Laboratory Nicola Iovino

Laboratory Nicola Iovino

Chromatin regulation in early embryo

Fertilisation and early embryogenesis are the foundations of life. Despite much progress in developmental biology, it remains unclear i) how terminally differentiated gametes are reprogrammed to totipotency ii) what is the content and extent of epigenetic information carried from the gametes to the next generation iii) how the de-novo epigenome is established in the early embryo.


The goal of the lab is to break new ground by unravelling the mechanisms that regulate (i) epigenetic reprogramming of gametes, (ii) germline epigenetic inheritance, and (iii) de novo establishment of epigenetic memory. We use Drosophila early embryo as a model system. 


These mechanisms are evolutionarily conserved, thus our discoveries will open the way for translational research and novel studies of early embryogenesis that could be applied to vertebrate models. 

Selected Publications

Ibarra-Morales D, Rauer M, Quarato P, Rabbani L, Zenk F, Schulte-Sasse M, Cardamone F, Gomez-Auli A, Cecere G & Iovino N (2021)
Histone variant H2A.Z regulates zygotic genome activation
Nature Communications, 12: 7002.
Zenk F, Zhan Y, Kos P, Löser E, Atinbayeva N, Schächtle M, Tiana G, Giorgetti L, Iovino N (2021)
HP1 drives de novo 3D genome reorganization in early Drosophila embryos
Nature 593, 289-293.
Zenk F, Loeser E, Schiavo R, Kilpert F, Bogdanović O, Iovino N (2017)
Germ line–inherited H3K27me3 restricts enhancer function during maternal-to-zygotic transition.
Science 357 (6347), 212-216.
Iovino N, Ciabrelli F and Cavalli G (2013)
PRC2 controls Drosophila oocyte cell fate by repressing cell cycle genes
Developmental Cell 26(4), 431-439.
Iovino N, Pane A and Gaul U (2009)
miR-184 has multiple roles in Drosophila female germline development
Developmental Cell 17(1), 123-133.

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