With version 4.3, it was possible to italicize text in a font even if the font definition does not provide an italic version. For example, on Mac: Century, Chalkboard, etc.
With 4.4, nothing happens. The italic attribute is kept in the document because text will appear in italic after a font change. I’ve tested with 4.4.2 and 22.214.171.124 on Mac OS 10.9.5.