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I would like to thank all the collaborators who contributed in the realization of the

project presented in this thesis:

Prof. Roberto Perris, Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Anthropology,

University of Parma for financially supporting my first year of PhD program and for

discussion and useful criticisms in the preparation of the Development paper reported a

the end of this thesis (Ori et al. 2006).

Prof. Salvatore Campo and Prof. Alberto Calatroni, Department of Biochemical,

Physiological, and Nutritional Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Messina for the

determination of the full coding sequence of Xversican cDNA.

Prof. Raija Tammi, Department of Anatomy, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland, for

the generous gift of a sample of bHABP produced in her laboratory.

In particular, I would like to thank my research supervisor, Dr. Michela Ori, Unit of

Cellular and Developmental Biology, Department of Biology, University of Pisa for data

discussion and carefully reading of this thesis.

I am grateful to Guglielma De Matienzo, Marzia Fabbri, Elena Landi and Salvatore Di

Maria for technical assistance and frog care.

The project of my thesis was supported by grant from “Ministero dell’Istruzione,

dell’Università e della Ricerca” (MIUR, Project: “Functional analysis of the

hyaluronan-hyaluronan receptor system during development and in genetic diseases”).


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