Editor-in-Chief of IREBIC

Biographical note of the Editor-in-Chief:


 

Concetta Giancola was born in Campobasso (Italy) on April, 10th, 1959. She is Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry at the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Naples Federico II, from 2001. She received the M.Sc. degree in Chemistry and Ph.D. degree  in Chemical Sciencesfrom the University of Naples Federico II, in 1983 and 1992, respectively. In the meantime, in 1984 she joined the group of prof. Guido Barone at the Department of Chemistry of the same University, working on a research project involving the synthesis and characterization of model peptides. In 1985 she collaborated with the research group of prof. Lucio Senatore at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Pisa on a research project dealing with the synthesis and physico-chemical characterisation of vanadium complexes. From 1986 to 1987 she was a postgraduate fellow of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (C.N.R.), at the Institute for Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Energetics, University of Pisa.

The research activity is mainly devoted to the physico-chemical characterization of biological macromolecules and their interactions with small molecules, drugs or other bio-macromolecules. In particular, circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy, molecular mechanics and dynamics were used in combination with calorimetric methodologies.

  

 RECENT AND RELEVANT JOURNAL PAPERS

Prof. Giancola is author of more than 100 papers published on international journals and of numerous contributions reported in several Congress Proceedings.

Recent publications below: 

[1]    Badea E., Della Gatta  G, Giancola C, Jozwiak M. “Hydration of Thiourea and mono-,di- and tetra-N-alkylureas at infinite dilution:a thermodynamic study at a temperature of 298.15 K", Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data, accepted.

[2]    Pagano B, Cosconati S, Gabelica V, Petraccone L, De Tito S, Marinelli L, La Pietra V, di Leva F. S, Lauri I, Trotta R. Novellino E,Giancola C, Randazzo A. “State-of-the-art methodologies for the discovery and characterization of DNA G-Quadruplex binders”Current Pharmaceutical Design, in press.

[3]    Petraccone L, Spink C, Trent JO, Garbett NC, Mekmaysy CS, Giancola C, Chaires JB. “Structure and stability of higher-order human telomeric quadruplexes” Journal of the American Chemical Society, (2011), 133(51), 20951-61.

[4]    Peduto A., Pagano B., Petronzi C., Massa A., Esposito V., Virgilio A., Paduano F., Trapasso F., Fiorito F., Florio S., Giancola C., Galeone A., Filosa R. “Design, synthesis, biophysical and biological studies of trisubstituted naphthalimides as G-quadruplex ligands”Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (2011), 19,(21), 6419-29.

[5]    Russo Krauss I, Merlino A, Giancola C, Randazzo A, Mazzarella L, Sica F.”Thrombin-aptamer recognition: a revealed ambiguity”Nucleic Acids Res. 2011, Jun 28.

[6]    Petraccone L, Fotticchia I, Cummaro A, Pagano B, Ginnari-Satriani L, Haider S, Randazzo A, Novellino E, Neidle S, Giancola C. “The triazatruxene derivative azatrux binds to the parallel form of the human telomeric G-quadruplex under molecular crowding conditions: “Biophysical and molecular modeling studies”. Biochimie (2011), May 30.

[7]    Cummaro A, Fotticchia I, Franceschin M, Giancola C, Petraccone L. “Binding properties of human telomeric quadruplex multimers: a new route for drug design” Biochimie (2011), Apr 19.

[8]  Amato J, Pagano B, Borbone N, Oliviero G, Gabelica V, Pauw ED, D'Errico S, Piccialli V, Varra M, Giancola C, Piccialli G, Mayol L. “Targeting G-Quadruplex Structure in the Human c-Kit Promoter with Short PNA Sequences”. Bioconj.Chem. (2011) 22(4),654-663.

[9]  Giancola C, Ercole C, Fotticchia I, Spadaccini R, Pizzo E, D'Alessio G, Picone D. “Structure-cytotoxicity relationships in bovine seminal ribonuclease: new insights from heat and chemical denaturation studies on variants. FEBS J. (2011) 278(1), 111-22.

[10]  Pizzo E, Merlino A, Turano M, Russo Krauss I, Coscia F, Zanfardino A, Varcamonti M, Furia A, Giancola C, Mazzarella L, Sica F, D'Alessio G. “A new RNase sheds light on the RNase/angiogenin subfamily from zebrafish” Biochem J. (2010) 433(2), 345-55.

[11]  Cosconati S, Marinelli L, Trotta R, Virno A, De Tito S, Romagnoli R, Pagano B, Limongelli V, Giancola C, Baraldi P G, Mayol L, Novellino E, Randazzo A,  "Structural and conformational requisites in DNA quadruplex groove binding: another piece to the puzzle" Journal of the American Chemical Society (2010), 132(18), 6425-33.

[12]  Pagano B, Fotticchia I, De Tito S, Mattia CA, Mayol L, Novellino E, Randazzo A, Giancola C. "Selective binding of distamycin A derivative to G-quadruplex structure [d(TGGGGT)]4". Journal of Nucleic Acids (2010), pii: 247137.

[13]  Esposito V, Martino L, Citarella G, Virgilio A, Mayol L, Giancola C, Galeone A. "Effects of abasic sites on structural, thermodynamic and kinetic properties of quadruplex structures". Nucleic Acids Research (2010), 38(6), 2069-80.

[14]  Martino L, Pagano B, Fottichia I, Neidle S, Giancola C. "Shedding light on the interaction between TMPyP4 and human telomeric quadruplexes". Journal Physical Chemistry B (2009), 113(44), 14779-86.

[15]  Pagano B, Mattia CA, Giancola C. "Applications of Isothermal Titration Calorimetry in Biophysical Studies of G-quadruplexes".International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2009), 10(7), 2935-2957.

[16]  Martino L, He Y, Hands-Taylor KL, Valentine ER, Kelly G, Giancola C, Conte MR. "The interaction of the Escherichia coli protein SlyD with nickel ions illuminates the mechanism of regulation of its peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity". FEBS Journal (2009), 276(16), 4529-4544.

[17]  Troise F, Cafaro V, Giancola C, D'Alessio G, De Lorenzo C. "Differential binding of human immunoagents and Herceptin to the ErbB2 receptor". FEBS Journal (2009), 275(10), 4967-4979.

[18]  Pagano B, Virno A, Mattia CA, Mayol L, Randazzo A, Giancola C. "Targeting DNA quadruplexes with distamycin A and its derivatives: an ITC and NMR study". Biochimie (2008), 90(8), 1224-32.

[19]  Pagano B, Mattia CA, Cavallo L, Uesugi S, Giancola C, Fraternali F. "Stability and cations coordination of DNA and RNA 14-mer G-quadruplexes: a multiscale computational approach". Journal Physical Chemistry B (2008), 112, 12115-12123.

[20]  Pizzo E, Varcamonti M, Maro A.D., Zanfardino A, Giancola C, D'Alessio G. "Ribonucleases with angiogenic and bactericidal activities from the Atlantic salmon". FEBS Journal (2008), 275(6), 1283-1295.

[21]  D'Onofrio J, Petraccone L, Martino L, Di Fabio G, Iadonisi A, Balzarini J, Giancola C, Montesarchio D. "Synthesis, Biophysical Characterization, and Anti-HIV Activity of Glyco-Conjugated G-Quadruplex-Forming Oligonucleotides". Bioconjugate Chemistry (2008), 19(3), 607-616.

[22]  Giancola C. "A convenient tool for studying the stability of proteins and nucleic acids: Differential scanning calorimetry". Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (2008), 91(1), 79-85.

[23]  Pagano B, Martino L, Randazzo A, Giancola C. "Stability and binding properties of a modified thrombin binding aptamer".Biophysical Journal (2008), 94(2), 562-569.

[24]  Martino L, Virno A, Pagano B, Virgilio A, Di Micco S, Galeone A, Giancola C, Bifulco G, Mayol L, Randazzo A. "Structural and Thermodynamic Studies of the Interaction of Distamycin A with the Parallel Quadruplex Structure [d(TGGGGT)]4". Journal of the American Chemical Society (2007), 129(51), 16048-16056.

[25]  Pagano B, Giancola C. "Energetics of quadruplex-drug recognition in anticancer therapy". Current Cancer Drug Targets (2007), 7(6), 520-540.

[26]  D'Onofrio J, Petraccone L, Erra E, Martino L, Di Fabio G, De Napoli L, Giancola C, Montesarchio D. "5'-Modified G-Quadruplex Forming Oligonucleotides Endowed with Anti-HIV Activity: Synthesis and Biophysical Properties". Bioconjugate Chemistry (2007), 18(4), 1194-1204.

[27]  Martino L, Virno A, Randazzo A, Virgilio A, Esposito V, Giancola C, Bucci M, Cirino G, Mayol L. "A new modified thrombin binding aptamer containing a 5'-5' inversion of polarity site". Nucleic Acids Research (2006), 34(22), 6653-6662.

[28]  Petraccone L, Erra E, Randazzo A, Giancola C. "Energetic aspects of locked nucleic acids quadruplex association and dissociation". Biopolymers (2006), 83(6), 584-594.

[29]  Petraccone L, Pagano B, Esposito V, Randazzo A, Piccialli G, Barone G, Mattia CA, Giancola C. "Thermodynamics and Kinetics of PNA-DNA Quadruplex-Forming Chimeras". Journal of the American Chemical Society (2005), 127(46), 16215-16223.

[30]  Petraccone L, Barone G, Giancola C. "Quadruplex-forming oligonucleotides as tools in anticancer therapy and aptamers design: Energetic aspects". Current Medicinal Chemistry: Anti-Cancer Agents (2005), 5(5), 463-475.

[31]  Giancola C, Pizzo E, Di Maro A, Cubellis M V, D'Alessio G. "Preparation and characterization of geodin. A bg -crystallin-type protein from a sponge". FEBS Journal (2005), 272(4), 1023-1035.

[32]  Petraccone L, Erra E, Esposito V, Randazzo A, Galeone A, Barone G, Giancola C. "Biophysical properties of quadruple helices of modified human telomeric DNA". Biopolymers (2005), 77(2), 75-85.


 SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY

From 1984 to 1989 her main research interests were the studies on the intra- and intermolecular interactions ruling the conformational stability and the transitions of biological macromolecules, specially those realized in hydroorganic solutions. This work was developed in part in collaboration with prof. T. H. Lilley (Sheffield) and with the group of prof. F. Pulidori (Ferrara). Prof. Giancola was also involved in the study of the thermodynamics of hydration of model peptides (in collaboration with prof. G. Della Gatta, from the University of Torino, and prof. L. Abate, from the University of Catania) and the physico-chemical characterisation of solid substances (peptides, ureas, tioureas) in collaboration with prof. C. A. Mattia and dr. R. Puliti, from the University of Napoli. Interesting correlations were found between the thermodynamics of sublimation or fusion and intermolecular forces determining the crystal structures and packing.

From 1989 on, her main research interests are in the field of the physico-chemical characterisation of biological macromolecules (proteins and nucleic acids), mainly by means of DSC microcalorimetry, specially adapted to the study of conformational transitions in dilute solution, circular dicroism, UV spectroscopy, molecular mechanics and dynamics. Several statistic-thermodynamic models were developed to rationalise the thermal denaturation processes of the proteins under investigation, particularly focusing on ribonucleases, whether in the presence or not of stabilising agents, as sugars, polyols, etc., or of small molecular weight ligands.

Her more recent interests concern biophysico-chemical studies on the stability of triple and quadruple helices of DNA, carried out by a combination of calorimetric, spectroscopic and computational methods. Both triplex and quadruplex structures of nucleic acids are of interest for their high potential therapeutic applications. Triple helices are formed through sequence-specific recognition between a single stranded oligopyrimidine stretches and the purine bases of a target duplex. Hence, a tailor-made synthetic oligonucleotide is able to specifically bind the major groove of genomic DNA and thereby modulate its gene expression (antigene strategy). In this approach, several modified oligonucleotides have been studied as triple helix forming agents, including PNA-DNA chimeras.

Another active area of research includes the study of G-quadruplexes, with particular attention devoted to synthetic guanine-rich oligonucleotides modeling the telomere ends of chromosomes. Telomeric ends of chromosomes, which comprise noncoding repeat sequences of G-rich DNA are fundamental in protecting the cell from recombination and degradation. Telomeric DNA sequence can form quadruplex structures stabilised by guanine quartets (G-quadruplex). Several cells (germline cells, proliferative stem cells, tumour cells) maintain telomere length through activation of the enzyme telomerase. In particular, 80-90% of human tumors show an enhanced activity of telomerase. Consequently, telomerase is actually a major target in anticancer therapy and all telomerase inhibitors are studied in their potential antitumor activity.

The studies concerning triple and quadruple helices of DNA are carried out in collaboration with Profs. E.Novellino, L. Mayol, G. Piccialli, A. Galeone and A. Randazzo (School of Pharmacy, University of Naples), Profs. L. De Napoli and D. Montesarchio (Department of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Naples), Prof. C. A. Mattia (School of Pharmacy, University of Salerno), prof. J. Ladbury (University College London), prof. F. Fraternali (King's College London), prof. S. Neidle (School of Pharmacy, University of London) and prof. J.B. Chaires (Brown Cancer Center, Louisville, KY, U.S.A.)
.

 KEYNOTE AND PLENARY LECTURES

- "Energetics of interaction of quadruplex nucleic acids with proteins and drugs"
   XXXVI Congresso Nazionale di Chimica Fisica -Plenary lecture, Camogli, 24-29 February 2008.

- "G-Quadrulex structures in anticancer and antiviral therapy"
   International Conference of Anticancer Research - Keynote lecture, Kos, Greece,

   17-22 October 2008.
- "Research group presentation in the WG3: Biochemical and Biorecognition Properties"
   COST Action: European network on Self-assembled Guanosine Structures for Molecular

   Electronic Devices,Debrecen, Hungary, 24-27 March 2009.
- "Biocalorimetry...much more than heat: Energetics of G-Quadruplex structures for anticancer

   and antiviral therapy"
   Randall Seminar Series, King's College London, U.K., 5 May 2009.
- "DNA high order structure for biomedical applications"
   VI Symposium on Medical Physics, IV International Symposium on Medical Physics,

   Beskid Mountains, Poland, 15 - 18 June 2009 - Plenary lecture.
- "Biocalorimetry: stability, molecular recognition and applications in drug design"
   European Winter School on Physical Organic Chemistry, Bressanone, Italy,

   31 January - 5 February 2010.
- "Un approccio chimico-fisico allo studio delle quadruple eliche di DNA"
   Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy, 12 March 2010- Lesson-Seminar.
- "DSC and ITC: a tandem approach to study biological systems"
   XXXII National Congress on Calorimetry, Thermal analysis and Applied Thermodynamics,

   Trieste, Italy, 26-28 May 2010 - Plenary lecture.
- "The role of biocalorimetry in drug development"

   Sigma-Tau, Pomezia (RM) - Italy, 8 July 2010 - Lecture.

 AWARDS, COMMITTEE AND JOURNALS MEMBERSHIP

Reviewer for many jounals, as:
-- Genome Research (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press)

-- Biophysical Journal (Cell Press)

-- Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biomacromoleules(ACS)

-- Leucemia Reasearch

-- Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology

-- Biochimie (Elsevier)

-- Nucleic Acid Research (Oxford University Press)

-- Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (Springer Netherlands)


- Chair of Interdivisional Group of Calorimetry and Thermal Analysis (GICAT) of Italian Chemical Society (SCI), formerly member of the Board Italian Association of Calorimetry and Thermal Analysis (A.I.C.A.T.).
-
 Editor in Chief of 
International Review of Biophysical Chemistry

- Member of the Board of the University of Naples Federico II from November 2009 to July 2012.
- Member of the Ph.D. Board in Chemical Sciences.
- Member of the Evaluation Committee of the Hospital Santobono-Pausilipon, Naples.
- Member of MPNS Action COST MP0802 of European Community "Self-assembled guanosine structures for molecular electronic devices" (
www.g4net.com).
- Member of Women in Science Group@Naples (www.ateneodelledonne.unina.it)
- Member of the Project of the University of Naples "Federico II" called Pr.O.F (Draft Guidance Training). This is a draft guidance for students of Schools.
- Coordinator of actions at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Naples within the School-University Scientific Degree Project (PLS) promoted by the Ministry of Education (MIUR).
- Member of: Italian Society of Chemistry (S.C.I.), Italian Division of Physical Chemistry, Italian Division of Chemistry of Biological Systems (D.C.S.B)

Scientific committees:
-XXX National Congress AICAT-GICAT,

   Pisa 9 - 12 December 2008.
-VI Symposium on Medical Physics, IV International Symposium on Medical Physics,

   Beskid Mountains, Poland, 15 - 18 June 2009.
-XXXII National Congress on Calorimetry, Thermal analysis and Applied Thermodynamics,

   Trieste 26-28 May 2010
-10th Mediterranean Conference on Calorimetry and Thermal Analysis,

   Porto 24-27 July 2011
-Chair of Third International Meeting on G-Quadruplex and G-assembly,

   Sorrento, 28 June-1July 2011
-XXXIV National Congress AICAT-GICAT, Roma 5-8 June 2012

-11th Mediterranean Conference on Calorimetry and Thermal Analysis,

   Athens 11-15 June 2013

 ACADEMIC AND VISITING APPOINTMENTS

From the A. A. 1995/96 to AA1998/99:

  Professor of Biophysical Chemistry Course for the degree course in Chemistry,

  Faculty of Sciences.
From A.A.1998/99 to A.A.2000/01:

  Professor of Physical Chemistry for the degree course in Biological Sciences

  at the Faculty of Sciences. 
From A.A.2001/02 to A.A.2002/03:

  Professor of Physical Chemistry for the degree course in General and Applied Biology,

  Faculty of Sciences. 
A.A.2001/02:

  Professor of Physical Chemistry Laboratory I for the degree course in Chemistry,

  Faculty of Sciences.
From A.A.2002/03 to A.A.2011/12:

  Professor of Physical Chemistry I for the degree course in Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences.
From A.A. 2004-2005 to A.A. 2007-2008:

  Professor of Physical Chemistry of Biological Macromolecules for the Specialist Degree Course

  in Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences.
From A.A. 2004-2005 to A.A. 2007-2008:

  Professor of Physical Chemistry of Biological Macromolecules for the Specialist Degree Course

  in Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences.
From A.A. 2004-2005 to A.A. 2006-2007:

  Professor of Bio-electrochemistry and sensor technology for the Specialist Degree Course

  in Chemistry at the Faculty of Sciences.
From A.A.2007/2008 to A.A.2008/2009 and from A.A.2010/2011 until today:

  Professor of Physical Chemistry and Thermodynamic Applications for the Degree Course

  in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the Faculty of Pharmacy.

June-July 2001, May 2003:

  Visiting Scientist at the University College London(Dr. John Ladbury group).
March 2007:

  Visiting Scientist at the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics,

  King's College London,UK (Dr. F.Fraternali group).




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