Vincenzo Zappavigna
Vincenzo Zappavigna
affiliation: Università di Modena-Reggio Emilia
research area(s): Developmental Biology, Molecular Biology
Course: Molecular and Regenerative Medicine
University/Istitution: Università di Modena-Reggio Emilia

1981-1984: University of Rome, Italy, Faculty of Sciences.

December 1984: Degree in Biology, summa cum laude.


1984-1985: Postdoctoral fellow, Laboratory of Hematology, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

1986-1988: Fellow, Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC).

1989-1991: Postdoctoral fellow, Laboratory of Prof. Denis Duboule, European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany.


1991-1992: Staff scientist, Laboratory of Hematology, Istituto Scientifico S. Raffaele, Milano, Italy.

1992-1996: Staff scientist, Laboratory of Gene Expression, DIBIT HS Raffaele, Milano, Italy.

1996-1998: Project Leader, Gene Expression in Development Project, TIGET, Telethon Institute of Gene Therapy, Istituto Scientifico HS Raffaele, Milano, Italy.

1999-2002: Group Leader, Transcriptional Regulation in Development, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Istituto Scientifico HS Raffaele, Milano, Italy.

2002- Associate Professor in Molecular Biology, Department of Animal Biology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

2005- Joint Appointment, Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY.
The interests of our research group are mainly focused on the role of vertebrate Antp-class homeobox containing (Hox) genes as regulators of transcription in cell fate specification. Mammalian genomes contain 39 genes bearing a homeobox sequence homologous to that of the Drosophila Antennapedia (Antp) gene. These encode sequence-specific transcription factors which act as master regulatory genes, controlling the organization of the body plan during development. Over the past decade studies involving either gain or loss of function of Hox genes in vertebrate development have proven that this evolutionary highly conserved gene system plays a crucial role in the organization of the body plan of all metazoans. The functions of Hox genes at the molecular level, however, are less well understood, mainly because of their apparent lack of DNA binding selectivity as monomeric proteins in vitro and of the fact that their target genes and the molecular pathways they control are only starting to be unveiled. In the past years the principal aim of our research has been devoted to the identification of new target genes for the HOXD13 protein using a high-throughput technique (ChIP-on-chip) that pairs chromatin crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (ChIP) with DNA microarray technology (chip) provides. HOXD13 plays a crucial role in distal limb development and its mutation causes limb malformation syndromes in human. Our research group is currently interested in the functional characterisation of HOXD13 mutant proteins that cause limb malformations. Recent work in our lab has revealed a novel function of HOX proteins in the context of the control of DNA relication initiation. One of our current research interests is therefore focused on the characterisation of the role of HOX proteins in this crucial step of the cell division process.
Pbx homeodomain proteins: TALEnted regulators of limb patterning and outgrowth.
Capellini TD, Zappavigna V, Selleri L.
Dev Dyn. 2011 May;240(5):1063-86. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.22605. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Scapula development is governed by genetic interactions of Pbx1 with its family members and with Emx2 via their cooperative control of Alx1.
Capellini TD, Vaccari G, Ferretti E, Fantini S, He M, Pellegrini M, Quintana L, Di Giacomo G, Sharpe J, Selleri L, Zappavigna V.
Development. 2010 Aug 1;137(15):2559-69.

HOXD13 binds DNA replication origins to promote origin licensing and is inhibited by geminin.
Salsi V, Ferrari S, Ferraresi R, Cossarizza A, Grande A, Zappavigna V.
Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Nov;29(21):5775-88. Epub 2009 Aug 24.

A G220V substitution within the N-terminal transcription regulating domain of HOXD13 causes a variant synpolydactyly phenotype.
Fantini S, Vaccari G, Brison N, Debeer P, Tylzanowski P, Zappavigna V.
Hum Mol Genet. 2009 Mar 1;18(5):847-60. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

Hoxd13 binds in vivo and regulates the expression of genes acting in key pathways for early limb and skeletal patterning.
Salsi V, Vigano MA, Cocchiarella F, Mantovani R, Zappavigna V.
Dev Biol. 2008 May 15;317(2):497-507. Epub 2008 Mar 8.

A cup full of functions.
Piccioni F, Zappavigna V, Verrotti AC.
RNA Biol. 2005 Oct-Dec;2(4):125-8. Epub 2005 Dec 14. Review.

Pbx1/Pbx2 requirement for distal limb patterning is mediated by the hierarchical control of Hox gene spatial distribution and Shh expression.
Capellini TD, Di Giacomo G, Salsi V, Brendolan A, Ferretti E, Srivastava D, Zappavigna V, Selleri L.
Development. 2006 Jun;133(11):2263-73. Epub 2006 May 3.

Hoxd13 and Hoxa13 directly control the expression of the EphA7 Ephrin tyrosine kinase receptor in developing limbs.
Salsi V, Zappavigna V.
J Biol Chem. 2006 Jan 27;281(4):1992-9. Epub 2005 Nov 28.
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.