• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

Tel :+390649917538
Fax :+39064457529

Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - National Research Council
Department of Biology and Biotecnology - Charles Darwin
Sapienza University of Rome Via degli Apuli, 4 00185 Roma

For most of my research activity I have been interested in genome stability, a fundamental field of biology with implications in genome evolution, fertility and tumorigenesis. In my PhD research project I have identified and characterized the roles of the recombinase RAD-51 in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. I then moved to the field of cancer biology at the Regina Elena Cancer Institute (Rome) where I contributed to characterize a new pro-apoptotic regulator of the p53 oncosuppressor gene, the HIPK2 kinase.

I have recently started my own research group at IBPM, focusing on the role of HIPK2 in cytokinesis and in prevention of tetraploidization. Cytokinesis is a complex process that requires the interplay of many structural and regulatory factors. Its failure may lead to genetically unstable states (i.e. tetraploidization and multinucleation). These events can contribute to chromosomal instability, a hallmark of cancer, and are considered  early steps in tumorigenesis. The roles in cancer played by pathways impairing cytokinesis and inducing tolerance to the tetraploid state, however, remain poorly understood. 

My group is currently involved  mainly  in two research projects, one supported by the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) focusing on the role of HIPK2 in cytokinesis and its impact on pancreatic cancer and one supported by Fondazione Telethon on the role of HIPK2 in hereditary spastic paraplegia.


Monteonofrio L, Valente D, Ferrara M, Camerini S, Miscione R, Crescenzi M, Rinaldo C, Soddu S.
HIPK2 and extrachromosomal histone H2B are separately recruited by Aurora-B for cytokinesis.
Oncogene. 2018 Jun;37(26):3562-3574. 

Barbiero I, Valente D, Chandola C, Magi F, Bergo A, Monteonofrio L, Tramarin M, Fazzari M, Soddu S, Landsberger N, Rinaldo C, Kilstrup-Nielsen C. CDKL5 localizes at the centrosome and midbody and is required for faithful cell division. Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 24;7(1):6228. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-05875-

Pierantoni GM, Conte A, Rinaldo C, Tornincasa M, Gerlini R, Valente D, Izzo A, Fusco A. Hmga1 null mouse embryonic fibroblasts display downregulation of spindle assembly checkpoint gene expression associated to nuclear and karyotypic abnormalities. Cell Cycle. 2016;15(6):812-8.  

Pierantoni GM, Conte A, Rinaldo C, Tornincasa M, Gerlini R, Federico A, Valente D, Medico E, Fusco A. Deregulation of HMGA1 expression induces chromosome instability through regulation of spindle assembly checkpoint genes. Oncotarget. 2015 Jul 10;6(19):17342-53

 Valente D, Bossi G, Moncada A, Tornincasa M, Indelicato S, Piscuoglio S, Karamitopoulou ED, Bartolazzi A, Pierantoni GM, Fusco A, Soddu S, Rinaldo C HIPK2 deficiency causes chromosomal instability by cytokinesis failure and increases tumorigenicity. Oncotarget. 2015 6:10320-34

 C. Rinaldo, A. Moncada, A. Gradi, L. Ciuffini, D. D’Eliseo, F. Siepi, A. Prodosmo, A. Giorgi, G. M. Pierantoni, F. Trapasso, G. Guarguaglini, A. Bartolazzi, E. Cundari, M. E. Schinina`, A. Fusco, and S. Soddu. HIPK2 controls cytokinesis and prevents tetraploidization by phosphorylating histone H2B at the midbody. Molecular Cell 2012 47:87-98.

 Lavra L, Rinaldo C, Ulivieri A, Luciani E, Fidanza P, Giacomelli L, Bellotti C, Ricci A, Trovato M, Soddu S, Bartolazzi A, Sciacchitano S. The loss of the p53 activator HIPK2 is responsible for galectin-3 overexpression in well differentiated thyroid carcinomas. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e20665.

 Rinaldo C, Prodosmo A, Siepi F, Moncada A, Sacchi A, Selivanova G, Soddu S. HIPK2 regulation by MDM2 determines tumor cell response to the p53-reactivating drugs Nutlin-3 and RITA. Cancer Res. 2009 69:6241-8

 Rinaldo C, Siepi F. Prodosmo A, Soddu S. HIPKs: Jack of all trades in basic nuclear activities Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 1783:2124-9


Rinaldo C, Prodosmo A, Siepi F, Soddu S. HIPK2: a multi-talented partner for transcription factors in DNA damage response and development. Biochem Cell Biol 2007 85:411-8


Rinaldo C, Prodosmo A, Mancini F, Iacovelli S, Sacchi A, Moretti F, Soddu S. p53 suppresses its own apoptotic activity by promoting the MDM2-mediated degradation of HIPK2. Mol Cell 2007 25:739-50


Cecchinelli B, Ulivieri A, Rinaldo C, Gasbarri A, Lavra L, Del Prete F, Iacovelli S, Trovato M, Bartolazzi A, Soddu S, Sciacchitano S. HIPK2 is required for p53-mediated repression of the anti-apoptotic molecule galectin-3 and acts as potential tumor suppressor gene in thyroid cancer. Mol Cell Biol. 2006 26:4746-57.


Rinaldo C, Bazzicalupo P, Ederle S, Hilliard M, La Volpe A. Roles for Caenorhabditis elegans rad-51 in meiosis and in resistance to ionizing radiation during development. Genetics 2002 160:471-479  

•Manuela Ferrara, pHD student
•Clara Dezi, student
•Davide Valente, post-Doc
•Francesca Sardina, post-Doc

within IBPM

•Enrico Cundari

•Giulia Guarguaglini 

•Linda Savino


with other Institutions

•Carlo Casali (Sapienza, Rome) 

•Gianluca Grazi (Regina Elena Cancer Institute, Rome)

•Andrew Grierson (University of Sheffield, UK)

•Giovanna Maria Pierantoni (Università Federico II, Naples)

•Angelo Peschiaroli (IFT-CNR, Rome)

•Silvia Soddu (Regina Elena Cancer Institute, Rome)

•Beatrice Vallone (Sapienza, Rome)

•Beate Winner (Erlangen University, Germany) 



2002: PhD in Genetics, Univ. of Naples “Federico II”  (Best PhD Thesis award from  the Italian Association of Genetics in 2002)
1997: Degree in Biology cum Laude, Univ. of Naples "Federico II"


Research positions and activity:

2012-present: research scientist appointment at IBPM, CNR, Rome, Italy
2008-2011: research scientist at Regina Elena Cancer Institute (IRE), Rome, Italy
2004-2007: Italian Foundation for Cancer Research (FIRC) post-doctoral research fellow at IRE
2002-2003: post-doc at IRE, Rome, Italy
1999-2001: PhD at IGB-CNR, Naples-Italy
1998: post-graduate training at IGB- CNR, Naples, Italy
1995-1997: graduate student at IGB- CNR, Naples, Italy

Prizes and awards:
2009: “Guido Berlucchi Award” for young research scientists 
2007: “Caputo Award” for best young researcher in the field of oncology