Cenni Vittoria

Istituto di Genetica Molecolare “Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza” – Sede di Bologna
c/o Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli -via di Barbiano 1/10
40136 Bologna 
Phone: +39 051 6366856

E-mail: vittoria.cenni@cnr.it

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Vittoria Cenni, PhD, graduated with honors in Biological Sciences in 1997 in the University of Bologna, where she subsequently obtained the PhD in Molecular Cytodifferentiation. Since 2008 she has been a researcher at the CNR, and carries out her research at the Institute of Molecular Genetics, which is based at the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna.After her university studies, she specialized in the laboratory of Alex Toker (Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) in Boston USA, focusing on the autoregulation mechanisms of protein kinases C, Akt and PDK1. From 1999 to 2008 she carried out research at the Musculoskeletal Cell Biology laboratory of the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute (Bologna), and at the Institute of Anatomy and Histology of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Modena), acquiring skills in the field of biochemistry, biology proteins, cellular and molecular biology. In 2014, she obtained the qualification of Associate Professor for the teaching of Human Anatomy, Molecular Biology, Applied Biology, General Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry.She has established a network of national and international scientific collaborations, both in the academic and clinical world. She actively interacts and collaborates with associations of patients suffering from congenital pathologies. As Principal Investigator, she participated and won several grants. She is regularly involved in “third mission” activities (tutoring for high school and University students, participation in scientific dissemination events).

Complete List of Publications – Download

Research Activity

Research activity is mainly focused on the study of intracellular signaling mechanisms in cellular models subjected to mechanical and chemical stimulation. Great interest is aimed at studying the regulation of protein interactions and phosphorylations within the PI3K/Akt/mTOR and MAPK signaling axes. The main topic of the research is the study of the functions of some proteins in the response to mechanical stimulation in normal cells or affected by pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. The pathologies of interest are represented by:

  1. Congenital muscular dystrophies and other genetic diseases;
  2. Malignancies.
    – Studies on congenital muscular dystrophies and on pathologies caused by genetic mutations are mainly carried out on cellular models obtained from healthy donors or affected by these pathologies, and/or on animal models that reproduce the diseases of interest. In particular, the most used models are obtained from muscle, tendon, skin and bone fragments taken from donors. The studies are aimed at determining the morphological and functional alterations following the arrival of mechanical stimuli, or of stimuli that reproduce inflammatory, differentiation, proliferative signals or that induce migration or autophagy. The pathologies taken into consideration are caused by mutations in genes expressing collagen VI, a protein of the extracellular matrix that plays a major role in mechanotransduction. Among these pathologies, referred to as “COL6-related myopathies”, are Ullrich muscular dystrophy (UCMD), Bethlem myopathy (BM) and myosclerosis. Other pathologies studied are muscular dystrophies due to mutations of nuclear lamina proteins, such as lamin A/C, emerin, SUN or nesprins. As part of this study, pathologies related to premature aging are also explored, such as Hutchinson-Gilford (HGPS) or Nestor-Guillermo (NGPS) progeria, mandibuloacral dysplasia (MAD) or metabolic pathologies such as lipodystrophy ( FPLD) due to alterations in the gene coding for lamin A/C or other proteins involved in DNA repair (for example BAF). In the past, she actively took part in the identification of rapamycin as a new drug to counteract the accumulation of progerin in cells of patients suffering from HGPS. Through in silico proteomics and validation techniques, she also identified some substrates of the protein kinase Akt.
    – These studies are aimed at investigating the role played by some proteins in the progression and in the response to chemotherapy drugs of tumor cell lines obtained from human rhabdomyosarcomas and osteosarcomas, with the aim of identifying new molecular targets that allow us to increase life expectancy of patients suffering from these pathologies.

Last update: Feb 2024

Research Projects

Targeting Primary Cilium-Related Molecular Pathways to Correct Tendon Cell Defects in Collagen VI Congenital Muscular Dystrophies.

Mechanistic insights on the molecular signals underlying Collagen VI functions in muscle and tendon: a step forward for COL6-related myopathies.

Correction of mutations of LMNA or EMD genes in cells from Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy patients by the use of CRISPR/Cas9 technology: towards a more effective treatment.

Discovering novel strategies for the care and the treatment of osteosarcoma.

Research Group


Vittoria Cenni, Patrizia Sabatelli, Stefano Squarzoni


Cristina Capanni, Vittoria Cenni, Giovanna Lattanzi, Elisabetta Mattioli, Stefano Squarzoni


Vittoria Cenni, Giovanna Lattanzi, Elisabetta Mattioli, Patrizia Sabatelli, Stefano Squarzoni 


Vittoria Cenni, William Blalock, Giovanna Lattanzi, Cristina Capanni, Elisabetta Mattioli


Recent Publications


Cenni V; Evangelisti C; Santi S; Sabatelli P; Neri S; Cavallo M; Lattanzi G; Mattioli E

Desmin and Plectin Recruitment to the Nucleus and Nuclei Orientation Are Lost in Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy Myoblasts Subjected to Mechanical Stimulation Journal Article

In: Cells, vol. 13, iss. 2, pp. 162, 2024.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Milosevic E; Stanisavljevic N; Boskovic S; Stamenkovic N; Novkovic M; Bavelloni A; Cenni V; Kojic S; Jasnic J

Antitumor activity of natural pigment violacein against osteosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines Journal Article

In: Journal of cancer research and clinical oncology, vol. 149, iss. 13, pp. 10957-10987, 2023.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Piazzi M; Bavelloni A; Cenni V; Salucci S; Bartoletti Stella A; Tomassini E; Scotlandi K; Blalock WL; Faenza I

Combined Treatment with PI3K Inhibitors BYL-719 and CAL-101 Is a Promising Antiproliferative Strategy in Human Rhabdomyosarcoma Cells Journal Article

In: Molecules, vol. 27, iss. 9, pp. 2742, 2022.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Sabatelli P; Merlini L; Di Martino A; Cenni V; Faldini C

Early Morphological Changes of the Rectus Femoris Muscle and Deep Fascia in Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy Journal Article

In: International journal of environmental research and public health, vol. 19, iss. 3, pp. 1252, 2022.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Beniamino Y; Cenni V; Piccioli M; Ciurli S; Zambelli B

The Ni(II)-Binding Activity of the Intrinsically Disordered Region of Human NDRG1, a Protein Involved in Cancer Development Bachelor Thesis


Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Piazzi M; Kojic S; Capanni C; Stamenkovic N; Bavelloni A; Marin O; Lattanzi G; Blalock WL; Cenni V

Ectopic Expression of Ankrd2 Affects Proliferation, Motility and Clonogenic Potential of Human Osteosarcoma Cells. Journal Article

In: Cancers (Basel), vol. 13, no. 2, pp. e174, 2021.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Squarzoni S; Schena E; Sabatelli P; Mattioli E; Capanni C; Cenni V; D'Apice MR; Andrenacci D; Sarli G; Pellegrino V; Festa A; Baruffaldi F and Storci G; Bonafè M; Barboni C; Sanapo M; Zaghini A; Lattanzi G

Interleukin-6 neutralization ameliorates symptoms in prematurely aged mice. Journal Article

In: Aging Cell, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. e13285, 2021.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Cassandrini D; Merlini L; Pilla F; Cenni V; Santi S; Faldini C; Santorelli FM; Sabatelli P

Protein aggregates and autophagy involvement in a family with a mutation in Z-band alternatively spliced PDZ-motif protein. Journal Article

In: Neuromuscular disorders, vol. S0960-8966, no. 20, pp. 30673-30678, 2021.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Piazzi M; Bavelloni A; Cenni V; Faenza I; Blalock WL

Revisiting the Role of GSK3, A Modulator of Innate Immunity, in Idiopathic Inclusion Body Myositis. Journal Article

In: Cells, vol. 10, no. 11, pp. 3255, 2021.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Cenni V; Squarzoni S; Loi M; Mattioli E; Lattanzi G; Capanni C

Emerin Phosphorylation during the Early Phase of the Oxidative Stress Response Influences Emerin-BAF Interaction and BAF Nuclear Localization Journal Article

In: Cells, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 1415, 2020.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Cenni V; Capanni C; Mattioli E; Schena E; Squarzoni S; Bacalini MG; Garagnani P; Salvioli S; Franceschi C; Lattanzi G

Lamin A Involvement in Ageing Processes Journal Article

In: Ageing research reviews, vol. 62, pp. 101073, 2020.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Santi S; Cenni V; Capanni C; Lattanzi G; Mattioli E

PCAF Involvement in Lamin A/C-HDAC2 Interplay during the Early Phase of Muscle Differentiation Journal Article

In: Cells, vol. 9, no. 7, pp. E1735, 2020.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Antoniel M; Traina F; Merlini L; Andrenacci D; Tigani D; Santi S; Cenni V; Sabatelli P; Faldini C; Squarzoni S

Tendon Extracellular Matrix Remodeling and Defective Cell Polarization in the Presence of Collagen VI Mutations. Journal Article

In: Cells, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. e409, 2020.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Cenni V; Kojic S; Capanni C; Faulkner G; Lattanzi G

Ankrd2 in Mechanotransduction and Oxidative Stress Response in Skeletal Muscle: New Cues for the Pathogenesis of Muscular Laminopathies. Journal Article

In: Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, vol. 2019, pp. 7318796, 2019, (Review).

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Chiarini F; Evangelisti C; Cenni V; Fazio A; Paganelli F; Martelli AM; Lattanzi G

The Cutting Edge: The Role of mTOR Signaling in Laminopathies. Journal Article

In: International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. E847, 2019.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Cenni V; D'Apice MR; Garagnani P; Columbaro M; Novelli G; Franceschi C; Lattanzi G

Mandibuloacral dysplasia: A premature ageing disease with aspects of physiological ageing. Journal Article

In: Ageing research reviews, vol. 42, pp. 1-13, 2018.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Cenni V; D'Apice MR; Garagnani P; Columbaro M; Novelli G; Franceschi C; Lattanzi G

Mandibuloacral dysplasia: A premature ageing disease with aspects of physiological ageing. Journal Article

In: Ageing research reviews, vol. 42, pp. 1-13, 2018.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Angori S; Capanni C; Faulkner G; Bean C; Boriani G; Lattanzi G; Cenni V

Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy-Associated Mutant Forms of Lamin A Recruit the Stress Responsive Protein Ankrd2 into the Nucleus, Affecting the Cellular Response to Oxidative Stress. Journal Article

In: Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, vol. 42, pp. 169-184, 2017.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Cenni V

Letter to the editor: Comments on Wette et al. (2017): "Characterization of muscle ankyrin repeat proteins in human skeletal muscle". Journal Article

In: American journal of physiology. Cell physiology, vol. 313, no. 4, pp. C469-C470, 2017.

Links | BibTeX


Loi M; Cenni V; Duchi S; Squarzoni S; Lopez-Otin C; Foisner R; Lattanzi G; Capanni C

Barrier-to-Autointegration Factor (BAF) involvement in prelamin A-related chromatin organization changes. Journal Article

In: Oncotarget, vol. 7, no. 13, pp. 15662-15677, 2016.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Evangelisti C; Cenni V; Lattanzi G

Potential therapeutic effects of the mtor inhibitors for preventing ageing and progeria-related disorders. Journal Article

In: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (Literature Review), vol. 82, no. 5, pp. 1229-1244, 2016.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX