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TINa (Team Involved in Nanocalorimetry)
University of Naples "Federico II", Department of Pharmacy, Via Domenico Montesano, 49 - 80131 Napoli

DNA and RNA thermodynamic stability, protein thermodynamic stability, DNA-protein interaction, DNA-drug interaction, biophysics


Bio-macromolecules in solution


Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC), Circular Dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, Fluorescence spectroscopy, Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)

Collaborations outside COST

My lab collaborates with an organic chemist (Daniela Montesarchio), medicinal chemists (Luciana Marinelli and Ettore Novellino, Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Sthephen Neidle, School of Pharmacy, University of London), a biophysic (J.B. Chaires, Brown Cancer Center, Louisville, KY, U.S.A., and a biologist (Annamaria Biroccio, Regina Elena Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy) My group is involved in an interdepartmental center on neurological research (CIRN)

Short description of ongoing research projects

One goal of my Group is to study enzyme, DNA or RNA stability, with reference to their modifications, by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and circular dichroism (CD). DSC can be utilized to study protein thermodynamic stability, providing all the thermodynamic parameters (enthalpy, entropy and free energy changes) for the folding/unfolding processes, without any two-step model assumption. In addition, comparison of the calorimetric enthalpies with calculated model-dependent enthalpies provides additional information on the unfolding process, as the presence of intermediate states. CD for its sensitivity to stereochemical variations, has emerged as an important methodology for studying subtle conformational changes induced by modification or external stimuli. Another goal of my Group is to study biomacromolecule affinity for drug or other (bio)molecules. It will be studied by spectroscopic (circular dichroism, fluorescence, SPR) and calorimetric (Isothermal Titration Calorimetry, ITC) methodologies. Specifically, the energetic mechanistic aspects of molecular interactions can be derived by ITC in term of experimental thermodynamic information.

  1. Cavaliere P, Pagano B, Granata V, Prigent S, Rezaei H, Giancola C*, Zagari A* " Cross-talk between prion protein and quadruplex-forming nucleic acids: a dynamic complex formation" Nucleic Acids Res. (2013), 41(1), 327-39
  2. Amato J, Stellato M I, Pizzo E, Petraccone L, Oliviero G, Borbone N, Piccialli G, Orecchia A, Bellei B, Castiglia D, Giancola C*. "PNA as potential modulator of COL7A1 gene expression in dominant dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa: a physico-chemical study" Mol. BioSyst., (2013) , 9(12), 3166-7
  3. Cosconati S, Rizzo A, Trotta R, Pagano B, Iachettini S, De Tito S, Lauri I, Fotticchia I, Giustiniano M, Marinelli L, Giancola C, Novellino E, Biroccio A, Randazzo A " Shooting for selective druglike G-quadruplex binders: evidence for telomeric DNA damage and tumor cell death" J Med Chem. (2012) 55(22), 9785-92
  4. Virgilio A, Petraccone L, Esposito V, Citarella G, Giancola C*, Galeone A* "The abasic site lesions in the human telomeric sequence d[TA(G(3)T(2)A)(3)G(3)]: a thermodynamic point of view" Biochim Biophys Acta (2012), 1820(12), 2037-43
  5. Petraccone L, Spink C, Trent JO, Garbett NC, Mekmaysy CS, Giancola C, Chaires JB “Structure and stability of higher-order human telomeric quadruplexes” J Am Chem Soc. (2011), 133(51), 20951-61 (*Joint senior authors)
Other activities of potential interest to others

Editor in Chief of International Review of Biophysical Chemistry (I.Re.Bi.C) Associate Editor in the Bio-, Life sciences and Pharmaceuticals subject areas of Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

Cost UE