Roberta Vanni


Department of Biomedical SciencesRVanni

Telephone:  +39 0706754123-4112

Fax: +39 0706754100


Personal webpage: here

Principal areas of expertise: Molecular genetics and cytogenetics; Oncology


♦ Genomic instability in cancer

Genomic instability, a characteristic of almost all  human cancers, represents a crucial step in the neoplastic process.  Chromosome instability (CIN), one of the various form of genomic instability,  refers to the high rate by which chromosome structure and number change over time in cancer cells. The  ubiquity of CIN indicates a crucial role of mitotic segregation errors in the multistep process by which molecular and chromosome signatures are acquired in cancer cells. This sequential accumulation of genomic changes, responsible for oncogene activation, suppressor genes disruption, and telomere alterations, improves clonal selection and cancer evolution. However, the molecular basis and at what stage of cancer development CIN arises is still unclear. Our laboratory investigates, at the chromosomal and DNA level, the genomic abnormal patterns of solid tumors, in order to identify both the primary events promoting CIN and the CIN results, i.e. specific genetic markers associated with specific cancer types and subtypes. The long term aim of this research is to understand the diagnostic and prognostic meaning of these markers in cancer cells, in order to contribute to the gradual translation of the basic knowledge into the clinical setting.

Within this general line of research, specific projects are:

  1. Molecular cytogenetic characterization of differentiated thyroid tumor
  2. Isolation and characterization of differentiated thyroid tumor cancer stem cells
  3. Designing and preparation of multi-fluorescent probes for in situ detection of gene fusion in solid tumors

Key publications:

  1. Tronci L, Caria P, Frau DV, Liggi S, Piras C, Murgia F, Santoru ML, Pibiri M, Deiana M, Griffin JL, Vanni R, Atzori L. Crosstalk between Metabolic Alterations and Altered Redox Balance in PTC-Derived Cell Lines. Metabolites. 2019 Feb 1;9(2). pii: E23. doi: 10.3390/metabo9020023. PubMed PMID: 30717187; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6409540.
  2. Squassina A, Pisanu C, Vanni R. Mood Disorders, Accelerated Aging, and Inflammation: Is the Link Hidden in Telomeres? Cells. 2019 Jan 15;8(1). pii: E52. doi: 10.3390/cells8010052. Review. PubMed PMID: 30650526; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6356466.
  3. Caria P, Dettori T, Frau DV, Lichtenzstejn D, Pani F, Vanni R, Mai S. Characterizing the three-dimensional organization of telomeres in papillary thyroid carcinoma cells. J Cell Physiol. 2019 Apr;234(4):5175-5185. doi: 10.1002/jcp.27321. Epub 2018 Oct 17. PubMed PMID: 30328617.
  4. Caria P, Tronci L, Dettori T, Murgia F, Santoru ML, Griffin JL, Vanni R, Atzori L. Metabolomic Alterations in Thyrospheres and Adherent Parental Cells in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Cell Lines: A Pilot Study. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Sep 27;19(10). pii: E2948. doi: 10.3390/ijms19102948. PubMed PMID: 30262749; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6213810.
  5. Caria P, Pillai R, Dettori T, Frau DV, Zavattari P, Riva G, Romano G, Pani F, Bentivegna A, Giovannoni R, Pagni F, Sogos V, Vanni R. Thyrospheres from B-CPAP Cell Line with BRAF and TERT Promoter Mutations have Different Functional and Molecular Features than Parental Cells. J Cancer. 2017 Jun 3;8(9):1629-1639. doi: 10.7150/jca.18855. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28775782; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5535718.
  6. Squassina A, Pisanu C, Congiu D, Caria P, Frau D, Niola P, Melis C, Baggiani G, Lopez JP, Cruceanu C, Turecki G, Severino G, Bocchetta A, Vanni R, Chillotti C, Del Zompo M. Leukocyte telomere length positively correlates with duration of  lithium treatment in bipolar disorder patients. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Jul;26(7):1241-7. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.03.020. Epub 2016 Apr 12. PubMed PMID: 27084304.
credits | accessibilità Università degli Studi di Cagliari
C.F.: 80019600925 - P.I.: 00443370929
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