• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

Tel :+390649912808
Fax :+390649912500
Associate Professor

Department of Biology and Biotecnology - Charles Darwin
Sapienza University of Rome
Istituto Fisiologia Generale - P.Le A.Moro 5 00185 Roma

Regulation of gene expression: transcriptional regulation and epigenetics.

How the gene expression is regulated is fundamental to most aspects of biology. Research in our laboratory focuses on understanding how gene expression is regulated at the transcription level, particularly studying the interactions between protein and DNA as they occur in vivo, in the chromatin.

Our experiments are mostly performed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and our attention is focused to the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) locus.

We are studying genes that regulate transcriptional silencing and genome stability (Sir2p, yeast sirtuins, DNA Topoisomerase1, histones). We use classical and modern molecular biology techniques. Moreover, a combination of genetic and biochemical methods are also employed. The purpose of the studies of our lab is to discover more about the ways that cells regulate transcription.

We are studying also the aging process as model for recognition of crucial points in different important molecular pathways.

Our aim is to found evidences that will increase our perception of how chromatin dynamics influence gene expression and maintain the genome integrity.

Several factors we investigated on have homologues in human cells signifying that our discoveries may provide insight into mechanisms that regulate gene expression in higher eukaryotes.


Recently, in collaboration with Andrea Mele (Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie, Sapienza, Università di Roma) we are also studying the role of epigenetic modifications in learning and memory formation in brain mouse cells. This analysis will be further extended, in collaboration with Micaela Caserta and Loredana Verdone (IBPM) to human cells.

A. Bolondi, F. Caldarelli, F. Di Felice, D. Durano, G. Germani, L. Michetti, A. Tramutolo, G. Micheli, G. Camilloni. 

What is a Gene? A Two Sided View Evol Biol (2016). doi:10.1007/s11692-016-9392-5 in the press


Durano D, Lukacs A, Di Felice F, Micheli G, Camilloni G. A novel role for Nhp6

proteins in histone gene regulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Int J Biochem

Cell Biol. 2016 Dec 23;83:76-83. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2016.12.012. [Epub ahead

of print] PubMed PMID: 28025045.


D'Alfonso A, Di Felice F, Carlini V, Wright CM, Hertz MI, Bjornsti MA,

Camilloni G. Molecular Mechanism of DNA Topoisomerase I-Dependent rDNA Silencing:

Sir2p Recruitment at Ribosomal Genes. J Mol Biol. 2016 Dec 4;428(24 Pt

B):4905-4916. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2016.10.032. PubMed PMID: 27825925.


Capitano F, Gargiuli C, Angerilli A, Maccaroni K, Pelliccia F, Mele A,

Camilloni G. RNA polymerase I transcription is modulated by spatial learning in

different brain regions. J Neurochem. 2015 Dec 27. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13504. [Epub 

ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26708837.


Ciuffetta A, Salerno D, Camilloni G, Venditti S. Sir2 is involved in the

transcriptional modulation of NHP6A in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biochem Biophys 

Res Commun. 2015 May 22;461(1):42-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.03.165. PubMed

PMID: 25858320.


Orecchia A, Scarponi C, Di Felice F, Cesarini E, Avitabile S, Mai A, Mauro ML,

Sirri V, Zambruno G, Albanesi C, Camilloni G, Failla CM. Sirtinol treatment

reduces inflammation in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells. PLoS One.

2011;6(9):e24307. Epub 2011 Sep 12. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2011;6(10).

doi:10.1371/annotation/0174b439-c62b-42e8-a420-3defbfe5c8e9. PubMed PMID:

21931678; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3171404.


Celona B, Weiner A, Di Felice F, Mancuso FM, Cesarini E, Rossi RL, Gregory L, 

Baban D, Rossetti G, Grianti P, Pagani M, Bonaldi T, Ragoussis J, Friedman N,

Camilloni G, Bianchi ME, Agresti A. Substantial histone reduction modulates

genomewide nucleosomal occupancy and global transcriptional output. PLoS Biol.

2011 Jun;9(6):e1001086. Epub 2011 Jun 28. PubMed PMID: 21738444; PubMed Central

PMCID: PMC3125158.


Cesarini E, Mariotti FR, Cioci F, Camilloni G. RNA polymerase I transcription 

silences noncoding RNAs at the ribosomal DNA locus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Eukaryot Cell. 2010 Feb;9(2):325-35. Epub 2009 Dec 28. PubMed PMID: 20038608;

PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2823004.


Di Felice F, Chiani F, Camilloni G. Nucleosomes represent a physical barrier

for cleavage activity of DNA topoisomerase I in vivo. Biochem J. 2008 Feb

1;409(3):651-6. PubMed PMID: 17967163.


Chiani F, Di Felice F, Camilloni G. SIR2 modifies histone H4-K16 acetylation

and affects superhelicity in the ARS region of plasmid chromatin in Saccharomyces

cerevisiae. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(19):5426-37. Epub 2006 Sep 29. PubMed

PMID: 17012273; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1636471.


Mai A, Massa S, Lavu S, Pezzi R, Simeoni S, Ragno R, Mariotti FR, Chiani F,

Camilloni G, Sinclair DA. Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of

sirtinol analogues as class III histone/protein deacetylase (Sirtuin) inhibitors.

J Med Chem. 2005 Dec 1;48(24):7789-95. PubMed PMID: 16302818.


Di Felice F, Cioci F, Camilloni G. FOB1 affects DNA topoisomerase I in vivo

cleavages in the enhancer region of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ribosomal DNA

locus. Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Nov 3;33(19):6327-37. Print 2005. PubMed PMID:

16269824; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1277812.


Bordi L, Amendola A, Ciccosanti F, Abbate I, Camilloni G, Capobianchi MR.

Expression of Werner and Bloom syndrome genes is differentially regulated by in

vitro HIV-1 infection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Clin Exp Immunol.

2004 Nov;138(2):251-8. PubMed PMID: 15498034; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1809202.


Irene C, Maciariello C, Cioci F, Camilloni G, Newlon CS, Fabiani L.

Identification of the sequences required for chromosomal replicator function in

Kluyveromyces lactis. Mol Microbiol. 2004 Mar;51(5):1413-23. PubMed PMID:



Cioci F, Vogelauer M, Camilloni G. Acetylation and accessibility of rDNA

chromatin in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in (Delta)top1 and (Delta)sir2 mutants. J

Mol Biol. 2002 Sep 6;322(1):41-52. PubMed PMID: 12215413.

Giorgio Camilloni, Rome April 24rd 1955


1979 Degree in Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

1980 European Molecular Biology Laboratory, collaborating with Gianni Cesareni in the Noreen Murray group

1982 Permanent position at the Polifarma, S.p.A. (Rome) pharmaceutical Company, in the Biochemical Pharmacology research group.

1984 As CNR fellow in Molecular Biology at the "Centro Acidi Nucleici -CNR, Rome" in the Ernesto Di Mauro group.

1990 Permanent position as technologist at the "Centro Acidi Nucleici -CNR, Rome"

1992 At the Dipartimento di Genetica e Biologia Molecolare “C. Darwin”, Università di Roma La Sapienza as Associate Professor in Molecular Biology

2003 IBPM Associate


Editorial activity

-Referee for the following journals: EMBO Journal, Nucleic Acids Research, Molecular Pharmacology, BBA, BMC in Molecular Biology, Genetics, PLOS genetics. 

-Editor of Biologia Molecolare,  R.F. WEAVER, Molecular Biology (2005); MILANO: McGraw-Hill (Italy).

-Author of the item “DNA” for "Piccola Treccani",  Enciclopedia Treccani, 2011