Alessandro Marcello

Group Leader, Molecular Virology
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Padriciano 99
34149 Trieste, Italy
E-mail: [email protected] 
Tel: +39-040-3757384/85

Pathogenic Virus Manipulation (BL3)
Fluorescence Microscopy (FMCF)


Faculty of Sciences, University of Padova, Italy, MSc, 1990
Member of the National College of Biologists of Italy, 1993
University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, PhD Biochemistry, 1994

Career History

Since 2005, Group Leader of the Molecular Virology Laboratory of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Trieste, Italy.
2010-2015, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia
2001-2004, Staff Scientist, ICGEB, Trieste, Italy.
1998-2001, Postdoc, ICGEB, Trieste, Italy.
1996, Visiting research fellow at the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK)
1994-1998, Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Microbiology, University of Padova, Italy
1991-1994, PhD student in Biochemistry at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK
1990 Visiting student at the Department of Genetics of the University of Leicester, UK.
1988-1991, Student and fellow at the Institute of Microbiology of the University of Padova, Italy.

Scientific Activity

A long-standing interest in host-virus interactions has driven A. Marcello’s research. He strongly believes that the molecular dissection of virus-host interactions is not only relevant to the understanding of viral pathogenesis, but it is also extremely useful for the characterization of fundamental cellular processes that are exploited by the virus. Recent research in the lab aimed at identifying the key cellular and viral factors that control infection of viruses such as the human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus. Currently, the focus has shifted towards vector-borne diseases such as tick-borne encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, Dengue virus and Zika virus.  A wide array of molecular biology techniques are being implemented in the laboratory, including highly innovative fluorescent optical tools to visualize intra-cellular processes that control the virus life cycle in living cells. Work in the lab also focuses on virus diagnosis and antivirals through collaboration with industrial partners and various laboratories also in developing countries. Research activity is funded through grants from various public and private bodies, including the Human Frontiers Science Program, the European Commission, the Italian institute of Health, the Beneficentia Stiftung and the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia among others, as well as through collaborations with biotech companies. A. Marcello is regularly invited to present his research activity at various international institutions and meetings.

Teaching Activity

A. Marcello organises the ICGEB Workshop on Human RNA Viruses and the ICGEB Practical Course of Fluorescent Microscopy. His teaching activity is focused on Virology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics through courses or seminars at various universities and institutions. He regularly trains undergraduate and PhD students in the laboratory.

Other activities include:

Reviewer for the following organisations: the European Research Council (ERC), the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Czech Science Foundation, Fonds de la Reserche Scientifique (FNRS) of Belgium, the Austrian Science Fund, Istituto Superiore di Sanità of Italy, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), the Health Research Board (HRB) of Ireland, the Helmholtz Association of Germany, the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation.

Commission Member of the COMSTECH-TWAS Joint Research Grants Programme of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) 2009-2016.

Panel Member for the award of PhD degrees at the: Open University, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, University of Perugia, SISSA, Université Libre de Bruxelles, University of Nova Gorica, University College Dublin.

Panel member for the “Habilitation de Diriger les Recherches” (HDR) CNRS, Montpellier, France.

Chair of the AERES visiting committee established to assess the research activity of the research unit: “Fundamental Microbiology and Pathogenicity”, February 2015 Bordeaux. Member of the editorial board of Retrovirology, Virus Research and PLOS One. Guest Editor for Amino Acids (2009), Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (2017), Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology (2018).

Selected publications

Sarracino A, Gharu L, Kula A, Pasternak AO, Avettand-Fenoel V, Rouzioux C, Bardina M, De Wit S, Benkirane M, Berkhout B, Van Lint C, Marcello A. 2018 Posttranscriptional regulation of HIV-1 gene expression during replication and reactivation from latency by nuclear matrix protein MATR3. MBio. 2018 Nov 13;9(6). doi: 10.1128/mBio.02158-18

Çevik RE, Cesarec M, Filipe A, Licastro D, McLauchlan J and Marcello A. Hepatitis C virus NS5A targets the nucleosome assembly protein NAP1L1 to control the innate cellular response, J Virol. 2017 Jun 28. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00880-17.

Kaur N, Jain J, Kumar A, Narang M, Zakaria MK, Marcello A, Kumar D, Gaind R, Sunil S. Chikungunya outbreak in Delhi, India, 2016: a report on the co-infection status and co-morbid conditions in patients. New Microbes and New Infections 2017, doi: 10.1016/j.nmni.2017.07.007.

Tagliabue G, Faoro V, Rizzo S, Sblattero D, Saccani A, Riccio G, Bellini T, Salina M, Buscaglia M, Marcello A. A label-free immunoassay for Flavivirus detection by the Reflective Phantom Interface technology. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 May 10. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.05.025.

Maistrau M, Carletti T, Zakaria MK, Braga L, Faoro V, Vasileiadis V, Marcello A. A method for the detection of virus infectivity in single cells and real time: towards an automated fluorescence neutralization test. Virus Res. 2017 Jun 2; 237: 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2017.05.004 

Sarracino A, Marcello A. The relevance of post-transcriptional mechanisms in HIV latency reversal. Curr Pharm Des. 2017 Aug 3. doi: 10.2174/1381612823666170803102355.

Carletti T, Zakaria MK, Marcello A. The host cell response to tick-borne encephalitis virus. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Feb 4. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.02.006.

Miorin, L., Maiuri, P., Marcello, A. 2016. Visual detection of Flavivirus RNA in living cells. Methods 98: 82-90. PubMed link

Gharu L & Marcello A. Overcoming the transcriptional block: the 1 Tat auxiliary protein. Encyclopedia of AIDS 2015.

Caracciolo, I., Bassetti, M., Paladini, G., Luzzati, R., Santon, D., Merelli, M., Sabbata, G.D., Carletti, T., Marcello, A., D’Agaro P. 2015. Persistent viremia and urine shedding of tick-borne encephalitis virus in an infected immunosuppressed patient from a new epidemic cluster in North-Eastern Italy. J Clin Virol. 69:48-51. PubMed link

Baba MM, Vidergar N, Marcello A. Virological point-of-care testing for the developing world. Future Virol. 9(6), 595–603 (2014).

Sancineto L, Iraci N, Barreca ML, Massari S, Manfroni G, Corazza G, Cecchetti V, Marcello A, Daelemans D, Pannecouque C, Tabarrini O. Exploiting the anti-HIV 6-desfluoroquinolones to design multiple ligands. Bioorg Med Chem. 2014 Sep 1;22(17):4658-66.

Albornoz, A., Carletti, T., Corazza, G,. Marcello, A. 2014. The stress granule component TIA-1 binds Tickborne Encephalitis Virus RNA and is Recruited to Perinuclear Sites of Viral Replication to inhibit viral translation. J Virol 88 (12):6611-22. PubMed link

Anderson, I., Low, J.S., Weston, S., Weinberger, M., Zhyvoloup, A., Labokha, A.A., Corazza, G., Kitson, R.A., Moody, C.J,. Marcello, A., Fassati, A. 2014. Heat shock protein 90 controls HIV-1 reactivation from latency. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111 (15): E1528-37. PubMed link

Miorin, L., Romero-Brey, I., Maiuri, P., Hoppe, S., Krijnse-Locker, J., Bartenschlager, R., Marcello, A. 2013. Three dimensional architecture of tick-borne encephalitis virus replication sites and trafficking of the replicated RNA. Journal of Virology. PubMed link

Miorin, L, Romero-Brey, I, Maiuri, P, Hoppe, S, Krijnse-Locker, J, Bartenschlager, R, Marcello, A. Three Dimensional Architecture of Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus Replication Sites and Trafficking of the Replicated RNA. Journal of Virology. 2013

Kula, A, Gharu, L and Marcello A. HIV-1 pre-mRNA commitment to Rev mediated export through PSF and Matrin 3. Virology. 2013, 435(2): 329-340.

Baba, MM, Logue, CH, Oderlinde, B., Abdulmaleek, H, Williams, J, Lewis, J, Laws, TR, Hewson, R, Marcello, A, D’Agaro, P. Evidence of Arbovirus co-infection in suspected febrile malaria and typhoid patients in Nigeria. Journal of Infection in Developing Countries. 2013, 7(1): 51-59.

Marcello, A, Sblattero, D, Cioarec, C, Maiuri, P, Melpignano, P. A deep-blue OLED-based biochip for protein microarray fluorescence detection. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 2013 46C: 44-47.

Van Lint, C., Bouchat, S., Marcello, A. 2013. HIV-1 transcription and latency: an update. Retrovirology 26;10:67.PubMed link

Roesch F, Meziane O, Kula A, Nisole S, Porrot F, Anderson I, Mammano F, Fassati A, Marcello A, Benkirane M, Schwartz O. Hyperthermia Stimulates HIV-1 Replication. PLOS Pathogens. 2012, 8(7) e1002792.

Miorin, L, Albornoz, A, Baba, MM, D’Agaro P, Marcello A. Formation of membrane-defined compartments by tick-borne encephalitis virus contributes to the early delay in interferon signalling. Virus Research. 2012 Feb; 163 (2): 660-6.

Baba MM, Haruna BA, Ogunmola O, Ambe JP, Shidali NN,  Oderinde B, Marcello, A, Talle, M. A survey for neutralizing antibodies to the three types of poliovirus among children in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Journal of Medical Virology. 2012 Apr; 84 (4): 691-6.

Maiuri P, Knezevich A, De Marco A, Mazza D, Kula A, McNally J, Marcello A. Fast transcription rates of RNA Polymerase II in human cells. EMBO Reports. 2011 Dec 1; 12 (12): 1280-5.

Kula A, Guerra J, Knezevich A, Kleva D, Myers MP, Marcello A. Characterization of the HIV-1 RNA associated proteome identifies Matrin 3 as a nuclear cofactor of Rev function. Retrovirology. 2011 Jul 20; 8:60.

Bartolomei G, Cevik RE, Marcello A. Modulation of hepatitis C virus replication by iron and hepcidin in Huh7 hepatocytes. J Gen Virol. 2011 Sep;92(Pt 9):2072-81.

Massari, S, Daelemans, D, Barreca, ML, Knezevich, A, Sabatini, S, Cecchetti, V, Marcello, A, Pannecouque, C, Tabarrini, O. A 1,8-Naphthyridone derivative targets the HIV-1 Tat-mediated Transcription and potently inhibits the HIV-1 replication. J Med Chem. 2010 Jan 28;53(2):641-8.

De Marco, A, Dans, PD, Knezevich A, Maiuri P, Pantano, S, Marcello A. Subcellular localization of the interaction between the human immunodeficiency virus transactivator Tat and the nucleosome assembly protein 1. Amino Acids. 2010 May; 38(5):1583-93.

Dieudonné M, Maiuri P, Biancotto C, Knezevich A, Kula A, Lusic M, Marcello A. Transcriptional competence of the integrated HIV-1 provirus at the nuclear periphery. EMBO J. 2009 Aug 5; 28(15):2231-43.

De Marco A, Biancotto C, Knezevich A, Maiuri P, Vardabasso C, Marcello A. Intragenic transcriptional cis-activation of the human immunodeficiency virus 1 does not result in allele-specific inhibition of the endogenous gene. Retrovirology. 2008 Nov 4;5:98 

Vardabasso C, Manganaro L, Lusic M, Marcello A, Giacca M. The histone chaperone protein Nucleosome Assembly Protein-1 (hNAP-1) binds HIV-1 Tat and promotes viral transcription. Retrovirology, 2008;5:8

Hoenninger VM, Rouha H, Orlinger KK, Miorin L, Marcello A, Kofler RM, Mandl CW. Analysis of the effects of alterations in the tick-borne encephalitis virus 3′-noncoding region on translation and RNA replication using reporter replicons. Virology, 2008,377(2):419-30

Miorin, L., Maiuri, P., Hoenninger, VM., Mandl, CW., Marcello, A. Spatial and temporal organization of tick-borne encephalitis flavivirus replicated RNA in living cells. Virology, 2008;379(1):64-77 

Chene I, Basyuk E, Lin YL, Triboulet R, Knezevich A, Chable-Bessia C, Mettling C, Baillat V, Reynes J, Corbeau P, Bertrand E, Marcello A, Emiliani S, Kiernan R, Benkirane M. Suv39H1 and HP1gamma are responsible for chromatin-mediated HIV-1 transcriptional silencing and post-integration latency. EMBO J. 2007 Jan 24;26(2):424-35

Molle D, Maiuri P, Boireau S, Bertrand E, Knezevich A, Marcello A, Basyuk E. A real-time view of the TAR:Tat:P-TEFb complex at HIV-1 transcription sites. Retrovirology. 2007 May 30;4:36

Boireau S, Maiuri P, Bayuk E, de la Mata M, Knezevich A, Pradet-Belade B, Bäcker V, Kornblihtt A, Marcello A, Bertrand E. The transcriptional cycle of HIV-1 in real time and live cells. Journal of Cell Biology 2007, October 22; 179(2), 291-304

Pegoraro G., Marcello A., Myers MP., Giacca M. Regulation of adeno-associated virus DNA replication by the cellular TAF-I/set complex. J Virol. 2006, 80: 6855-64

Pantano S, Marcello A, Ferrari A, Gaudiosi D, Sabò A, Pellegrini V, Beltram F, Giacca M, Carloni P: Insights on HIV-1 Tat:P/CAF bromodomain molecular recognition from in vivo experiments and molecular dynamics simulations. Proteins 2006, 1; 62 :1062-73

Cereseto A, Manganaro L, Gutierrez MI, Terreni M, Fittipaldi A, Lusic M, Marcello A, Giacca M: Acetylation of HIV-1 integrase by p300 regulates viral integration. EMBO J 2005, 24:3070-3081

Marcello, A., Ferrari, A., Pellegrini, V., Pegoraro, G., Lusic, M., Beltram, F. and Giacca, M. Recruitment of human cyclin T1 to nuclear bodies through direct interaction with the PML protein. EMBO J 2003, 22, 2156-2166

Lusic M, Marcello A, Cereseto A, Giacca M: Regulation of HIV-1 gene expression by histone acetylation and factor recruitment at the LTR promoter. EMBO J 2003, 22:6550-6561

Marcello, A.,  A., Cinelli, R. A., Ferrari, A., Signorelli, A., Tyagi, M., Pellegrini, V., Beltram, F., and Giacca, M. (2001). Visualization of in vivo direct interaction between HIV-1 TAT and human cyclin T1 in specific subcellular compartments by fluorescence resonance energy transfer, Journal of Biological Chemistry 276, 39220-5 

Zentilin, L., Marcello, A., and Giacca, M. (2001). Involvement of cellular double-stranded DNA break binding proteins in processing of the recombinant adeno-associated virus genome, Journal of Virology 75, 12279-87 

Ricci, S., Medaglini, S., Rush, C. M., Marcello, A., Peppoloni, S., Manganelli, R., Palù, G., Pozzi, G. Immunogenicity of the B monomer of Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin expressed on the surface of Streptococcus gordonii. Infection and Immunity, 68, 760-766, 2000 

Marcello, A., Massimi, P., Banks, L., Giacca, M. Adeno-Associated virus type 2 Rep protein inhibits human papillomavirus type 16 E2 recruitment of the transcriptional coactivator p300. Journal of Virology 2000, 74(19):9090-8.

Marcello, A., Giaretta, I. Inducible expression of herpes simplex thymidine kinase from a bicistronic HIV-1 vector. Research in Virology, 149, 419-431, 1998

Marcello, A., Pisoni, G., Pizzighella, S., Palù, G. Measurement of human cytomegalovirus-associated DNA polymerase activity in patient urines as a potential diagnostic tool. Intervirology 39, 280-284, 1996

Marcello, A., Loregian, A., De Filippis, V., Fontana, A., Hirst, T. R., Palù, G. Identification and characterization of an extracellular protease activity produced by the marine Vibrio sp. 60. FEMS Microbiology Letters 136, 39-44, 1996

Marcello A., Loregian A., Cross, A., Marsden H. S., Hirst T. R., Palù G. Specific inhibition of herpes virus replication by receptor-mediated entry of an anti-viral peptide linked to E. coli enterotoxin B subunit. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science U S A 91, 8994-8998, 1994 

Marcello A., Loregian A., Palù G., Hirst T. R. Efficient extracellular production of hybrid E. coli heat-labile enterotoxin B subunit in a marine vibrio. FEMS Microbiology Letters 117, 47-52, 1994

Palù G., Gerna G., Bevilacqua F., Marcello A. A point mutation in the thymidine kinase gene is responsible for the acyclovir- resistant phenotype in HSV-2 isolates. Virus Research 25, 133-144, 1992

Bevilacqua F., Marcello A., Toni M., Zavattoni M., Cusini M., Zerboni R., Gerna G., Palù G. Acyclovir resistance/susceptibility in herpes simplex virus type 2 sequential isolates from an AIDS patient. Journal of AIDS, 4, 967-969, 1991