Carbone Lab

Prostate Cancer Biology


Giuseppina M. Carbone (group leader)
Domenico Albino (postdoc)
Laura Curti (phd student)
Sandra Pinton (research assistant)
Cecilia Dallavalle (phd student)
Mahnaz Nikpour (phd student)
Marita Zoma (phd student)
Abhishek Mitra (bioinformatician)


Research in our group is focused on the study of the molecular mechanisms that control prostate cancer development and progression. Cancer of the prostate is the most common cancer and one of leading causes of cancer related death. At the present there is a need to understand the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of this disease and find the means to distinguish between cancers that may need different therapeutic strategies. One of our goals is to identify and characterize the transcription factor cascade that control prostate cancer development. Cell growth and differentiation processes are regulated at the level of gene transcription. Many transcription factors possess transforming potential when expressed in a deregulated fashion. ETS factors constitute a network of transcriptional regulators that activate or repress the expression of genes that are involved in various biological processes, including cellular proliferation, apoptosis, invasiveness and cancer progression. The laboratory has identified ETS genes potentially involved in prostate cancer, based upon their altered expression in prostate cancer clinical samples. Currently, the functional role of these genes is being investigated as well as their relevance for diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. We are also investigating novel therapeutic approaches to target oncogenic ETS factors.

Current projects

Relevant publications

  1. Domenico Albino, Nicole Longoni, Laura Curti, Maurizia Mello-Grand, Sandra Pinton,Gioacchino D’Ambrosio, Manuela Sarti, Fausto Sessa, Giovanna Chiorino, Carlo V. Catapano and Giuseppina M. Carbone. (2012) ESE3/EHF Controls Epithelial Cell Differentiation and Its Loss Leads to Prostate Tumors with Mesenchymal and Stem-like Features. Cancer Research, 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-0212.
  2. Nicole Longoni, Paolo Kunderfranco, Domenico Albino, Stefania Pellini, Maurizia Mello-Grand, Manuela Sarti , Gioacchino D’Ambrosio, Fausto Sessa,Giovanna Chiorino, Carlo Catapano and Giuseppina M. Carbone. Aberrant expression of the neuronal specific protein DCDC2 promotes malignant phenotypes and is associated with prostate cancer progression. Oncogene, 2012
  3. Kunderfranco P, Mello-Grand M, Cangemi R, Mensah A, Malek A, Pellini S, Albertini V, Chiorino G, Catapano CV, Giuseppina M. Carbone (2010) ETS Transcription Factors Control Transcription of EZH2 and Epigenetic Silencing of the Tumor Suppressor Gene Nkx3.1 in Prostate Cancer. PLoS One 5(5): e10547.
  4. Federica Babbio, Christian Pistore, Laura Curti, Ilaria Castiglioni, Kunderfranco Paolo, Laurent Brino, Pierre Oudet, George Thalman, Manuela Sarti, Maurizia Mello-Grand, Giovanna Chiorino, Carlo Catapano, and Giuseppina M. Carbone and Ian Marc Bonapace. (2012) The SRA protein UHRF1 promotes epigenetic cross-talks and is involved in prostate. Oncogene Feb 13.
  5. Romina Cangemi, Afua Mensah, Veronica Albertini, Maurizia Mello-Grand, Giovanna Chiorino, Carlo V. Catapano and Giuseppina M. Carbone. Reduced expression and tumor suppressor function of the ETS transcription factor ESE-3 in prostate cancer. Oncogene 27, 2877-2885,2008.
  6. Carmen Jerónimo, Patrick J. Bastian, Anders Bjartell, Giuseppina M. Carbone,James W.F. Catto, Susan J. Clark, Rui Henrique, Francesco Montorsi, William G.Nelson, Shahrokh F. Shariat. (2011) Epigenetics in Prostate Cancer: biological an clinical relevance. European Urology Oct;60(4):753-66.
  7. Nicole Longoni, Manuela Sarti, Domenico Albino, Gianluca Civenni, Anastasia Malek, Erica Ortelli, Sandra Pinton, Maurizia Mello-Grand, Paola Ostano, Gioacchino D’Ambrosio,Fausto Sessa, Ramon Garcia-Escudero, George N. Thalmann, Giovanna Chiorino, Carlo V. Catapano and Giuseppina M. Carbone. The ETS transcription factor ESE1/ELF3 orchestrates a positive feedback loop leadingto constitutive NF-kB activation and prostate cancer progression. Cancer Res. 2013 Jul 15;73(14):4533-47