Cell Stress and Survival

Group leader: Francesco Cecconi

The Cell Stress and Survival group (CSS) covers several research areas:

  • Identifying novel factors regulating autophagy, mitophagy and pexophagy networks in cancer
  • Investigating the regulation of cell migration, cell stem potential and cell division by autophagy and autophagy-related molecules in cancer cells
  • Unveiling a role for autophagy in micronuclei homeostasis during oncogenesis
  • Studying the specific regulation of centriolar satellites (doryphagy) and providing novel molecular targets to counteract cancer-associated centrosome abnormalities
  • Combining the modulation of autophagy and stem cell potential in the treatment of childhood brain tumours
  • Unravelling the molecular mechanisms at the basis of melanoma biology (in joint venture with the Melanoma Research Team directed by Senior Scientist Dr. Daniela De Zio).
Cell Stress and Survival test
Cell Stress and Survival test

CSS represents a virtuous balance between basic and translational science, and always expresses a fantastic mix of senior and junior scientists, committed in innovative cutting-edge research, open to national and international collaborations, and devoted to scientific excellence.

The group collaborates closely with the RNA and Autophagy group (Group leader Prof. Lisa Frankel), and the Redox Signaling and Oxidative Stress group (Group leader Prof. Giuseppe Filomeni).

Selected publications:

Maiani E, Milletti G, Nazio F, Holdgaard SG, Bartkova J, Rizza S, Cianfanelli V, Lorente M, Simoneschi D, Di Marco M, D'Acunzo P, Di Leo L, Rasmussen R, Montagna C, Raciti M, De Stefanis C, Gabicagogeascoa E, Rona G, Salvador N, Pupo E, Merchut-Maya JM, Daniel CJ, Carinci M, Cesarini V, O'sullivan A, Jeong YT, Bordi M, Russo F, Campello S, Gallo A, Filomeni G, Lanzetti L, Sears RC, Hamerlik P, Bartolazzi A, Hynds RE, Pearce DR, Swanton C, Pagano M, Velasco G, Papaleo E, De Zio D, Maya-Mendoza A, Locatelli F, Bartek J, Cecconi F: AMBRA1 regulates cyclin D to guard S-phase entry and genomic integrity. Nature 2021; April 14

Holdgaard SG, Cianfanelli V, Pupo E, Lambrughi M, Lubas M, Nielsen JC, Eibes S, Maiani E, Harder LM, Wesch N, Foged MM, Maeda K, Nazio F, de la Ballina LR, Dötsch V, Brech A, Frankel LB, Jäättelä M, Locatelli F, Barisic M, Andersen JS, Bekker-Jensen S, Lund AH, Rogov VV, Papaleo E, Lanzetti L, De Zio D, Cecconi F: Selective autophagy maintains centrosome integrity and accurate mitosis by turnover of centriolar satellites. Nat Commun 2019;10(1):4176

Di Rita A, Peschiaroli A, D Acunzo P, Strobbe D, Hu Z, Gruber J, Nygaard M, Lambrughi M, Melino G, Papaleo E, Dengjel J, El Alaoui S, Campanella M, Dötsch V, Rogov VV, Strappazzon F, Cecconi F.: HUWE1 E3 ligase promotes PINK1/PARKIN-independent mitophagy by regulating AMBRA1 activation via IKKα. Nat Commun 2018;9(1):3755

Cianfanelli V, Fuoco C, Lorente M, Salazar M, Quondamatteo F, Gherardini PF, De Zio D, Nazio F, Antonioli M, D'Orazio M, Skobo T, Bordi M, Rohde M, Dalla Valle L, Helmer-Citterich M, Gretzmeier C, Dengjel J, Fimia GM, Piacentini M, Di Bartolomeo S, Velasco G, Cecconi F: AMBRA1 links autophagy to cell proliferation and tumorigenesis by promoting c-Myc dephosphorylation and degradation. Nat Cell Biol 2015;17(1):20-30

Nazio F, Strappazzon F, Antonioli M, Bielli P, Cianfanelli V, Bordi M, Gretzmeier C, Dengjel J, Piacentini M, Fimia GM, Cecconi F: mTOR inhibits autophagy by controlling ULK1 ubiquitylation, self-association and function through AMBRA1 and TRAF6. Nat Cell Biol 2013;15(4):406-416

Fimia GM, Stoykova A, Romagnoli A, Giunta L, Di Bartolomeo S, Nardacci R, Corazzari M, Fuoco C, Ucar A, Schwartz P, Gruss P, Piacentini M, Chowdhury K, Cecconi F: Ambra1 regulates autophagy and development of the nervous system. Nature 2007;447(7148):1121-1125  


Group leader Francesco Cecconi
Research profile


Cell Stress and Survival
Staff Members

Key Funding

LEO Foundation

Novo Nordisk Foundation

Lundbeck Foundation

Danish Cancer Society Scientific Committee

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network

Bjarne Saxhof Foundation


NAS - Nordic Autophagy Society

EMBO - European Molecular Biology Organisation

CDS - The Cell Death Society

ECDO - European Cell Death Organisation