Stem Cell Center of Competence ::: Uni Basel, Switzerland






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Prof. Luigi Terracciano


Prof. Luigi Terracciano
Molecular Pathology Division
Institute of Pathology
University Hospital 
Schönbeinstrasse 40
CH-4003 Basel / Switzerland

Phone +41 61 265 28 49
Fax +41 61 265 31 94
Luigi Terracciano is Professor of Pathology and Head of the Molecular Pathology Division of the Institute of Pathology at the University Hospital in Basel. He obtained M.D. degree from the University of Napoli, Italy and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Physiology in Heidelberg, Germany. He has devoted a large part of his research activity to the study of hepatocarcinogenesis and liver regeneration. He has also accumulated a large knowledge on the use and evaluation of tissue microarray (TMA) immunohistochemistry and FISH.
Currently, our scientific interest concerns the molecular mechanisms involved with organogenesis and cancerogenesis with a special focus on cancer stem cells considered as cells able to differentiate, self-renew and potentially perform symmetric and asymmetric divisions. A large body of evidence supports the involvement of the HOX gene network with organogenesis and cancerogenesis. HOX genes are characterized by a unique genomic network organization; they regulate normal development and control primary cellular processes (cell identity, cell division and differentiation). We are currently investigating the HOX gene network expression as a molecular system to characterize organ-specific (liver, kidney) normal and cancer stem cell differentiation along epithelial-endothelial compartments. Preliminary evidence suggests that specific HOX genes of the network are involved with stem cell differentiation, organogenesis and cancer.

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Selected original publications

  • Karamitopoulou E, Zlobec I, Tornillo L, Carafa V, Schaffner T, Brunner T, Borner M, Diamantis I, Zimmermann A, Terracciano L. (2010). Differential cell cycle and proliferation marker expression in ductal pancreatic adenocarcinoma and pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN). Pathology 42:229-34.
  • Lugli A, Iezzi G, Muraro MG, Mele V, Hostettler I, Tornillo L, Carafa V, Spagnoli G, Terracciano L. and Zlobec I. (2010). Prognostic impact of the expression of putative cancer stem cell markers CD166, CD44, EpCam, ALDH1 and CD133 in colorectal cancer. Br J Cancer 103:382-90.
  • Fischer CA, Kampmann M, Zlobec I, Green E, Tornillo L, Lugli A, Wolfensberger M, Terracciano LM. (2010). p16 expression in oropharyngeal cancer: its impact on staging and prognosis compared with the conventional clinical staging parameters. Ann Oncol. 21:1961-6.
  • Cillo C, Schiavo G, Cantile M, Bihl MP, Sorrentino P, Carafa V, D' Armiento M, Roncalli M, Sansano S, Vecchione R, Tornillo L, Mori L, De Libero G, Zucman-Rossi J, Terracciano L. (2011). The HOX gene network in hepatocellular carcinoma. Int J Cancer 129:2577-87.
  • Piscuoglio S, Lehmann FS, Zlobec I, Tornillo L, Dietmaier W, Hartmann A, Wünsch PH, Sessa F, Rümmele P, Baumhoer D, Terracciano LM. (2012). Effect of EpCAM, CD44, CD133 and CD166 expression on patient survival in tumours of the ampulla of Vater. J Clin Pathol. 65:140-5.
  • Dill MT, Makowska Z, Trincucci G, Gruber AJ, Vogt JE, Filipowicz M, Calabrese D, Krol I, Lau DT, Terracciano L, van Nimwegen E, Roth V, Heim MH. (2014). Pegylated IFN-α regulates hepatic gene expression through transient Jak/STAT activation. J Clin Invest. 124:1568-81.
  • Lepore M, Kalinicenko A, Colone A, Paleja B, Singhal A, Tschumi A, Lee B, Poidinger M, Zolezzi F, Quagliata L, Sander P, Newell E, Bertoletti A, Terracciano L, De Libero G, Mori L. (2014). Parallel T-cell cloning and deep sequencing of human MAIT cells reveal stable oligoclonal TCRβ repertoire. Nat Commun. 5:3866.
  • Cornu M, Oppliger W, Albert V, Robitaille AM, Trapani F, Quagliata L, Fuhrer T, Sauer U, Terracciano L, Hall MN. (2014). Hepatic mTORC1 controls locomotor activity, body temperature, and lipid metabolism through FGF21. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111:11592-9.
  • Lebok P, Kopperschmidt V, Kluth M, Hube-Magg C, Özden C, B T, Hussein K, Mittenzwei A, Lebeau A, Witzel I, Wölber L, Mahner S, Jänicke F, Geist S, Paluchowski P, Wilke C, Heilenkötter U, Simon R, Sauter G, Terracciano L, Krech R, von d Assen A, Müller V, Burandt E. (2015). Partial PTEN deletion is linked to poor prognosis in breast cancer. BMC Cancer 15:963.
  • Cimmino F, Avitabile M, Pezone L, Scalia G, Montanaro D, Andreozzi M, Terracciano L, Iolascon A, Capasso M. (2016). CD55 is a HIF-2α marker with anti-adhesive and pro-invading properties in neuroblastoma. Oncogenesis 5:e212.
  • Planas-Paz L, Orsini V, Boulter L, Calabrese D, Pikiolek M, Nigsch F, Xie Y, Roma G, Donovan A, Marti P, Beckmann N, Dill MT, Carbone W, Bergling S, Isken A, Mueller M, Kinzel B, Yang Y, Mao X, Nicholson TB, Zamponi R, Capodieci P, Valdez R, Rivera D, Loew A, Ukomadu C, Terracciano LM, Bouwmeester T, Cong F, Heim MH, Forbes SJ, Ruffner H, Tchorz JS. (2016). The RSPO-LGR4/5-ZNRF3/RNF43 module controls liver zonation and size. Nat Cell Biol. 18:467-79.
  • Schlageter M, Quagliata L, Matter M, Perrina V, Tornillo L, Terracciano L. (2016). Clinicopathological Features and Metastatic Pattern of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: An Autopsy Study of 398 Patients. Pathobiology 83:301-7.
  • Pileri P, Campagnoli S, Grandi A, Parri M, De Camilli E, Song C, Ganfini L, Lacombe A, Naldi I, Sarmientos P, Cinti C, Jin B, Grandi G, Viale G, Terracciano L, Grifantini R. (2016). FAT1: a potential target for monoclonal antibody therapy in colon cancer. Br J Cancer 115:40-51.
  • Wyss L, Stadinski BD, King CG, Schallenberg S, McCarthy NI, Lee JY, Kretschmer K, Terracciano LM, Anderson G, Surh CD, Huseby ES, Palmer E. (2016). Affinity for self antigen selects Treg cells with distinct functional properties. Nat Immunol. Aug 1.


  • Quagliata L, Terracciano LM. (2014). Liver Diseases and Long Non-Coding RNAs: New Insight and Perspective. Front Med. (Lausanne) 1:35.