Giovanni Ligresti, PhD

Associate Professor, Medicine

Giovanni Ligresti
617.358.6786
72 East Concord Street

Biography

My laboratory focuses on lung repair and pulmonary fibrosis. We are currently investigating molecular mechanisms implicated in the differentiation of lung fibroblasts into myofibroblasts during lung fibrosis, with particular emphasis on transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms driving persistent fibrogenesis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We have recently discovered that in the lung, myofibroblast differentiation occurs through the engagement of chromatin modifier enzymes and epigenetic readers. We found that the histone methyltransferase G9a and the epigenetic reader CBX5 play a critical role in lung fibroblast activation, and that targeting these epigenetic modifiers enhanced mitochondrial function, blocked ECM protein secretion, and attenuated lung fibrogenesis.
In addition, my laboratory is interested in investigating the impact of aging on the development of pulmonary fibrosis. We have recently discovered that the endothelium of aged mouse lungs is dysfunctional and this abnormality leads to capillary loss and persistent lung fibrosis following injury. Using a multi-omics approach (RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, and scRNA-seq) we have identified transcriptional programs in lung endothelial cells orchestrating lung vascular repair and whose abnormal activation with aging leads to persistent lung fibrosis.

Other Positions

  • Member, Pulmonary Center, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Education

  • University of Trieste, PhD
  • University of Trieste, MS
  • University of Trieste, BS

Publications

  • Published on 7/25/2022

    Caporarello N, Lee J, Pham TX, Jones DL, Guan J, Link PA, Meridew JA, Marden G, Yamashita T, Osborne CA, Bhagwate AV, Huang SK, Nicosia RF, Tschumperlin DJ, Trojanowska M, Ligresti G. Dysfunctional ERG signaling drives pulmonary vascular aging and persistent fibrosis. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 25; 13(1):4170. PMID: 35879310.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2022

    Ligresti G, Pham TX, Sanders YY. Circular RNA Methylation: A New Twist in Lung Fibrosis. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2022 May; 66(5):471-472. PMID: 35238732.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/22/2022

    Pham TX, Lee J, Guan J, Caporarello N, Meridew JA, Jones DL, Tan Q, Huang SK, Tschumperlin DJ, Ligresti G. Transcriptional analysis of lung fibroblasts identifies PIM1 signaling as a driver of aging-associated persistent fibrosis. JCI Insight. 2022 Mar 22; 7(6). PMID: 35167499.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/17/2021

    Ring NAR, Volpe MC, Stepišnik T, Mamolo MG, Panov P, Kocev D, Vodret S, Fortuna S, Calabretti A, Rehman M, Colliva A, Marchesan P, Camparini L, Marcuzzo T, Bussani R, Scarabellotto S, Confalonieri M, Pham TX, Ligresti G, Caporarello N, Loffredo FS, Zampieri D, Džeroski S, Zacchigna S. Wet-dry-wet drug screen leads to the synthesis of TS1, a novel compound reversing lung fibrosis through inhibition of myofibroblast differentiation. Cell Death Dis. 2021 12 17; 13(1):2. PMID: 34916483.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/23/2021

    Nicosia RF, Ligresti G, Caporarello N, Akilesh S, Ribatti D. COVID-19 Vasculopathy: Mounting Evidence for an Indirect Mechanism of Endothelial Injury. Am J Pathol. 2021 08; 191(8):1374-1384. PMID: 34033751.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/3/2021

    Jones DL, Meridew JA, Link PA, Ducharme MT, Lydon KL, Choi KM, Caporarello N, Tan Q, Diaz Espinosa AM, Xiong Y, Lee JH, Ye Z, Yan H, Ordog T, Ligresti G, Varelas X, Tschumperlin DJ. ZNF416 is a pivotal transcriptional regulator of fibroblast mechanoactivation. J Cell Biol. 2021 05 03; 220(5). PMID: 33625469.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/1/2021

    Tan Q, Link PA, Meridew JA, Pham TX, Caporarello N, Ligresti G, Tschumperlin DJ. Spontaneous Lung Fibrosis Resolution Reveals Novel Antifibrotic Regulators. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2021 04; 64(4):453-464. PMID: 33493091.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/22/2021

    Fortier SM, Penke LR, King D, Pham TX, Ligresti G, Peters-Golden M. Myofibroblast dedifferentiation proceeds via distinct transcriptomic and phenotypic transitions. JCI Insight. 2021 03 22; 6(6). PMID: 33561015.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/5/2020

    Ji S, Traini C, Mischopoulou M, Gibbons SJ, Ligresti G, Faussone-Pellegrini MS, Sha L, Farrugia G, Vannucchi MG, Cipriani G. Muscularis macrophages establish cell-to-cell contacts with telocytes/PDGFRa-positive cells and smooth muscle cells in the human and mouse gastrointestinal tract. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2021 03; 33(3):e13993. PMID: 33020982.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/3/2020

    Vivarelli S, Falzone L, Ligresti G, Candido S, Garozzo A, Magro GG, Bonavida B, Libra M. Role of the Transcription Factor Yin Yang 1 and Its Selectively Identified Target Survivin in High-Grade B-Cells Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas: Potential Diagnostic and Therapeutic Targets. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 03; 21(17). PMID: 32899428.

    Read at: PubMed

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