Dr. Federica Benvenuti

Group Leader


Cellular Immunology


Federica Benvenuti leads the Cellular Immunology Groups at ICGEB, Trieste. She graduated in Biology at University of Trieste and she obtained her PhD in Molecular Immunology at ICGEB working on the development of DNA vaccines against B cell malignancies. She next moved for a post-doc in the lab of Sebastian Amigorena at the Institute Curie in Paris where she started to work on the biology of T cell priming by dendritic cells. Combining functional assays of T cell activation to time lapse imaging of the physical interaction between DCs and T cells she showed the critical role of an intact actin cytoskeleton in DCs for efficient T cell priming. She continued to study the intracellular trafficking pathways operating in DCs during priming, unveiling the importance of cell polarity and membrane trafficking proteins in this processusing mouse knockout models and quantitative microscopy. The lab recently started to investigate the cell biological basis of loss of function of DCs in cancer. 


Selected Publications

Cervantes-Luevano KE, Caronni N, Castiello MC, Fontana E, Piperno G, Naseem A, Uva P, Bosticardo M, Marcovecchio GE, Notarangelo LD, Cicalese MP, Aiuti A, VillaA, Benvenuti F. Neutrophils drive type-I interferon production and autoantibodies in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018 Feb 12. pii: S0091-6749(18)30207-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.11.063. PubMed PMID: 29447842.

Caronni N, Simoncello F, Stafetta F, Guarnaccia C, Ruiz-Moreno JS, Opitz B, Galli T, Proux-Gillardeaux V, Benvenuti F. Downregulation of membrane trafficking proteins and lactate conditioning determine loss of dendritic cell function in lung cancer. Cancer Res.2018 Jan 23. pii: canres.1307.2017. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-1307. PubMed PMID: 29363545.

Campaner E, Rustighi A, Zannini A, Cristiani A, Piazza S, Ciani Y, Kalid O, Golan G, Baloglu E, Shacham S, Valsasina B, Cucchi U, Pippione AC, Lolli ML, Giabbai B, Storici P, Carloni P, Rossetti G, Benvenuti F, Bello E, D'Incalci M, Cappuzzello E, Rosato A, Del Sal G. “A covalent PIN1 inhibitor selectively targets cancer cells by a dual mechanism of action”. Nat Commun2017. Jun 9;8:15772. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15772

Castiello MC, Pala F, Sereni L, Draghici E, Inverso D, Sauer AV, Schena F, Fontana E, Radaelli E, Uva P, Cervantes-Luevano KE, Benvenuti F, Poliani PL, Iannacone M, Traggiai E, Villa A, Bosticardo M. “In Vivo Chronic Stimulation Unveils Autoreactive Potential of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein-Deficient B Cells”. Front Immunol. 2017 May 2;8:490. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00490.

Ottaviani G, Martinelli V, Rupel K, Caronni N, Naseem A, Zandon√† L, Perinetti G, Gobbo M, Di Lenarda R, Bussani R, Benvenuti F, Giacca M, Biasotto M, Zacchigna S. “Laser Therapy Inhibits Tumor Growth in Mice by Promoting Immune Surveillance and Vessel Normalization”. EBioMedicine. 2016 Sep;11:165-172. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.07.028. Epub 2016 Jul 25.

Benvenuti F. “The dendritic cell synapse: a life dedicated to T cell activation”. Front Immunol.2016 Mar 7,7:70. Doi:10.3389/fimmu.2016.00070.eCollection 2016. 

Chiaruttini, G., Piperno, G.M., Jouve, M., De Nardi, F., Larghi, P., Peden, A.A., Baj, G., Müller, S., Valitutti, S., Galli, T., and Benvenuti, F. “The SNARE VAMP7 regulates exocytic trafficking of Interleukin-12 in dendritic cells. Cell Rep.2016. 14.10.1016/j.celrep.2016.02.055.

MarinoKallikourdis , Antonella Viola AFederica Benvenuti.“Human Immunodeficiencies Related to Defective APC/T Cell Interaction”.Front Immunology.2015. 6:433. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00433. 

Mayrel Labrada, Isabel Pablos, Francesca Prete, Giselle Hevia, Marilyn Clavell, Federica Benvenuti& Luis E Fernández. “Induction of leukocyte infiltration at metastatic site mediates the protective effect of NGcGM3-based vaccine”. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.2014.

Mion FBenvenuti FPucillo CVitale G. “Use of cocultures for the study of cellular interactions influencing B cell regulatory functions”.Methods Mol Biol.2014.1190:163-79. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1161-5_12. 10(8):2312-20. 

Rustighi, A., A. Zannini, L. Tiberi, R. Sommaggio, S. Piazza, G. Sorrentino, S. Nuzzo, A. Tuscano, V. Eterno, F. Benvenuti, L. Santarpia, I. Aifantis, A. Rosato, S. Bicciato, A. Zambelli, and G. Del Sal. “Prolyl-isomerase Pin1 controls normal and cancer stem cells of the breast”. EMBO Mol Med2014. 6:99-119.               

Prete, F., M. Catucci, M. Labrada, S. Gobessi, M. C. Castiello, E. Bonomi, A. Aiuti, W. Vermi, C. Cancrini, A. Metin, S. Hambleton, R. Bredius, L. D. Notarangelo, M. van der Burg, U. Kalinke, A. Villa, and F. Benvenuti. “Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein-mediated actin dynamics control type-I interferon production in plasmacytoid dendritic cells”. J Exp Med2013. 210:355-374. 

Savino, B., M. G. Castor, N. Caronni, A. Sarukhan, A. Anselmo, C. Buracchi, F. Benvenuti,V. Pinho, M. M. Teixeira, A. Mantovani, M. Locati, and R. Bonecchi.. “Control of murine Ly6C(high) monocyte traffic and immunosuppressive activities by atypical chemokine receptor D6”. Blood. 2012. 119:5250-5260.         

Catucci, M., F. Prete, M. Bosticardo, M. C. Castiello, E. Draghici, M. Locci, M. G. Roncarolo, A. Aiuti, F. Benvenuti, and A. Villa. 2012. Dendritic cell functional improvement in a preclinical model of lentiviral-mediated gene therapy for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. Gene Ther. 2012 19:1150-1158.    

Pulecio, J., J. Petrovic, F. Prete, G. Chiaruttini, A. M. Lennon-Dumenil, C. Desdouets, S. Gasman, O. R. Burrone, and F. Benvenuti.2010. “Cdc42-mediated MTOC polarization in dendritic cells controls targeted delivery of cytokines at the immune synapse”. J Exp Med 2010. 207:2719-2732. 

Tagliani, E., P. Guermonprez, J. Sepulveda, M. Lopez-Bravo, C. Ardavin, S. Amigorena, F. Benvenuti,and O. R. Burrone.”Selection of an antibody library identifies a pathway to induce immunity by targeting CD36 on steady-state CD8 alpha+ dendritic cells”. J Immunol. 2008.180:3201-3209. 

Pulecio, J., E. Tagliani, A. Scholer, F. Prete, L. Fetler, O. R. Burrone, and F. Benvenuti. 2008. “Expression of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein in dendritic cells regulates synapse formation and activation of naive CD8+ T cells”. J Immunol181:1135-1142.          

Cesco-Gaspere, M., F. Benvenuti, and O. R. Burrone.”BCL1 lymphoma protection induced by idiotype DNA vaccination is entirely dependent on anti-idiotypic antibodies”. Cancer Immunol Immunother.2005.54:351-358.         

Benvenuti, F., C. Lagaudriere-Gesbert, I. Grandjean, C. Jancic, C. Hivroz, A. Trautmann, O. Lantz, and S. Amigorena. “Dendritic cell maturation controls adhesion, synapse formation, and the duration of the interactions with naive T lymphocytes”. J Immunol.2005.172:292-301.        

Benvenuti, F., S. Hugues, M. Walmsley, S. Ruf, L. Fetler, M. Popoff, V. L. Tybulewicz, and S. Amigorena. “Requirement of Rac1 and Rac2 expression by mature dendritic cells for T cell priming”. Science.2004.305:1150-1153.        

Benvenuti, F., M. Cesco-Gaspere, and O. R. Burrone. 2002. “Anti-idiotypic DNA vaccines for B-cell lymphoma therapy. Front Biosci7:d228-234.          

Benvenuti, F., and O. R. Burrone. 2002. Genetic vaccination for the immunotherapy of B-cell malignancies”. Curr Gene Ther2:235-242.

Benvenuti, F., and O. R. Burrone. “Anti-idiotypic antibodies induced by genetic immunisation are directed exclusively against combined V(L)/V(H) determinants”. Gene Ther.2001.8:1555-1561.

Benvenuti, F.,O. R. Burrone, and D. G. Efremov.”Anti-idiotypic DNA vaccines for lymphoma immunotherapy require the presence of both variable region genes for tumor protection”. Gene Ther.2000.7:605-611.