IFOM Francesco Blasi Lab

Francesco Blasi Lab

Francesco Blasi

A molecular biologist and expert in the study of cell fate determinants, Francesco Blasi directs the IFOM research program Transcriptional Mechanisms in Development and Cancer.
Blasi was born in 1937 in Naples, where he graduated in Medicine in 1961. After completing his medical studies at university he decided to follow his passion for biological research. So he left to pursue a doctorate at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, where he studied the effect of radiation on the activity of proteins.read more

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Transcriptional Regulation in Development and Cancer

Prep1, Meis1 and Pbx homeobox proteins in embryonic development, oncogenesis, hematopoiesis and mammary gland.
Many developmentally important genes are also involved in tumorigenesis or its prevention. Prep1, Meis1 and Pbx are homeodomain transcription factors, essential in various steps of embryonic development and adult life. Prep1 and Meis1 dimerize with a Pbx protein, which allows their nuclear localization and DNA binding. read more

Laboratory location: Milan, Italy

Recent publications

  • Lisa Mathiasen, Erica Valentini, Stephane Boivin, Angela Cattaneo, Francesco Blasi, Dmitry I. Svergun, Chiara Bruckmann
    The flexibility of a homeodomain transcription factor heterodimer and its allosteric regulation by DNA binding.
    Submitted JBC
  • Elisa Lenti, Diego Farinello, Kazunari Yokoyama, Penkov Dmitry, Laura Castagnaro, Giovanni Lavorgna, Kenly Wuputra, Lisa Sandell, Naomi Butler Tjaden, Francesca Bernassola, Michael Wagner, Karen Niederreither, Francesco Blasi, Diego Pasini, Giovanni Tonon, Paul Trainor, and Andrea Brendolan. 2015
    The Oncogenic Transcription Factor TLX1 Regulates Cyp26b1 Expression and Retinoic Acid Signaling to Ensure Spleen Development.
    Submitted, J. Exp. Med.
  • Mazzieri, R., Gerasi, L., Pietrogrande, G., Merulla, J., SA., Brombin, C., Ambrosi, Janich, P., Benitah, A., Blasi, F. and D'Alessio, S.
    Urokinase receptor (uPAR) promotes skin tumor formation by preventing epithelial cell activation of Notch1.
    2015. Cancer Research, 75:4895-909

Group members

Chiara Bruckmann, PhD:
X-ray structural analysis of the Prep1-Pbx1-DNA complex.

Dmitry Penkov, PhD:
Prep1 and mesenchymal stem cells differentiation in vitro and in vivo.

Divya Purushotaman:
Role of Prep1 in DNA replication.

Valentina De Lorenzi:
Role of Prep1 in autophagy.
Undergraduate students
Alba Greco

IFOM Review

TALE homeodomain transcription factors: super-regulators of the genome transcriptional specificity
Commentary on Francesco Blasi's paper published on Cell reports, by Miguel Torres Sánchez (2014)
The role of MYBBP1A in early embryonic development
Commentary on Francesco Blasi's paper published on PloS one, by Tom Gonda (2013)
complete review

In the press

Premi Nobel 2015 - Quanti errori nel DNA! Ma c'è chi sa correggerli (e vince il Nobel)
Il Sussidiario

2015.10.08 | Emanuele Ortoleva

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