Giacomo Donati

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Epidermal homeostasis depends on a balance between stem cell renewal and differentiation and is regulated by extrinsic signals from the extracellular matrix (ECM). A powerful approach to analysing the pathways involved is to engineer single-cell microenvironments in which individual variables are precisely and quantitatively controlled. Here, we employ(More)
The sequence-specific transcription factor NF-Y binds the CCAAT box, one of the sequence elements most frequently found in eukaryotic promoters. NF-Y is composed of the NF-YA and NF-YB/NF-YC subunits, the latter two hosting histone-fold domains (HFDs). The crystal structure of NF-Y bound to a 25 bp CCAAT oligonucleotide shows that the HFD dimer binds to the(More)
It is becoming clear that interconnected functional gene networks, rather than individual genes, govern stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. To identify epigenetic factors that impact on human epidermal stem cells we performed siRNA-based genetic screens for 332 chromatin modifiers. We developed a Bayesian mixture model to predict putative functional(More)
B-lymphocyte-induced nuclear maturation protein 1 (BLIMP1) was previously reported to define a sebaceous gland (SG) progenitor population in the epidermis. However, the recent identification of multiple stem cell populations in the hair follicle junctional zone has led us to re-evaluate its function. We show, in agreement with previous studies, that BLIMP1(More)
The CCAAT box is a prototypical promoter element, almost invariably found between -60 and -100 upstream of the major transcription start site. It is bound and activated by the histone fold trimer NF-Y. We performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) on chip experiments on two different CpG islands arrays using chromatin from hepatic HepG2 and pre-B cell(More)
Response to stresses that alter the function of the endoplasmic reticulum is an important cellular function, which relies on the activation of specific genes. Several transcription factors (TFs) are known to affect this pathway. Using RT-PCR and ChIP assays, we studied the recruitment of promoter-specific TFs, general TFs and epigenetic marks in activated(More)
The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) ensures correct chromosome segregation during mitosis by preventing aneuploidy, an event that is detrimental to the fitness and survival of normal cells but oncogenic in tumor cells. Deletion of SAC genes is incompatible with early mouse development, and RNAi-mediated depletion of SAC components in cultured cells(More)
The association between tissue damage, chronic inflammation and cancer is well known. However, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here we characterize a mouse model in which constitutive epidermal extracellular-signal-regulated kinase-MAP-kinase signalling results in epidermal inflammation, and skin wounding induces tumours. We show that tumour(More)
The hair follicle bulge in the epidermis associates with the arrector pili muscle (APM) that is responsible for piloerection ("goosebumps"). We show that stem cells in the bulge deposit nephronectin into the underlying basement membrane, thus regulating the adhesion of mesenchymal cells expressing the nephronectin receptor, α8β1 integrin, to the bulge.(More)
Epithelia cover the surfaces and line the cavities of the body. Recent studies have highlighted the existence of multiple stem cell compartments within individual epithelia that exhibit striking plasticity in response to tissue damage, transplantation, or tumor development. New knowledge about the composition of the epithelial niche and the transcription(More)