Ettore  Appella, M.D.

Ettore Appella, M.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Laboratory of Cell Biology


Dr. Appella was among the first researchers to identify the tumor suppressor protein p53, and he has studied its roles in the cell and regulation by post-translational modification. He and his colleagues further identified a critical phosphatase that is upregulated by p53 following DNA damage. This phosphatase, Wip1 (PPM1D), is amplified or overexpressed in several human tumors. Dr. Appella’s research currently is focused on exploring the roles of Wip1 in cells and its contribution to tumorigenesis. They additionally are exploring how Wip1 is regulated. Finally, Dr. Appella’s laboratory is working to develop specific inhibitors of Wip1 that could be advanced to the clinic.

Areas of Expertise

Wip1 Phosphatase
Protein Chemistry
Mass Spectrometry


Selected Recent Publications

Cooperative assembly of a four-molecule signaling complex formed upon T cell antigen receptor activation

Manna A, Zhao H, Wada J, Balagopalan L, Tagad HD, Appella E, Schuck P, Samelson LE.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 115(51): E11914-E11923, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Mutant p53 cancers reprogram macrophages to tumor supporting macrophages via exosomal miR-1246

Cooks T, Pateras IS, Jenkins LM, Patel KM, Robles AI, Morris J, Forshew T, Appella E, Gorgoulis VG, Harris CC.
Nat Commun.. 9(1): 771, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Intensity and duration of TCR signaling is limited by p38 phosphorylation of ZAP-70T293 and destabilization of the signalosome

Giardino Torchia ML, Dutta D, Mittelstadt PR, Guha J, Gaida MM, Fish K, Barr VA, Akpan IO, Samelson LE, Tagad HD, Debnath S, Miller Jenkins LM, Appella E, Ashwell JD.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 115(9): 2174-79, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Unique properties of TCR-activated p38 are necessary for NFAT-dependent T-cell activation

Alam MS, Gaida MM, Debnath S, Tagad HD, Miller Jenkins LM, Appella E, Rahman MJ, Ashwell JD.
PLoS Biol. 16(1): e2004111, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Epigenetic siRNA and Chemical Screens Identify SETD8 Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy for p53 Activation in High-Risk Neuroblastoma

Veschi V, Liu Z, Voss TC, Ozbun L, Gryder B, Yan C, Hu Y, Ma A, Jin J, Mazur SJ, Lam N, Souza BK, Giannini G, Hager GL, Arrowsmith CH, Khan J, Appella E, Thiele CJ.
Cancer Cell. 31(1): 50-63, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

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Research Fellow
Kate Brown, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Victor Clausse, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Jay Prakash Kumar, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting Fellow)
Pierre Martine
Predoctoral Visiting Fellow (Graduate Student)
David Lopez Perez


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