and exogenous substances including thyroxine, fatty acids, and drugs. Instead, the major cargo of GC is(More)
The transcriptional repressor REST regulates many neuronal genes by binding RE1 motifs. About one third of human RE1s are recently evolved and specific to primates. As changes in the activity of a transcription factor reverberate on its downstream targets, we assessed whether REST displays fast evolutionary rates in primates. We show that REST was targeted(More)
In addition to high intelligence, humans evolved specialized social-cognitive skills, which are specifically affected in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Genes affected in ASD represent suitable candidates to study the evolution of human social cognition. We performed an evolutionary analysis on 68 genes associated to neurodevelopmental(More)
The complement system is an innate immunity effector mechanism; its action is antagonized by a wide array of pathogens and complement evasion determines the virulence of several infections. We investigated the evolutionary history of the complement system and of bacterial-encoded complement-interacting proteins. Complement components targeted by several(More)
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have been widely applied to identify genetic factors that affect complex diseases or traits. Presently, the GWAS Catalog includes >2800 human studies. Of these, only a minority have investigated the susceptibility to infectious diseases or the response to therapies for the treatment or prevention of infections.(More)
Language-based Learning Disabilities (LLDs) encompass a group of complex, comorbid, and developmentally associated deficits in communication. Language impairment and developmental dyslexia (DD) represent the most recognized forms of LLDs. Substantial genetic correlations exist between language and reading (dis)abilities. Common variants in the FOXP2 gene(More)