Laura Ciapponi, Principal Investigator

I received my Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the Research Institute of Molecular Biology Laboratory (IRBM) and the Sapienza University of Rome, for my work on the IL-6 receptor complex properties in the laboratory of Gennaro Ciliberto. Then, I left for Germany, where I performed my postdoctoral studies at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), in the laboratory of Dirk Bohmann, moving to the Drosophila melanogaster model system, that will be the landmark for my entire future scientific carrier. I used Drosophila first for studying the mechanisms of differential activation of AP1 transcription factors by the JNK or MAPK pathways and, more recently, for the understanding of the crosstalk between DNA repair, telomeres protection and maintenance of mitotic chromosome stability. Lately, I am using Drosophila as model system for studying neurodegenerative diseases and, in particular, for the dissection of the pathogenic mechanisms of the Myotonic Dystrophy of type 2 (DM2), of the human primary microcephaly (MCPH) and of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).


  • Marzullo M, Coni S, De Simone A, Canettieri G, Ciapponi L. Modeling Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2 Using Drosophila melanogaster. Int J Mol Sci. 2023-

  • Marta Marzullo, Giulia Romano, Claudia Pellacani, Federico Riccardi, Laura Ciapponi, Fabian Feiguin. Su(var)3-9 mediates age-dependent increase in H3K9 methylation on TDP-43 promoter triggering neurodegeneration. Cell death and Discovery 2023.

  • D'Ercole C, D'Angelo P, Ruggieri V, Proietti D, Virtanen L, Parisi C, Riera CS, Renzini A, Macone A, Marzullo M, Ciapponi L, Bonvissuto D, Sette C, Giordani L, Madaro L. Spatially resolved transcriptomics reveals innervation-responsive functional clusters in skeletal muscle. Cell Rep. 2022; 41(12):111861. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111861
  • Porrazzo A, Cipressa F, De Gregorio A, De Pittà C, Sales G, Ciapponi L, Morciano P, Esposito G, Tabocchini MA, Cenci G. Low dose rate γ-irradiation protects fruit fly chromosomes from double strand breaks and telomere fusions by reducing the esi-RNA biogenesis factor Loquacious. Commun Biol. 2022; 5(1):905. doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03885-w
  • Coni S, Falconio FA, Marzullo M, Munafò M, Zuliani B, Mosti F, Fatica A, Ianniello Z, Bordone R, Macone A, Agostinelli E, Perna A, Matkovic T, Sigrist S, Silvestri G, Canettieri G and Ciapponi L. Translational control of polyamine metabolism by CNBP is required for Drosophila locomotor function. e-Life 2021 doi:10.1101/2021.04.29.441910

  • Strah N, Romano G, Introna C, Klima R, Marzullo M, Ciapponi L, Megighian A, Nizzardo M and Feiguin F. TDP-43 promotes the formation of neuromuscular synapses through the regulationof Disc-large in Drosophila skeletal muscles. BMC Biol. 2020;18(1):34. doi:10.1186/s12915-020-00767-7
  • D'Amico D, Antonucci L, Di Magno L, Coni S, Sdruscia G, Macone A, Miele E, Infante P, Di Marcotullio L, De Smaele E, Ferretti E, Ciapponi L, et al. Non-canonical Hedgehog/AMPK-Mediated Control of Polyamine Metabolism Supports Neuronal and Medulloblastoma Cell Growth. Developmental Cell. 2015; 35: 21-35.
  • Cenci G., Ciapponi L, Marzullo M, Raffa GD, Morciano P, Raimondo D, Burla R, Saggio I and Gatti. The analysis of pendolino (peo) mutants reveals differences in the fusigenic potential among Drosophila telomeres. Plos Genetics 2015. 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005260.
  • Antonucci L, D'Amico D, Di Magno L, Coni S, Di Marcotullio L, Cardinali B, Gulino A, Ciapponi L. and Canettieri L. CNBP regulates wing development in Drosophila melanogaster by promoting IRES-dependent translation of dMyc. Cell Cycle 2013. 13:434-439. doi: 10.4161/cc.27268.
  • Raffa GD, Raimondo D, Sorino C, Cugusi S, Cenci G, Cacchione S, Gatti M and Ciapponi L. Verrocchio, a Drosophila OB fold-containing protein, is a component of the terminin telomere-capping complex. Genes & Development 2010; 24: 1596-1601.
  • Ciapponi L and Cenci G. Telomere capping and cellular checkpoints: clues from fruit flies. Cytogenet Genome Res. 2008; 122: 365-373.
  • Somma MP, Ceprani F, Bucciarelli E, Naim V, De Arcangelis V, Piergentili V, Palena A, Ciapponi L et al. Identification of Drosophila mitotic genes by combining co-expression analysis and RNA interference. Plos Genetics 2008; 4(7): e1000126 doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000126.
  • Musarò M, Ciapponi L, Fasulo B, Gatti M and Cenci G. Unprotected Drosophila telomeres activate the spindle assembly checkpoint. Nature Genetics 2008; 40: 362-366.
  • Ciapponi L, Cenci G, Ducau J, Flores C, Johnson-Schlitz D, Gorski MM, Engels WR and Gatti M. Drosophila Mre11/Rad50 complex is required to prevent both telomeric fusion and chromosome breakage. Curr Biol. 2004; 14:1360-1366.
  • Ciapponi L, Jackson D, Mlozik M and Bohmann D. Drosophila Fos mediates ERK and JNK signals via distinct phosphorylation sites. Genes & Development 2001; 15: 1540-1553.
CiapponiLab - Department of Biology and Biotechnologies, Charles Darwin, Sapienza University of Rome
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