Prof. Giannino Del Sal

Full Professor

University of Trieste

Laboratory of Molecular Oncology

Giannino Del Sal is Full Professor in Applied Biology at the University of Trieste since 2001 and he is also Head of the Molecular Oncology Unit at the Laboratorio Nazionale CIB (LNCIB) in Area Science Park since 1996.

Professor Del Sal has a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Trieste. He had his research training at ICGEB in Trieste, at EMBL in Heidelberg (Germany), at LNCIB in Trieste and at the University of Trieste. Among his research experiences, he had been associate expert at ICGEB in the Cell and Genome Studies Unit, and visiting scientist in the Laboratory of Cell Biology of the US biotech company Mitotix Inc. in Cambridge.

His research interest focuses on the mechanisms of tumour initiation and progression. Particularly, with both basic and translational approaches, his work has contributed to elucidate the role of different oncogenic pathways in cancer development and metastasis. Among his main contribution to the field:

- the characterization of growth arrest genes (Cell 1992; Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1994);

- the discovery of new post-translational modifications (EMBO J 1999) and new sub-cellular localization of p53 (EMBO J 2000);

- the discovery of new regulatory mechanisms of p53 and p53 family proteins (Nature 2002; Mol Cell 2004; Nat Struct Mol Biol 2007; Nat Cell Biol 2010);

- the discovery of the impact of the prolyl-isomerase Pin1 on Notch pathway in proliferation and maintenance of normal and cancer stem cells of the breast, and on the full activation of mutant p53 oncogenic functions (Nat Cell Biol 2009; EMBO Mol Med 2014; Cancer Cell 2011);

- the discovery of the metabolic control of the Hippo pathway transducers YAP/TAZ by the mevalonate pathway (Nat Cell Biol 2014).

Professor Del Sal has more than 100 papers published in international scientific journals, and he is  author of two patents.

He has been honoured with the internationally recognized membership to the European Molecular Biology Organization.

He is editor and reviewer for top impact factor scientific journals, and member of EMBO Reports editorial board, of the Italian Society of Biophisics and Molecular Biology (SIBBM), of the Scientific Fellowship Committee of the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC), of the International Scientific Advisory Board of Istituto Toscano Tumori, and others.

Since 2012 Professor Giannino Del Sal is the Director of the Department of Life Sciences.

For more infomration:,*

Selected papers

Sorrentino G, Ruggeri N, Specchia V, Cordenonsi M, Mano M, Dupont S, Manfrin A, Ingallina E, Sommaggio R, Piazza S, Rosato A, Piccolo S, and Del Sal G. (2014). Metabolic control of YAP/TAZ by the mevalonate pathway. Nat Cell Biol 16:357-66.

Rustighi A, Zannini A, Tiberi L, Sommaggio R, Piazza S, Sorrentino G, Nuzzo S, Tuscano A, Eterno V, Benvenuti F, Santarpia L, Aifantis I, Rosato A, Bicciato S, Zambelli A, and Del Sal G. (2014). Prolyl-isomerase Pin1 controls normal and cancer stem cells of the breast. EMBO Mol Med 6:99-119.

Sorrentino G, Mioni M, Giorgi C, Ruggeri N, Pinton P, Moll U, Mantovani F, and Del Sal G. (2013). The prolyl-isomerase Pin1 activates the mitochondrial death program of p53. Cell Death Differ 20:198-208.

Steger M, Murina O, Hühn D, Ferretti LP, Walser R, Hänggi K, Lafranchi L, Neugebauer C, Paliwal S, Janscak P, Gerrits B, Del Sal G, Zerbe O, and Sartori AA. (2013). Prolyl Isomerase Pin1 Regulates DNA Double-Strand Break Repair by Counteracting DNA End Resection. Mol Cell  50:333- 343.

Girardini JE, Napoli M, Piazza S, Rustighi A, Marotta C, Radaelli E, Capaci V, Jordan L, Quinlan P, Thompson A, Mano M, Rosato A, Crook T, Scanziani E, Means AR, Lozano G, Schneider C, and Del Sal G. (2011). A Pin1/mutant p53 axis promotes aggressiveness in breast cancer. Cancer Cell 20:79-91.

Grison A, Mantovani F, Comel A, Agostoni E, Gustincich S, Persichetti F, Del Sal G. (2011). Ser46 phosphorylation and prolyl-isomerase Pin1-mediated isomerization of p53 are key events in p53-dependent apoptosis induced by mutant huntingtin. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108:17979-84.

Drost J, Mantovani F, Tocco F, Elkon R, Comel A, Holstege H, Horlings H M, Kerkhoven R, Jonkers J, Voorhoeve M, Agami R, and Del Sal G. (2010). Brd7 is a candidate tumor suppressor gene required for p53 transcriptional activity. Nat Cell Biol2:380-9.

Rustighi A, Tiberi L, Soldano A, Napoli M, Nuciforo P, Rosato A, Kaplan F, Capobianco A, Pece S, Di Fiore PP, and Del Sal G. (2009) The prolyl-isomerase Pin1 is a Notch1 target that enhances Notch1 activation in cancer. Nat Cell Biol 11:133-42.

Pinton P, Rimessi A, Marchi S, Orsini F, Migliaccio E, Giorgio M, Contursi C, Minucci S, Mantovani F, Wieckowski MR, Del Sal G, Pelicci PG, and Rizzuto R. (2007). Protein kinase C beta and prolyl isomerase 1 regulate mitochondrial effects of the life-span determinant p66Shc. Science315: 659-63.

Mantovani F, Tocco F, Girardini J, Smith P, Gasco M, Lu X, Crook T, and Del Sal G. (2007). The prolyl isomerase Pin1 orchestrates p53 acetylation and dissociation from the apoptosis inhibitor iASPP. Nat Struct Mol Biol 10:912-20.