Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences
via Dunant, 5 - 21100 Varese - Italy
Tel: ++39 0332 397170
Fax: ++39 0332 397119
1991: High School diploma (Qualified in Chemistry), Varese, Italy.
1996: Degree in Biology, University of Milan, with full mark (110/110
2001: Ph.D. degree in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology, University
of Milan, thesis dissertation entitled ”Allantoicase during
December 01, 1996 – May 23, 1997: Fellow in the lab of Comparative
Immunology of the Department of Structural and Functional Biology,
University of Insubria, Varese, Italy. I have worked on the characterization
of Nematomorpha Cuticle.
May 24, 1997 – May 23, 1998: National (Military) service.
May 24, 1998 – October 31, 2001: Ph.D. student in the lab of
Biology of the Department of Structural and Functional Biology,
University of Insubria. I have worked on the characterization of allantoicase,
an enzyme involved in purine catabolism in the amphibian Xenopus laevis.
November 01, 2001 – January 31, 2004: Postdoctoral fellowship
in the lab of Cellular Biology of the Department of Structural and
Functional Biology, University of Insubria. I have worked on toxicity
of metal compounds in Xenopus laevis and continue to work on vertebrate
February 01, 2004 – to present: Assistant Professor in Biochemistry
at University of Insubria, Department of Experimental and Clinical
Biomedical Sciences. I am studying cellular matrix focusing on the
regulation of the enzymes involved in hyaluronan metabolism.
My research is focused on the relationship between extracellular
matrix (ECM) and cell behavior. I work on human aortic smooth
muscle cells and endothelial cells in order to have a model of
vascular system. Among different EMC components we focused on
the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) hyaluronan (HA), a linear and unbranched
polymer of repeating units of D-glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine.
It is one of the major components of most extracellular matrices
of all vertebrates. HA has been shown to play an important role
in matrix assembly, in cell proliferation and migration, as well
as in embryonic and tissue development. It is involved not only
in physiological processes, but also in a variety of clinical
contexts. An altered HA metabolism has been implicated in tumorigenesis
and in several important diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis,
Grave’s disease, liver cirrhosis and Werner’s syndrome.
In vascular systems, HA is involved in the onset of atherosclerosis
as the neointima layer contains a lot of such GAG. As vascular
pathologies are related to aging, we also study the modifications
of ECM during in vitro aging of our cells by means of biochemical
procedures (ie., polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of fluorophore
labelled saccharides, Western bloting and zymography) and by gene
expression using quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR.
I am also interested on the regulation mechanism that controls
the synthesis of HA. I have found that UDP-glucose deidrogenase
(UGDH), the key enzyme that produces UDP-glucuronic acid, can
control the HA production regulating the precursor availability
at cytoplasmic level. Interestingly, an overexpression of UGDH
has brought to an up-regulation of has2 and has3 genes indicating
that a link between the substrate precursor concentration and
the transcription of the HA synthetic genes could exist.
|2003 - present: teach courses
of Biochemistry and Applied Physiology and Biological Sciences
|1. Brivio, M.F., de Eguileor,
M., Grimaldi, A., Vigetti, D., Valvassori, R., Lanzavecchia, G. (2000).
Structural and biochemical analysis of the parasite Gordius villoti
(Nematomorpha, Gordiacea) cuticle. Tissue and Cell Research 32, 366-376
2. Vigetti, D., Monetti, C., Pollegioni, L., Taramelli, R., Bernardini,
G. (2000). Xenopus allantoicase: molecular cloning, enzymatic activity
and developmental expression. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
3. Vigetti, D., Monetti, C., Acquati, F., Taramelli, R., Bernardini,
G. (2000). Human allantoicase gene: cDNA cloning, genomic organization
and chromosome localization. Gene 256, 253-260
4. Vigetti, D., Monetti, C., Bernardini, G. (2001). Molecular cloning
of mouse allantoicase cDNA. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1519, 117-121
5. Pomati, F., Monarolla, G., Rossi, O., Vigetti, D., Rossetti, C.
(2001). The purine degradation pathway possible role in paralytic
shellfish toxin metabolism in the cyanobacterium Planktothrix sp FP1.
Environment International 27, 463-470
6. Vigetti, D., Pollegioni, L., Monetti, C., Prati, M., Bernardini,
G., Gornati, R, (2002). Property comparison of recombinant amphibian
and mammalian allantoicases. FEBS Letters 512, 323-328
7. Vigetti, D., Monetti, C., Prati, M., Gornati, R., Bernardini, G.
(2002). Genomic organization and chromosome localization of the murine
and human allantoicase gene. Gene 289, 13-17
8. Vigetti, D., Binelli, G., Monetti, C., Prati, M., Bernardini, G.,
Gornati, R. (2003). Selective pressure on the allantoicase gene during
vertebrate evolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution 57: 650-658.
9. Gornati, R., Monetti, C., Vigetti, D., Bosisio, S., Fortaner, S.,
Sabbioni, E., Bernardini, G., Prati, M (2002). Arsenic toxicity and
HSP70 expression in Xenopus laevis embryos. Alternatives to Laboratory
Animals (ATLA) 30, 597-603.
10. Monetti, C., Bernardini, G., Vigetti, D., Prati,M., Fortaner,
S., Sabbioni, E., Gornati, R. (2003). Platinum toxicity and gene expression
in Xenopus embryos: analysis by FETAX and differential display. Alternatives
to Laboratory Animals (ATLA) 31, 404-408.
11. Monetti, C., Vigetti, D., Prati, M., Sabbioni, E., Bernardini,
G., Gornati, R. (2002). Gene expression in Xenopus embryos after methylmercury
exposure: a search for molecular biomarkers. Environmental Toxicology
and Chemistry 21, 2731–2736.
12. Monetti, C., Vigetti, D., Gornati, R., Prati, M., Klinefelter
G.R., Bernardini, G. (2002). Identification and molecular cloning
of Xenopus laevis SP22, a protein associated with fertilization in
mammals. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B (Biochemistry
and Molecular Biology) 132, 761-767
13. Gornati, R., Trova, G., Vigetti, D., Prati, M., Saroglia, M.,
Bernardini, G. (2004). Effects of population on seabass (Dicentrarchus
labrax) gene expression. Aquaculture 230, 229-239.
14. Vigetti, D., Viola, M., Gornati, R., Ori, M., Nardi, I., Passi,
A., De Luca, G., Bernardini, G. (2003). Molecular cloning, genomic
organization and developmental expression of the Xenopus laevis hyaluronan
synthase 3. Matrix Biology 22, 511-517
15. Nardini, M., Ori, M., Vigetti, D., Gornati, R., Nardi, I., Perris,
R. (2004). Regulated gene expression of hyaluronan synthases durino
Xenopus laevis development. Gene Expression Pattern 4, 303-308.
16. Raio, L., Cromi, A., Ghezzi, F., Passi, A., Karousou, E., Viola,
M., Vigetti, D., De Luca, G., Bolis, P. (2005). Hyaluronan content
of wharton´s jelly in healthy and down syndrome fetuses. Matrix
Biology 24, 166-174
17. Viola, M., Karousou, E. G., Vigetti, D., Genasetti, A., Pallotti,
F., Guidetti, G.F., Tira, M. E., De Luca, G., Passi, A.(2005) Decorin
from different bovine tissues: study of glycosaminoglycan chain by
PAGEFS. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis in press
18. Karousou, E., Viola M., Genasetti A., Vigetti D., De Luca G.,
Karamanos N.K. , Passi A. (2005). Application of polyacrylamide gel
electrophoresis of fluorophore labeled-saccharides for analysis of
hyaluronan and chondroitin sulfate in human and animal tissues and
cell cultures. Biomedical Chromatography in press
19. Vigetti , D., Moretto, P., Viola, M., Genasetti, A., Rizzi, M.,
Karousou, E., Pallotti, F., De Luca, G., Passi, A. (2005). Matrix
metalloproteinase 2 and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases regulate
human aortic smooth muscle cell migration during in vitro aging. Submitted
to FASEB Journal
20. Vigetti, D., Viola, M., Pallotti, F., Karousou, E., De Luca, G.,
Passi, A (2005). Molecular cloning and characterization of UDP-glucose
dehydrogenase from the amphibian Xenopus laevis and its involvement
in hyaluronan synthesis. Submitted to Journal of Biological Chemistry
21. Pomati, F., Castiglioni, S., Zuccato, E., Fanelli, R., Vigetti,
D., Rossetti, C., Calamari, D. (2005). Effects of a complex mixture
of therapeutic drugs at environmental levels (ng/L) on human embryonic
cells HEK293. Submitted to Molecular Pharmacology
22. Vigetti, D., Viola, M., Moretto, P., Genasetti, A., Pallotti,
F., Karousou, E., De Luca, G., Passi, A.. Hyaluronan metabolism in
young and aged human aortic smooth muscle cells. Manuscript in preparation