• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari


Tel :+390649912897
Fax :+390649912500
giovanna.costanzo@uniroma1.it
GIOVANNA MARIA COSTANZO
Researcher

Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology - National Research Council Department of Biology and Biotecnology - Charles Darwin
Sapienza University of Rome
Istituto Fisiologia Generale - Basement room 37 P.Le A.Moro 5 00185 Roma

The research activity is mainly focused on the study of the structure and function of nucleic acids. In particular, we studied the chromatin structure of DNA and its chemistry (developing a new sequencing method based on formamide degradation ). More recently, we are investigating the metabolic pathways leading to the formation of informational polymers (particularly RNA). We have shown that formamide provides a chemical frame affording all the monomeric components necessary for the formation of nucleic polymers. In the presence of the appropriate catalysts, formamide yields a complete set of nucleic bases, acyclonucleosides and favours both phosphorylation and transphosphorylation. Nucleotide phosphorylation and RNA oligomerization take place in water in non-enzymatic abiotic conditions. Mechanisms of abiotic RNA chain extension and ligation based on base-pairing and base-stacking interactions were also observed.

1- R. Saladino, G. Botta, S. Pino, G. Costanzo and E. Di Mauro. “From the one-carbon amide formamide to RNA all the steps  are prebiotically possible” Biochimie special issue "RNA in all its forms", 2012, in press.

 

2- R. Saladino, C. Crestini, S. Pino, G. Costanzo and E. Di Mauro “Formamide in non-life/life transition” Physics of Life Rewievs, 2012, available on line before publication.

 

3- G. Costanzo, S. Pino, G. Botta, R. Saladino and E. Di Mauro “ May Cyclic Nucleotides be a source for abiotic RNA synthesis?” Origin of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 2011, 41, 559-562.

 

4- S. Pino, G. Costanzo, A. Giorgi and E. Di Mauro “Sequence complementary-driven nonenzymatic ligation of RNA” Biochemistry, 2011, 50(14), 2994-3003.

 

5- R. Saladino, V. Neri, C. Crestini, G. Costanzo, M. Graciotti and E. Di Mauro “The role of the formamide/zirconia system in the synthesis of nucleobases and biogenic carboxylic acid derivatives” Journal of Molecular Evolution, 2010, 71, 100-110.

 

6- G. Costanzo, S. Pino, F. Ciciriello and E. Di Mauro “Generation of long RNA chains in water” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2009, 284, 33206-33216.

 

7- S. Pino, F. Ciciriello, G. Costanzo and E. Di Mauro “Nonenzymatic RNA ligation in water” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2008, 283, 36494-36503.

 

8- R. Saladino, V. Neri, C. Crestini, G. Costanzo, M. Graciotti and E. Di Mauro “Synthesis and degradation of nucleic acid components by formamide and iron sulphur minerals” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2008, 130, 15512-15518.

 

9-  G. Costanzo, R. Saladino, C. Crestini, F. Ciciriello and E. Di Mauro “Formamide as main building block in the origin of life”  BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2007, 7 (Suppl 2):S1.

 

10- G. Costanzo, R. Saladino, C. Crestini, F. Ciciriello and E. Di Mauro “Nucleoside phosphorylation by phosphate minerals”  The Journal of Biological Chemistry,  2007, 282, 16729-16735.

 

Dr. Samanta Pino (post-doc “La Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy).)

-    Prof. Ernesto Di Mauro (University of Rome “La Sapienza”,Italy)

-Prof. Raffaele Saladino (University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy)

-Dr. Claudia Crestini (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy)

Born in Rome, Italy, May 3rd , 1962

 

1984-1987- Undergraduate fellow in Biological Sciences at University of Rome “La Sapienza”, working at her thesis in Molecular Genetics at “Istituto Superiore di Sanità”, under the supervision of Dr. Piero Battaglia.

 

1987- Graduated with honours (110/110 cum laude) in Biological Sciences with the thesis “Spatial genetic information in the kinetoplast DNA of Trypanosoma lewisi”.

 

1987-1991 –Post-graduate research at “Centro per lo Studio degli Acidi Nucleici”, CNR, Rome, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Ernesto Di Mauro.

 

1991-1993 – Recipient of a two years fellowship at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (USA), Dept. of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, under the supervision of Prof. Rolf Sternglanz.

 

1993-2001- Recipient of fellowships and  research grants at the University of  Rome “La Sapienza”.

 

Since 2001- Resarcher at Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology (IBPM), CNR, Rome, Italy.

 

Since 2008- Member of the International Society for the Study of the Origins of Life (ISSOL).