Lorenzo Stella


Lorenzo Stella
Dip. Scienze e Teconologie Chimiche
Tel: +39 06 72594463
Fax: +39 06 72594328



Lorenzo Stella, was born in Rome in 1968, in 1993 he received a M.Sc. degree in physics (summa cum laude) from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and in 1997 a Ph.D. in Biophysics, from the same University. Since 1997 he is working at the Department of Chemical Sciences and Technologies of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, where he is now Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry. He was awarded the National Scientific Qualification as Full Professor in Physical chemistry (2014) and in Biochemistry (2015). He has been a research associate at the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics, University of Illinois, and at the Laboratorium für Biochemie of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). He received the “Lucio Senatore” award by the Italian Chemical Society and in 2011 the “Best Paper Award” of the Journal of Peptide Science and an honorable mention for the Schram Award of the European Peptide Society. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Molecular Structure, of the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Peptide Science and is a Review Editor for Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences and Frontiers in Biological Chemistry. He is a founding member and the current Secretary of the Italian Peptide Society. His research activity is focused on the structure, dynamics, molecular interactions and biological function of peptides and proteins, studied by a combination of spectroscopic techniques and computational methods, particularly fluorescence spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. In the last years, he devoted his studies mainly to understand the mechanism of action of membrane-active peptides, and in this field he coordinates several national and international projects. His researches have led to more than 150 publications on international journals (January 2016, https://scholar.google.it/citations?user=t7zSilAAAAAJ&hl=it).


Research Activity

  • The main research focus of Prof. Stella has been in the field of host defense peptides (HDPs), natural peptides endowed with potent antibacterial and anticancer activity mediated by the perturbation of cell membranes. His studies have been devoted to understand their mechamism of action, and the properties responsible for their activity and selectivity.
  • Through combined simulative and fluorescence studies, he contributed to define the structural and functional effects of mutations causing several severe pathologies, including developmental syndromes (Noonan, Leopard, Ayme-Gripp, Myhre, Zimmerman-Laband, and Primrose syndromes), some forms of leukemia and of kidney disease.
  • L. Stella contributed to the progress of fluorescence methods, particularly in the field of association studies (e.g. peptide/protein binding).


Selected Publications


  • X. Chong, V. Caputo, I. G. Phelps, L. Stella, L. Worgan, J. C. Dempsey, A. Nguyen, V. Leuzzi, R. Webster, A. Pizzuti, C. T. Marvin, G. E. Ishak, S. Ardern–Holmes, Z. Richmond, University of Washington Center for Mendelian Genomics, M. J. Bamshad, X. Ortiz-Gonzalez, M.Tartaglia, M. Chopra, D. Doherty.
    Recessive inactivating mutations in TBCK, a Rab GTPase-activating protein that modulates mTOR signaling, cause severe neonatal syndromic encephalopathy.
    Am. J. Hum. Gen., doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.01.016.
  • Cordeddu, J. C. Yin, C. Gunnarsson, C. Virtanen, S. Drunat, F. Lepri, A. De Luca, C. Rossi, A. Ciolfi, T. J. Pugh, A. Bruselles, J. R. Priest, L. A. Pennacchio, Z. Lu, A. Danesh, R. Quevedo, A. Hamid, S. Martinelli, F. Pantaleoni, M. Gnazzo, P. Daniele, C. Lissewski, G. Bocchinfuso, L. Stella, S. Odent, N. Philip, L. Faivre, M. Vlckova, E. Seemanova, C. Digilio, M. Zenker, G. Zampino, A. Verloes, B. Dallapiccola, A. E. Roberts, H. Cavé, B. D. Gelb, B. G. Neel, M. Tartaglia.
    Activating mutations affecting the Dbl homology domain of SOS2 cause Noonan syndrome.
    Hum. Mut., 2015, 36:1080-1087. IF 2014: 5.340
  • Becucci, S. Benci, F. Nuti, F. Real-Fernandez, Z. Vaezi, L. Stella, M. Venanzi, P. Rovero, and A. M. Papini.
    Interaction Study of Phospholipid Membranes with an N-Glucosylated b-Turn Peptide Structure Detecting Autoantibodies Biomarkers of Multiple Sclerosis.
    Membranes, 2015, 5: 576-596. IF 2014: –
  • Bobone, M. De Zotti, A. Bortolotti, B. Biondi, G. Ballano, A. Palleschi, C. Toniolo, F. Formaggio, L. Stella.
    The fluorescence and infrared absorption probe para-cyanophenylalanine: effect of labeling on the behavior of different membrane-interacting peptides.
    Biopolymers (Pept. Sci.), 2015, 104: 521–532. IF 2014: 2.385
  • Bobone, E. Miele, B. Cerroni, D. Roversi, A. Bocedi, E. Nicolai, A. Di Venere, E. Placidi, G. Ricci, N. Rosato, and L. Stella.
    Liposome-templated hydrogel nanoparticles as vehicles for enzyme-based therapies
    Langmuir, 2015, 31: 7572–7580. IF 2014: 4.457
  • Kortüm, V. Caputo, C. K. Bauer, L. Stella, A. Ciolfi, M. Alawi, G. Bocchinfuso, E. Flex, S. Paolacci, M. L. Dentici, P. Grammatico, G. C. Korenke, V. Leuzzi, D. Mowat, L. D. V. Nair, T. T. M. Nguyen, P. Thierry, S. M. White, B. Dallapiccola, A. Pizzuti, P. M. Campeau, M. Tartaglia, K. Kutsche.
    Mutations in KCNH1 and ATP6V1B2 cause Zimmermann-Laband syndrome.
    Nat. Genet., 2015, 47: 661–667. IF 2014: 29.352
  • Niceta, E. Stellacci, K. Gripp, G. Zampino, M. Kousi, M. Anselmi, A. Traversa, A. Ciolfi, D. Stabley, A. Bruselles, V. Caputo, S. Cecchetti, S. Prudente, M. Fiorenza, C. Boitani, N. Philip, D. Niyazov, C. Leoni, T. Nakane, K. Keppler-Noreuil, S. Braddock, G. Gillessen-Kaesbach, A. Palleschi, P. Campeau, B. Lee, C. Pouponnot, L. Stella, G. Bocchinfuso, N. Katsanis, K. Sol-Church, M. Tartaglia.
    Mutations impairing GSK3-mediated MAF phosphorylation cause a recognizable multisystem developmental syndrome.
    Am. J. Hum. Genet., 2015, 96: 816-25. IF 2014: 10.931
  • De Zotti, S. Bobone, A. Bortolotti, E. Longo, C. Peggion, F. Formaggio, C. Toniolo, A. Dalla Bona, B. Kaptein, L. Stella.
    4-Cyano-α-methyl-l-phenylalanine as a spectroscopic marker for the investigation of peptaibiotic-membrane interactions.
    Chem. Biodivers. 2015, 12: 513-52. IF 2014: 1.515
  • Farrotti, G. Bocchinfuso, A. Palleschi, N. Rosato, B. Bechinger, L. Stella.
    Molecular dynamics methods to predict peptide location in membranes: LAH4 as a stringent test case.
    Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 2015, 1848: 581–592. IF 2014: 3.836
  • Bobone, M. van de Weert, and L. Stella.
    A reassessment of synchronous fluorescence in the separation of Trp and Tyr contributions in protein emission and in the determination of conformational changes.
    J. Mol. Struct., 2014, 1077: 68–76. IF 2013: 1.599
  • Barua, E. Stellacci, L. Stella, A. Weins, G. Genovese, V. Muto, V. Caputo, H. Toka, V. T. Charoonratana, M. Tartaglia, M. R. Pollak.
    Mutations in PAX2 Are Associated with Adult-onset FSGS.
    J. Am. Soc. Nephrol., 2014, 25:1942-53. IF 2013: 9.466
  • Roversi, V. Luca, S. Aureli, Y. Park, M. L. Mangoni, L. Stella.
    How many antimicrobial peptide molecules kill a bacterium? The case of PMAP–23.
    ACS Chem. Biol., 2014, 9: 2003−2007. IF 2013: 5.356
    Highlighted in a Chem. Res. Toxicol. editorial (2014, 27, 1461−1462).
  • Iftemi, M. De Zotti, F. Formaggio, C. Toniolo, L. Stella, and T. Luchian.
    Electrophysiology investigation of trichogin GA IV activity in planar lipid membranes reveals ion channels of well-defined size.
    Chem. Biodivers., 2014, 11: 1069-1077. IF 2013: 1.795
  • Cordeddu, B. Redeker, E. Stellacci, A. Jongejan, A. Fragale, T. E. J. Bradley, M. Anselmi, A. Ciolfi, S. Cecchetti, V. Muto, L. Bernardini, M. Azage, D. R. Carvalho, A. J. Espay, A. Male, A.-M. Molin, R. Posmyk, C. Battisti, A. Casertano, D. Melis, A. van Kampen, F. Baas, M. M. Mannnens, G. Bocchinfuso, L. Stella, M. Tartaglia, R. C. Hennekam
    Mutations in ZBTB20 cause Primrose syndrome
    Nat. Genet., 2014, 46: 815–817. IF 2013: 29.648
  • Flex, M. Jaiswal, F. Pantaleoni, S. Martinelli1, M. Strullu, E. K. Fansa, A. Caye, A. DeLuca, F. Lepri, R. Dvorsky, L. Pannone, S. Paolacci, S. Zhang, V. Fodale, G. Bocchinfuso, C. Rossi, E. M. M. Burkitt-Wright, A. Farrotti, E. Stellacci, S. Cecchetti, R. Ferese, L. Bottero, S. Castro, O. Fenneteau, B. Brethon, M. Sanchez, A. E. Roberts, H. G. Yntema, I. van der Burgt, P. Cianci, M. L. Bondeson, M. C. Digilio, G. Zampino, B. Kerr, Y. Aoki, M. L. Loh, A. Palleschi, E. Di Schiavi, A. Carè, A. Selicorni, B. Dallapiccola, I. C. Cirstea, L. Stella, M. Zenker, B. D. Gelb, H. Cavé, M. R. Ahmadian, and M. Tartaglia.
    Activating mutations in RRAS underlie a phenotype within the RASopathy spectrum and contribute to leukemogenesis.
    Hum. Mol. Genet., 2014, 23: 4315-27. IF 2013: 6.677
  • Flex, M. Jaiswal, F. Pantaleoni, S. Martinelli, M. Strullu, E. K. Fansa, A. Caye, A. De V. Caputo, G. Bocchinfuso, M. Castori, A. Traversa, P. Grammatico, L. Stella, A. Pizzuti, M. Tartaglia.
    Novel SMAD4 mutation causing Myhre syndrome.
    Am. J. Med. Gen. A, 2014, 164: 1835–1840. IF 2013: 2.048
  • L. Stella, M. van de Weert, H. D. Burrows and R. Fausto.
    Fluorescence spectroscopy and binding: getting it right.
    J. Mol. Struct., 2014, 1077: 1–3. IF 2013: 1.599
  • L. Stella.
    Book review: Yves Mély and Guy Duportail (Eds.): Fluorescent methods to study biological membranes.
    Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 2013, 405: 5853-5854. IF 2012: 3.659
  • Bobone, G. Bocchinfuso, Y. Park, A. Palleschi, K. -S. Hahm, and L. Stella.
    The importance of being kinked: role of Pro residues in the selectivity of the helical antimicrobial peptide P5.
    J. Pept. Sci., 2013, 19: 758–769. IF 2012: 2.071
  • Bocedi, R. Fabrini, A. Farrotti, L. Stella, A. J. Ketterman, J. Z. Pedersen, N. Allocati, P. C. K. Lau, S. Grosse, L. D Eltis, A. Ruzzini, T. E. Edwards , L. Morici, E. Del Grosso, L. Guidoni, D. Bovi, M. Lo Bello, G. Federici, M. W Parker, P. G. Board and G. Ricci.
    The impact of nitric oxide toxicity on the evolution of the glutathione transferase superfamily. a proposal for an evolutionary driving force.
    J. Biol. Chem., 2013, 288: 24936-24947. IF 2012: 4.651
  • Caruso, E. Placidi, E. Gatto, C. Mazzuca, L. Stella, G. Bocchinfuso, A. Palleschi, F. Formaggio, C. Toniolo and M. Venanzi.
    Fibrils or globules? Tuning the morphology of peptide aggregates from helical building blocks.
    J. Phys. Chem. B. 2013. 117: 5448-5459. IF 2012: 3.607
  • Castelli, L. Stella, P. Petrarca, A. Battistoni, A. Desideri, M. Falconi.
    Zinc ion coordination as a modulating factor of the ZnuA histidine-rich loop flexibility: a molecular modeling and fluorescence spectroscopy study.
    Biochim. Biophys. Res. Comm, 2013, 430:769-773. IF 2012: 2.406
  • Bobone, Y. Gerelli, M. De Zotti, G. Bocchinfuso, A. Farrotti, B. Orioni, F. Sebastiani, E. Latter, J. Penfold, R. Senesi, F. Formaggio, A. Palleschi, C. Toniolo, G. Fragneto, L. Stella.
    Membrane thickness and the mechanism of action of the short peptaibol trichogin GA IV.
    Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 2013, 1828: 1013–1024. IF 2012: 3.389
    Cover for all 2013 issues. Highlighted also in the ILL annual report and in Peptide-Advances in Research and Application. Ed. Q.Aston Acton. 2013 ScholarlyEditions (Atlanta – Georgia – USA) ISBN: 978-1-481-67887-2. Pages 337-338.
  • Bobone, D. Roversi, L. Giordano, M. de Zotti, F. Formaggio, C. Toniolo, and L. Stella.
    The lipid dependence of antimicrobial peptide activity is an unreliable experimental test for different pore models.
    Biochemistry (Rapid Reports) 2012, 51: 10124-10126. IF 2011: 3.422
    Highlighted on the journal’s home page.
  • De Luca, L. Federici, M. Di Canio, L. Stella and A. M. Caccuri
    New insights into the mechanism of JNK1 inhibition by glutathione transferase P1-1
    Biochemistry, 2012 51:7304-7312. IF 2011: 3.422
  • Martinelli, A. P. Nardozza, S. Delle Vigne, G. Sabetta, P. Torreri, G. Bocchinfuso, E. Flex, S. Venanzi, A. Palleschi, B. D. Gelb, G. Cesareni, L. Stella, L. Castagnoli and M. Tartaglia.
    Counteracting effects operating on the function of Src-homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP2) drive selection of the recurrent Tyr62Asp and Tyr63Cys substitutions in Noonan syndrome.
    J. Biol. Chem., 2012, 287, 27066-27077. IF 2011: 4.773
    Selected as J. Biol. Chem. “paper of the week”
  • Caputo, L. Cianetti, M. Niceta, C. Carta, A. Ciolfi, G. Bocchinfuso, E. Carrani, M. L. Dentici, E. Biamino, E. Belligni, L. Garavelli, L. Boccone, D. Melis, G. Andria, B. D. Gelb, L. Stella, M. Silengo, B. Dallapiccola, and M. Tartaglia.
    A restricted spectrum of mutations in the SMAD4 tumor-suppressor gene underlies Myhre syndrome.
    Am. J. Hum. Genet. 2012 90: 161-169. IF 2011: 10.603
  • Vassallo, S. Castelli, I. D’annessa, B. Morrozzo della Rocca, L. Stella, B. R. Knudesn, A. Desideri
    Evidences of a natively unfolded state for the human topoisomerase 1B N-terminal domain.
    Aminoacids 2011 41: 945-953. IF 2010: 4.106
  • Lepri, A. De Luca, L. Stella, Cesare Rossi, G. Baldassarre, F. Pantaleoni, V. Cordeddu, B. J. Williams, M. L. Dentici, V. Caputo, S. Venanzi, M. Bonaguro, I. Kavamura, M. F. Faienza, A. Pilotta, F. Stanzial, F. Faravelli, O. Gabrielli, B. Marino, G. Neri, M. Cirillo Silengo, G. B. Ferrero, I. Torrente, A. Selicorni, L. Mazzanti, M. C. Digilio, G. Zampino, B. Dallapiccola, B. D. Gelb, and M. Tartaglia.
    SOS1 mutations in Noonan syndrome: an update on molecular spectrum, structural insights on pathogenic effects, and genotype-phenotype correlations.
    Hum. Mut. 2011 32: 760–772. IF 2010: 5.956
  • Bobone, A. Piazzon, B. Orioni, J. Z. Pedersen, Y. H. Nan, K.-S. Hahm, S. Y. Shin, and L. Stella
    The thin line between cell-penetrating and antimicrobial peptides: the case of Pep-1 and Pep-1-K.
    J. Pept. Sci, 2011, 17, 335-341. IF 2010: 1.954
  • Fabrini, A. Bocedi, K. Dawood, P. Turella, L. Stella, M. W. Parker, J. Z. Pedersen, G. Federici, G. Antonini, and G. Ricci.
    The extended catalysis of glutathione transferase
    FEBS Lett., 2011, 585: 341-345. IF 2010: 3.601
  • van de Weert and L. Stella.
    Fluorescence quenching and ligand binding: a critical discussion of a popular methodology.
    J. Mol. Struct., 2011, 998: 144-150. IF 2010: 1.599
    Sciencedirect top 25 list of most downloaded articles of this journal in 2012, 2013, 2014 (ranked 6th, 5th, 10th)
  • Stella.
    Fluorescence quenching, lifetimes and fluorophore solvent accessibility
    J. Chem. Educ., 2011, 88: 695-696. IF 2010: 0.571
  • Bocchinfuso, S. Bobone, A. Palleschi, L. Stella.
    Fluorescence spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations in studies on the mechanism of membrane destabilization by antimicrobial peptides.
    Cell. Mol. Life Sci., 2011, 68:2281-2301. IF 2010: 7.047
  • Benedetti, K. S. Hahm, and L. Stella.
    Peptides at work: from structure to applications.
    Editorial for the special issue dedicated to the 12th Naples Workshop on Bioactive Peptides and 2nd Italy-Korea Symposium on Antimicrobial Peptides.
    J. Pept. Sci, 2011, 17, 297. IF 2010: 1.652.



Laboratory of Physical Chemistry I (B. Sc. degree in Chemistry, University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Molecular Spectroscopy (M. Sc. degree in Chemistry, University of Rome Tor Vergata)