Group leader : Stefania Mariggiò
Topics : Advanced Morphology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Pharmacology


Increasing evidence indicates that G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are ‘druggable’ targets in cancer treatment and prevention. Our research focuses on the lysophospholipid receptors, as members of the GPCR superfamily. LPAR1 and GPR55 are interesting candidates, as they have roles in the regulation of cancer progression, and their expression correlates with the invasive potential of metastatic cells.

GPR55 was identified recently as the lysophosphatidylinositol receptor, and several aspects of its physiology are still under investigation. We are investigating the involvement of GPR55 in bone metastasis formation, through the study of lysophosphatidylinositol metabolism and GPR55 signalling in osteoclasts, to define the functional role of GPR55 in bone resorption activity. Moreover, we propose to identify peptides that specifically target and modulate GPR55 and LPAR1. The potential applications of the peptides identified will include in-vivo diagnosis of tumour cells, delivery of chemotherapeutic agents targeted to cancer cells, and direct modulation of the receptor activities, with the consequent therapeutic activities.

Key Pubblications

1 – D’Angelo R, Mangini M, Fonderico J, Fulle S, Mayo E, Aramini A, Mariggiò S (2020) Inhibition of osteoclast activity by complement regulation with DF3016A, a novel small-molecular-weight C5aR inhibitor. Biomed Pharmacother. 123:109764. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109764. Epub 2019 Dec 31.

2 – Mangini M, Iaccino E, Mosca MG, Mimmi S, D’Angelo R, Quinto I, Scala G and Mariggiò S (2017) Peptide-guided targeting of GPR55 for anti-cancer therapy. Oncotarget. 8:5179-5195. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.14121.

3 – Grauso L, Mariggiò S, Corda D, Fontana A and Cutignano A (2015) An improved UPLC-MS/MS platform for quantitative analysis of glycerophosphoinositol in mammalian cells. PLoS ONE 10(4):e0123198. eCollection 2015.

4 – Corda D, Mosca MG, Ohshima N, Grauso L, Yanaka N and Mariggiò S (2014) The emerging physiological roles of the glycerophosphodiesterase family. FEBS J. 281:998-1016.

5 – Zizza P, Iurisci C, Bonazzi M, Leslie CC, Cossart P, Corda D and Mariggiò S (2012) Role of phospholipase A2IVa in FcR-mediated phagocytosis. J Biol Chem. 287:16849-59.

Programs & Resouces

  • Svolgimento di attività nell’ambito del Progetto di Ricerca e Sviluppo “Sviluppo di Approcci Terapeutici INnovativi per patologie neoplastiche resistenti ai trattamenti (SATIN) (MIUR). A partire dal 1/2018, in corso. Finanziamento 37.5 k€.
  • Responsabile del Contratto di Ricerca con la Dompé farmaceutici S.p.a., “Servizi di ricerca preclinica in modelli in vitro”. Durata 01/2018 – 06/2021. Finanziamento 80 k€
  • Responsabile del Contratto di Ricerca con la Dompé farmaceutici S.p.a., “Optimization of a cellular model for C5aR study”. Durata 05/2016 – 12/2017. Finanziamento 52 k€
  • Responsabile del Contratto di Ricerca con la Dompé farmaceutici S.p.a., “GPCRs quali bersagli molecolari nello sviluppo di nuovi farmaci per malattie rare”. Durata 10/2013 – 09/2015. Finanziamento 30 k€.
  • Responsabile di Unità di Ricerca nell’ambito del PRIN 2012CK5RPF (MIUR), “Sviluppo e validazione pre-clinica di una piattaforma tecnologica finalizzata alla diagnosi e terapia della Malattia Residua Minima in Oncologia”. Durata 10/2013 – 09/2016. Finanziamento 82 k€.
  • Svolgimento di attività di Ricerca, Sviluppo e Formazione nell’ambito del PON01_00862 (MIUR), “Development of drugs for rare deseases”. Durata 7/2011 – 12/2015. Finanziamento 50 k€

Research Group

Phd students
Iole Fonderico
Stefania Cioffi