Vittorio Sebastiano lab

Germ cells, preimplantation embryos and pluripotent stem cells at first glance seem to have nothing in common. A more careful look, though, reveals that they are very closely linked to each other. The zygote originates from the fusion of two highly specialized germ cells (the sperm and the oocyte) and in a few days develops into a blastocyst with a pluripotent cell population (the inner cell mass). These cells diverge from the extraembryonic cells of the trophoectoderm and can give rise to embryonic stem cells, in which a perpetual pluripotent and undifferentiated state is maintained.

The thread of Ariadne that connects germ cells, preimplatation development and pluripotent stem cells is the focus of my research, with a specific interest in human development. My long-term goals are several fold: 1. Understanding the biology of germ cells and and their ability to sustain early phases of preimplantation development; 2. Understanding the mechanisms that regulate very early cell fate decisions in human embryos; 3. Understanding the biology of Pluripotent Stem Cells and the mechanisms that lead to their formation also in the context of iPSCs derivation.

Associate Professor (Research) of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Reproductive and Stem Cell Biology)


  • We Shall See? The New England journal of medicine Sebastiano, V., Zack, D. J. 2021; 384 (18): 1766–68

    View details for DOI 10.1056/NEJMcibr2034927

    View details for PubMedID 33951368

  • Transient non-integrative expression of nuclear reprogramming factors promotes multifaceted amelioration of aging in human cells. Nature communications Sarkar, T. J., Quarta, M. n., Mukherjee, S. n., Colville, A. n., Paine, P. n., Doan, L. n., Tran, C. M., Chu, C. R., Horvath, S. n., Qi, L. S., Bhutani, N. n., Rando, T. A., Sebastiano, V. n. 2020; 11 (1): 1545


    Aging is characterized by a gradual loss of function occurring at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organismal levels. At the chromatin level, aging associates with progressive accumulation of epigenetic errors that eventually lead to aberrant gene regulation, stem cell exhaustion, senescence, and deregulated cell/tissue homeostasis. Nuclear reprogramming to pluripotency can revert both the age and the identity of any cell to that of an embryonic cell. Recent evidence shows that transient reprogramming can ameliorate age-associated hallmarks and extend lifespan in progeroid mice. However, it is unknown how this form of rejuvenation would apply to naturally aged human cells. Here we show that transient expression of nuclear reprogramming factors, mediated by expression of mRNAs, promotes a rapid and broad amelioration of cellular aging, including resetting of epigenetic clock, reduction of the inflammatory profile in chondrocytes, and restoration of youthful regenerative response to aged, human muscle stem cells, in each case without abolishing cellular identity.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-020-15174-3

    View details for PubMedID 32210226

  • Author Correction: CRISPR/Cas9 microinjection in oocytes disables pancreas development in sheep. Scientific reports Vilarino, M. n., Rashid, S. T., Suchy, F. P., McNabb, B. R., van der Meulen, T. n., Fine, E. J., Ahsan, S. D., Mursaliyev, N. n., Sebastiano, V. n., Diab, S. S., Huising, M. O., Nakauchi, H. n., Ross, P. J. 2020; 10 (1): 7500


    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-64443-0

    View details for PubMedID 32371904

  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) From Older Males With Knee Osteoarthritis Depresses Chondrocyte Metabolism and Upregulates Inflammation JOURNAL OF ORTHOPAEDIC RESEARCH O'Donnell, C., Migliore, E., Grandi, F., Koltsov, J., Lingampalli, N., Cisar, C., Indelli, P. F., Sebastiano, V., Robinson, W. H., Bhutani, N., Chu, C. R. 2019; 37 (8): 1760–70

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jor.24322

    View details for Web of Science ID 000501249400010

  • Highly Efficient and Marker-free Genome Editing of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells by CRISPR-Cas9 RNP and AAV6 Donor-Mediated Homologous Recombination. Cell stem cell Martin, R. M., Ikeda, K., Cromer, M. K., Uchida, N., Nishimura, T., Romano, R., Tong, A. J., Lemgart, V. T., Camarena, J., Pavel-Dinu, M., Sindhu, C., Wiebking, V., Vaidyanathan, S., Dever, D. P., Bak, R. O., Laustsen, A., Lesch, B. J., Jakobsen, M. R., Sebastiano, V., Nakauchi, H., Porteus, M. H. 2019; 24 (5): 821


    Genome editing of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) provides powerful opportunities for invitro disease modeling, drug discovery, and personalized stem cell-based therapeutics. Currently, only small edits can be engineered with high frequency, while larger modifications suffer from low efficiency and a resultant need for selection markers. Here, we describe marker-free genome editing in hPSCs using Cas9 ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) in combination with AAV6-mediated DNA repair template delivery. We report highly efficient and bi-allelic integration frequencies across multiple loci and hPSC lines, achieving mono-allelic editing frequencies of up to 94% at the HBB locus. Using this method, we show robust bi-allelic correction of homozygous sickle cell mutations in a patient-derived induced PSC (iPSC) line. Thus, this strategy shows significant utility for generating hPSCs with large gene integrations and/or single-nucleotide changes at high frequency and without the need for introducing selection genes, enhancing the applicability of hPSC editing for research and translational uses.

    View details for PubMedID 31051134