People

Andrea Piunti

Andrea Piunti studies chromatin biology and how its deregulation contributes to cancer onset and progression. His lab focuses on the Polycomb group (PcGs) of proteins, which are major chromatin regulators. PcG proteins are master regulators of mammalian development and cellular proliferation. They mainly exert their function through transcriptional repression achieved through their activity on chromatin. Several PcG proteins and their activities are deregulated in cancer, and they play particularly important roles in the oncogenic processes underlying rare pediatric brain tumors such as diffuse midline gliomas (DMG) and posterior fossa group A (PFA) ependymomas. Piunti works to understand how deregulation of PcG proteins in these tumors contributes to the insurgence and spreading of these and other rare malignancies.

Northwestern University
Chicago (USA)
Postdoctoral fellow - Chromatin biology
2021

European Institute of Oncology
Milan (Italy)
PhD - Molecular Oncology
2014

University Vita-Salute San Raffaele
Milan (Italy)
MS - Medical, molecular and cellular Biotechnology
2009

University of Urbin
Urbin (Italy)
BSc - Biotechnology
2006

Therapeutic Targeting of EZH2 and BET BRD4 in Pediatric Rhabdoid Tumor.
Ishi Y, Zhang Y, Zhang A, Sasaki T, Piunti A, Suri A, Watanabe J, Abe K, He X, Katagi H, Bhalla P, Natsumeda M, Zou L, Shilatifard A, Hashizume R. Therapeutic Targeting of EZH2 and BET BRD4 in Pediatric Rhabdoid Tumor. Mol Cancer Ther. 2022 Feb 28.
PMID: 35247919

Epigenetic reprogramming of host and viral genes by Human Cytomegalovirus infection in Kasumi-3 myeloid progenitor cells at early times post-infection.
Forte E, Ayaloglu Butun F, Marinaccio C, Schipma MJ, Piunti A, Schroeder MW, Kandpal M, Shilatifard A, Abecassis M, Hummel M. Epigenetic reprogramming of host and viral genes by Human Cytomegalovirus infection in Kasumi-3 myeloid progenitor cells at early times post-infection. J Virol. 2021 Mar 17.
PMID: 33731453

The roles of Polycomb repressive complexes in mammalian development and cancer.
Piunti A, Shilatifard A. The roles of Polycomb repressive complexes in mammalian development and cancer. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2021 05; 22(5):326-345.
PMID: 33723438

Decoding the protein composition of whole nucleosomes with Nuc-MS.
Schachner LF, JooƟ K, Morgan MA, Piunti A, Meiners MJ, Kafader JO, Lee AS, Iwanaszko M, Cheek MA, Burg JM, Howard SA, Keogh MC, Shilatifard A, Kelleher NL. Decoding the protein composition of whole nucleosomes with Nuc-MS. Nat Methods. 2021 03; 18(3):303-308.
PMID: 33589837

Effects of H3.3G34V mutation on genomic H3K36 and H3K27 methylation patterns in isogenic pediatric glioma cells.
Huang TY, Piunti A, Qi J, Morgan M, Bartom E, Shilatifard A, Saratsis AM. Effects of H3.3G34V mutation on genomic H3K36 and H3K27 methylation patterns in isogenic pediatric glioma cells. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2020 12 07; 8(1):219.
PMID: 33287886

A small UTX stabilization domain of Trr is conserved within mammalian MLL3-4/COMPASS and is sufficient to rescue loss of viability in null animals.
Rickels R, Wang L, Iwanaszko M, Ozark PA, Morgan MA, Piunti A, Khalatyan N, Soliman SHA, Rendleman EJ, Savas JN, Smith ER, Shilatifard A. A small UTX stabilization domain of Trr is conserved within mammalian MLL3-4/COMPASS and is sufficient to rescue loss of viability in null animals. Genes Dev. 2020 11 01; 34(21-22):1493-1502.
PMID: 33033055

Uncoupling histone H3K4 trimethylation from developmental gene expression via an equilibrium of COMPASS, Polycomb and DNA methylation.
Douillet D, Sze CC, Ryan C, Piunti A, Shah AP, Ugarenko M, Marshall SA, Rendleman EJ, Zha D, Helmin KA, Zhao Z, Cao K, Morgan MA, Singer BD, Bartom ET, Smith ER, Shilatifard A. Uncoupling histone H3K4 trimethylation from developmental gene expression via an equilibrium of COMPASS, Polycomb and DNA methylation. Nat Genet. 2020 06; 52(6):615-625.
PMID: 32393859

CATACOMB: An endogenous inducible gene that antagonizes H3K27 methylation activity of Polycomb repressive complex 2 via an H3K27M-like mechanism.
Piunti A, Smith ER, Morgan MAJ, Ugarenko M, Khaltyan N, Helmin KA, Ryan CA, Murray DC, Rickels RA, Yilmaz BD, Rendleman EJ, Savas JN, Singer BD, Bulun SE, Shilatifard A. CATACOMB: An endogenous inducible gene that antagonizes H3K27 methylation activity of Polycomb repressive complex 2 via an H3K27M-like mechanism. Sci Adv. 2019 07; 5(7):eaax2887.
PMID: 31281901

Radiosensitization by Histone H3 Demethylase Inhibition in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.
Katagi H, Louis N, Unruh D, Sasaki T, He X, Zhang A, Ma Q, Piunti A, Shimazu Y, Lamano JB, Carcaboso AM, Tian X, Seluanov A, Gorbunova V, Laurie KL, Kondo A, Wadhwani NR, Lulla R, Goldman S, Venneti S, Becher OJ, Zou L, Shilatifard A, Hashizume R. Radiosensitization by Histone H3 Demethylase Inhibition in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Clin Cancer Res. 2019 09 15; 25(18):5572-5583.
PMID: 31227500

TET2 coactivates gene expression through demethylation of enhancers.
Wang L, Ozark PA, Smith ER, Zhao Z, Marshall SA, Rendleman EJ, Piunti A, Ryan C, Whelan AL, Helmin KA, Morgan MA, Zou L, Singer BD, Shilatifard A. TET2 coactivates gene expression through demethylation of enhancers. Sci Adv. 2018 11; 4(11):eaau6986.
PMID: 30417100

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K99
NCI/NIH
2019 - 2021

iCARE
AIRC-Marie Curie-EU
2016 - 2018

Long-Term Fellowship
EMBO
2015 - 2016