Direzione e uffici C.I.B.


Prof. Graziano Pesole

Dipartimento di Bioscienze, Biotecnologie e Biofarmaceutica
Università degli Studi di Bari
Email: graziano.pesole@uniba.it


Prof.ssa Monica Borgatti

Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biotecnologie
Università degli studi di Ferrara
Email: monica.borgatti@unife.it


Dott.ssa Elisabetta Lambertini

Università degli studi di Ferrara
Tel: 0532/974451
E-mail: lmblbt@unife.it


Dott.ssa Vanessa Florit

BIC Incubatori
via Flavia 23/1 - 34148 Trieste
Tel: 040/8992242
E-mail: cib@Lncib.it
Posta certificata C.I.B.: cib@poste-certificate.it


Costelli Paola Stampa

Cognome e Nome Costelli Paola
Qualifica PA 
Dipartimento Scienze Cliniche e Biologiche
Settore Scientifico Disciplinare MED/04
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tel 011-6707062


Cognome e Nome Riccardo Autelli
Scienze cliniche e Biologiche
Ente di appartenenza Università di Torino
Cognome e Nome Fabio Penna
Qualifica Ricercatore
Dipartimento Scienze cliniche e Biologiche
Ente di appartenenza Università di Torino
Cognome e Nome
De Stefanis Daniela
Qualifica Tecnico
Dipartimento Scienze cliniche e Biologiche
Ente di appartenenza Università di Torino


Cognome e Nome Fabrizio Pin
Qualifica Dottorando
Scienze cliniche e Biologiche
Ente di appartenenza Università di Torino
Cognome e Nome
Riccardo Ballarò
Scienze cliniche e Biologiche
Ente di appartenenza Università di Torino
Cognome e Nome Marc Beltrà Bach
Qualifica Dottorando
Scienze cliniche e Biologiche
Ente di appartenenza Università di Torino


Pathogenesis of cancer cachexia

Cancer cachexia, a complex syndrome that occurs in most of cancer patients, is characterized by body weight loss and marked skeletal muscle wasting. Cachexia negatively impacts on patient management, tolerance to antineoplastic treatments and quality of life. Recent data suggest that impaired myogenesis and tissue protein hypercatabolism contribute to the pathogenesis of cachexia. In addition, tumor-derived extracellular vescicles (EV) also seem to play a role.

The study is aimed to investigate the pathogenesis of cancer-induced muscle wasting by taking advantage of both in vivo and in vitro model systems, focusing on the following aspects: 1) mitochondrial biogenesis, dynamics, number and function; 2) effects of exercise and/or exercise mimetic drugs in modulating muscle wasting in tumor-bearing animals; 3) muscle-specific microRNAs as mediators and biomarkers of cachexia; 4) role of EVs in mediating the metabolic derangements that characterize cancer cachexia.

Autophagy in cell death and survival

Autophagy is the major intracellular catabolic pathway essential to living cells and represents the most effective mechanism for removal of damaged or unnecessary molecules/organelles. The role of autophagy, however, is not limited to substrate degradation; indeed, it was also suggested to participate to cell death. Autophagy is now recognized as a protective mechanism promoting cell survival in adverse or stress conditions, including hypoxia and redox imbalance.

The research project will mostly focus on liver and breast cancer-derived cell lines and will be aimed at: 1) understanding whether upregulated autophagy plays a key role in the resistance of neoplastic cells to anticancer drugs, 2) identifying the molecular mechanism(s) by which this occurs and 3) evaluating whether selectively targeting autophagy may represent a suitable strategy to overcome resistance of tumor cells to anticancer drugs.


  • Site-directed mutagenesis
  • Eukaryotic transfection and gene expression analysis
  • Induction and purification of recombinant proteins in bacteria
  • Analysis of protein-protein interaction by two hybrid yeast system
  • Muscle-specific in-vivo transfection


Struttura ove la strumentazione è allocata
Responsabile della strumentazione
Flow cytometer
Dept. of Clinical and Biological Sciences
Dr. Autelli
Real Time PCR
Dept. of Clinical and Biological Science
Proff. Costelli, Parola
Image analysis system
Dept. of Clinical and Biological Science
Prof. Canuto
Fluorescence microscopy system
Dept. of Clinical and Biological Science
Proff. Costelli, Canuto
Gas-cromatograph Dept. of Clinical and Biological Science Prof. Canuto


Effect of the specific proteasome inhibitor bortezomib on cancer-related muscle wasting.Penna F, Bonetto A, Aversa Z, Minero VG, Rossi Fanelli F, Costelli P, Muscaritoli M.J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle, in press. doi: 10.1002/jcsm.12050

Experimental cancer cachexia: Evolving strategies for getting closer to the human scenario.Penna F, Busquets S, Argilés JM. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2015 Sep 3. pii: S1084-9521(15)00161-5. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2015.09.002.

A Periodic Diet that Mimics Fasting Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan. Brandhorst S, Choi IY, Wei M, Cheng CW, Sedrakyan S, Navarrete G, Dubeau L, Yap LP, Park R, Vinciguerra M, Di Biase S, Mirzaei H, Mirisola MG, Childress P, Ji L, Groshen S, Penna F, Odetti P, Perin L, Conti PS, Ikeno Y, Kennedy BK, Cohen P, Morgan TE, Dorff TB, Longo VD.Cell Metab. 2015 Jul 7;22(1):86-99. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.05.012.

Hypoxia up-regulates SERPINB3 through HIF-2α in human liver cancer cells.Cannito S, Turato C, Paternostro C, Biasiolo A, Colombatto S, Cambieri I, Quarta S, Novo E, Morello E, Villano G, Fasolato S, Musso T, David E, Tusa I, Rovida E, Autelli R, Smedile A, Cillo U, Pontisso P, Parola M.Oncotarget. 2015;  Feb 10;6(4):2206-21.

In vitro and in vivo conditional sensitization of hepatocellular carcinoma cells to TNF-induced apoptosis by taxol. Minero VG, De Stefanis D, Costelli P, Baccino FM, Bonelli G. Cell Cycle. 2015;14(7):1090-102. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2014.1000695.

Coming back: autophagy in cachexia.Penna F, Baccino FM, Costelli P.Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 May;17(3):241-6. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000048.

Autophagic degradation contributes to muscle wasting in cancer cachexia. Penna F, Costamagna D, Pin F, Camperi A, Fanzani A, Chiarpotto EM, Cavallini G, Bonelli G, Baccino FM, Costelli P. Am J Pathol. 2013 Apr;182(4):1367-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.12.023.

Sphingosine mediates TNFα-induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization and ensuing programmed cell death in hepatoma cells. Ullio C, Casas J, Brunk UT, Sala G, Fabriàs G, Ghidoni R, Bonelli G, Baccino FM, Autelli R. J Lipid Res. 2012 Jun;53(6):1134-43. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M022384.

Muscle wasting and impaired myogenesis in tumor bearing mice are prevented by ERK inhibition. Penna F, Costamagna D, Fanzani A, Bonelli G, Baccino FM, Costelli P. PLoS One. 2010 Oct 27;5(10):e13604. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013604.

Muscle atrophy in experimental cancer cachexia: is the IGF-1 signaling pathway involved? Penna F, Bonetto A, Muscaritoli M, Costamagna D, Minero VG, Bonelli G, Rossi Fanelli F, Baccino FM, Costelli P. Int J Cancer. 2010 Oct 1;127(7):1706-17. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25146.


Componente U.O. Dottorato di Ricerca Coordinatore Sede
Paola Costelli Medicina e Terapia Sperimentale Prof. Giuseppe Poli Torino


Congressi Partecipazione







Department of Experimental Medicine and Oncology