- Head of Structural Biology Research Centre, Structural biology
- Research Group Leader, Vannini Group
Alessandro Vannini is a biochemist. He heads the Centre for Structural Biology after almost 8 years as a Principal Investigator and Deputy Head of Division at the Institute of Cancer Research in London.
His laboratory focuses on structural and functional analisys of large macromolecular complexes assembling around RNA Pol III loci and that play a role in gene expression and structural organization of the eukaryotic genome. These mechanisms are often deregulated in human diseases, such as cancer and congenital neurodegenerative diseases.
11/2022 - Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
Structural basis of SNAPc-dependent snRNA transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II
RNA polymerase II (Pol II) carries out transcription of both protein-coding and non-coding genes. Whereas Pol II initiation at protein-coding genes has been studied in detail, Pol II initiation at non-coding genes, such as small nuclear RNA (snRNA) genes, is less well understood at the structural level. Here, we study Pol II initiation at snRNA […]
09/2022 - Life Sci Alliance
The human RNA polymerase I structure reveals an HMG-like docking domain specific to metazoans
Transcription of the ribosomal RNA precursor by RNA polymerase (Pol) I is a major determinant of cellular growth, and dysregulation is observed in many cancer types. Here, we present the purification of human Pol I from cells carrying a genomic GFP fusion on the largest subunit allowing the structural and functional analysis of the enzyme […]
12/2021 - Elife
MCPH1 inhibits Condensin II during interphase by regulating its SMC2-Kleisin interface
Dramatic change in chromosomal DNA morphology between interphase and mitosis is a defining features of the eukaryotic cell cycle. Two types of enzymes, namely cohesin and condensin confer the topology of chromosomal DNA by extruding DNA loops. While condensin normally configures chromosomes exclusively during mitosis, cohesin does so during interphase. The processivity of cohesin’s loop […]
11/2021 - Nature Communications
Structural basis of Ty3 retrotransposon integration at RNA Polymerase III-transcribed genes
Retrotransposons are endogenous elements that have the ability to mobilise their DNA between different locations in the host genome. The Ty3 retrotransposon integrates with an exquisite specificity in a narrow window upstream of RNA Polymerase (Pol) III-transcribed genes, representing a paradigm for harmless targeted integration. Here we present the cryo-EM reconstruction at 4.0 Å of […]
09/2021 - Molecular Cell
A small nucleosome from a weird virus with a fat genome
Valencia-Sánchez et al. (2021) and Liu et al. (2021) provide structural and biological insights about the existence and importance of a nucleosome-like particle in a family of giant viruses.