Dr. Vittorio Sartorelli received his M.D. from the University of Brescia, Italy and completed a residency in oncology at the University of Milan, Italy. He joined the Genetics Department and the Department of Medicine of the Stanford University for his postdoctoral education. In 1993, he joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California as an Assistant Professor. In 1999, he was recruited to head the Muscle Gene Expression Group within the Laboratory of Muscle Biology of the Intramural Program at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) within the National Institutes of Health. He is currently the Chief of the Laboratory of Muscle Stem Cells & Gene Regulation and the NIAMS Deputy Scientific Director.

Research Statement

The Laboratory of Muscle Stem Cells & Gene Regulation focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating specification, differentiation, and regeneration of skeletal muscle cells. The objective is to provide a conceptual and practical framework contributing to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases affecting skeletal muscles. Specific areas of investigation are: 1) transcriptional control of the regulatory circuitries involved in different aspects of adult muscle stem cell biology, 2) functional relation of metabolites and epigenetic modifications impacting adult muscle stem cell biology, 3) role of non-coding RNAs in skeletal muscle biology.

Scientific Publications

Enhancer RNAs are an important regulatory layer of the epigenome.

Sartorelli V, Lauberth SM
Nature structural & molecular biology.
2020 Jun;
doi: 10.1038/s41594-020-0446-0
PMID: 32514177

Single cell analysis of adult mouse skeletal muscle stem cells in homeostatic and regenerative conditions.

Dell'Orso S, Juan AH, Ko KD, Naz F, Perovanovic J, Gutierrez-Cruz G, Feng X, Sartorelli V
Development (Cambridge, England).
2019 Apr 11;
pii: dev174177. doi: 10.1242/dev.174177
PMID: 30890574

A Muscle-Specific Enhancer RNA Mediates Cohesin Recruitment and Regulates Transcription In trans.

Tsai PF, Dell'Orso S, Rodriguez J, Vivanco KO, Ko KD, Jiang K, Juan AH, Sarshad AA, Vian L, Tran M, Wangsa D, Wang AH, Perovanovic J, Anastasakis D, Ralston E, Ried T, Sun HW, Hafner M, Larson DR, Sartorelli V
Molecular cell.
2018 Jul 5;
doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.06.008
PMID: 29979962

Shaping Gene Expression by Landscaping Chromatin Architecture: Lessons from a Master.

Sartorelli V, Puri PL
Molecular cell.
2018 Aug 2;
doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.04.025
PMID: 29887393

The Elongation Factor Spt6 Maintains ESC Pluripotency by Controlling Super-Enhancers and Counteracting Polycomb Proteins.

Wang AH, Juan AH, Ko KD, Tsai PF, Zare H, Dell'Orso S, Sartorelli V
Molecular cell.
2017 Oct 19;
doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2017.09.016
PMID: 29033324

Roles of H3K27me2 and H3K27me3 Examined during Fate Specification of Embryonic Stem Cells.

Juan AH, Wang S, Ko KD, Zare H, Tsai PF, Feng X, Vivanco KO, Ascoli AM, Gutierrez-Cruz G, Krebs J, Sidoli S, Knight AL, Pedersen RA, Garcia BA, Casellas R, Zou J, Sartorelli V
Cell reports.
2016 Oct 25;
doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.09.087
PMID: 27783950

The Histone Variant MacroH2A1.2 Is Necessary for the Activation of Muscle Enhancers and Recruitment of the Transcription Factor Pbx1.

Dell'Orso S, Wang AH, Shih HY, Saso K, Berghella L, Gutierrez-Cruz G, Ladurner AG, O'Shea JJ, Sartorelli V, Zare H
Cell reports.
2016 Feb 9;
doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.12.103
PMID: 26832413

Metabolic Reprogramming of Stem Cell Epigenetics.

Ryall JG, Cliff T, Dalton S, Sartorelli V
Cell stem cell.
2015 Dec 3;
doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2015.11.012
PMID: 26637942

The NAD(+)-dependent SIRT1 deacetylase translates a metabolic switch into regulatory epigenetics in skeletal muscle stem cells.

Ryall JG, Dell'Orso S, Derfoul A, Juan A, Zare H, Feng X, Clermont D, Koulnis M, Gutierrez-Cruz G, Fulco M, Sartorelli V
Cell stem cell.
2015 Feb 5;
doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.12.004
PMID: 25600643

eRNAs promote transcription by establishing chromatin accessibility at defined genomic loci.

Mousavi K, Zare H, Dell'orso S, Grontved L, Gutierrez-Cruz G, Derfoul A, Hager GL, Sartorelli V
Molecular cell.
2013 Sep 12;
doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2013.07.022
PMID: 23993744

Polycomb protein Ezh1 promotes RNA polymerase II elongation.

Mousavi K, Zare H, Wang AH, Sartorelli V
Molecular cell.
2012 Jan 27;
doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.11.019
PMID: 22196887


University of Brescia, Italy

University of Milan, Italy
Specialty in Oncology


Deputy Scientific Director

Laboratory of Muscle Stem Cells & Gene Regulation, NIAMS, NIH

Group Leader
Laboratory of Muscle Biology, NIAMS, NIH

Postdoctoral Fellow
Stanford University

Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Last Updated: August 2020