Antonio Giuditta

Emeritus Professor of Physiology

Name Antonio
Surname Giuditta
Institution University of Naples – Federico II
Address Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II, Via Cinthia, 80126, Naples, Italy
Antonio Giuditta


  • beta-Actin and beta-Tubulin are components of a heterogeneous mRNA population present in the squid giant axon.

    Publication Date: 01/04/1992 on Molecular and cellular neurosciences
    by Kaplan BB, Gioio AE, Capano CP, Crispino M, Giuditta A

    Previously, we have reported that the squid giant axon contains a heterogeneous population of polyadenylated mRNAs, as well as biologically active polyribosomes. To define the composition of this unique mRNA population, cDNA libraries were constructed to RNA obtained from the axoplasm of the squid giant axon and the parental cell bodies located in the giant fiber lobe. Here, we report that the giant axon contains mRNAs encoding beta-actin and beta-tubulin. The axonal location of these mRNA species was confirmed by in situ hybridization histochemistry, and their presence in the axoplasmic polyribosome fraction was demonstrated by polymerase chain reaction methodology. Taken together, these findings establish the identity of two relatively abundant members of the axonal mRNA population and suggest that key elements of the cytoskeleton are synthesized de novo in the squid giant axon.

  • Active polysomes in the axoplasm of the squid giant axon.

    Publication Date: 01/01/1991 on Journal of neuroscience research
    by Giuditta A, Menichini E, Perrone Capano C, Langella M, Martin R, Castigli E, Kaplan BB
    DOI: 10.1002/jnr.490280103

    Axons and axon terminals are widely believed to lack the capacity to synthesize proteins, relying instead on the delivery of proteins made in the perikaryon. In agreement with this view, axoplasmic proteins synthesized by the isolated giant axon of the squid are believed to derive entirely from periaxonal glial cells. However, squid axoplasm is known to contain the requisite components of an extra-mitochondrial protein synthetic system, including protein factors, tRNAs, rRNAs, and a heterogeneous family of mRNAs. Hence, the giant axon could, in principle, maintain an endogenous protein synthetic capacity. Here, we report that the squid giant axon also contains active polysomes and mRNA, which hybridizes to a riboprobe encoding murine neurofilament protein. Taken together, these findings provide direct evidence that proteins (including the putative neuron-specific neurofilament protein) are also synthesized de novo in the axonal compartment.

  • Occurrence and sequence complexity of polyadenylated RNA in squid axoplasm.

    Publication Date: 01/09/1987 on Journal of neurochemistry
    by Capano CP, Giuditta A, Castigli E, Kaplan BB

    Axoplasmic RNA from the giant axon of the squid (Loligo pealii) comprises polyadenylated [poly (A)+] RNA, as judged, in part, by hybridization to [3H]polyuridine and by in situ hybridization analyses using the same probe. The polyadenylate content of axoplasm (0.24 ng/microgram of total RNA) suggests that the poly(A)+ RNA population makes up approximately 0.4% of total axoplasmic RNA. Axoplasmic poly(A)+ RNA can serve as a template for the synthesis of cDNA using a reverse transcriptase and oligo(deoxythymidine) as primer. The size of the cDNA synthesized is heterogeneous, with most fragments greater than 450 nucleotides. The hybridization of axoplasmic cDNA to its template RNA reveals two major kinetic classes: a rapidly hybridizing component (abundant sequences) and a slower-reacting component (moderately abundant and rare sequences). The latter component accounts for approximately 56% of the total cDNA mass. The rapidly and slowly hybridizing kinetic components have a sequence complexity of approximately 2.7 kilobases and 3.1 X 10(2) kilobases, respectively. The diversity of the abundant and rare RNA classes is sufficient to code for one to two and 205, respectively, different poly(A)+ RNAs averaging 1,500 nucleotides in length. Overall, the sequence complexity of axoplasmic poly(A)+ RNA represents approximately 0.4% that of poly(A)+ mRNA of the optic lobe, a complex neural tissue used as a standard. Taken together, these findings indicate that the squid giant axon contains a heterogeneous population of poly(A)+ RNAs.

  • Synthesis of rat brain DNA during acquisition of an appetitive task.

    Publication Date: 01/09/1986 on Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior
    by Giuditta A, Perrone Capano C, D'Onofrio G, Toniatti C, Menna T, Hyden H

    We have examined the incorporation of [3H-methyl]thymidine into DNA extracted from several brain regions of rats learning a reverse handedness task, of control rats allowed to use their preferred paw, and of control rats left in their home cages. In learning animals, decrements in percent incorporation were observed in the visual cortex, remaining brain, hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. In the latter two regions less marked decreases were present in the active control group. No variation occurred in the sensory-motor cortex. In learning rats the specific radioactivity of neuronal DNA was markedly decreased in the hippocampus and remaining brain. In the former region, a less marked decrease was present in active control rats. In subcellular fractionation studies it was observed that decreases in DNA specific radioactivity prevailed in the mitochondrial fraction isolated from the hippocampus and visual cortex of learning rats. Brain radioactive DNA was widely distributed among fractions differing in their degree of repetitiveness. Its pattern of distribution did not coincide with that of bulk DNA and differed significantly among behavioural groups. The results suggest a non random origin of newly-synthesized brain DNA and its involvement in learning.

  • Complexity of nuclear and polysomal RNA from squid optic lobe and gill.

    Publication Date: 01/05/1986 on Journal of neurochemistry
    by Capano CP, Gioio AE, Giuditta A, Kaplan BB

    The sequence complexity of nuclear and polysomal RNA from squid optic lobe and gill was measured by RNA-driven hybridization reactions with single-copy [3H]DNA. At saturation, brain nuclear and polysomal RNAs were complementary to 22.8 and 7.9% of the DNA probe, respectively. Assuming asymmetric transcription, the complexity of nuclear and polysomal RNA was equivalent to 2.5 X 10(8) and 8.8 X 10(7) nucleotides, respectively. Approximately 80-85% of the sequence complexity of brain total polysomal RNA was found in the polyadenylated RNA fraction. In contrast to these findings, nuclear and polysomal RNAs from gill hybridized to 9.1 and 2.9%, respectively, of the single-copy DNA, values that were 2.5-fold lower than those obtained in the CNS. Taken together, the results focus attention on the striking diversity of gene expression in the squid CNS and extend to the cephalopod mollusks the observation that nervous tissue expresses significantly more genetic information than other somatic tissues or organs.

  • Origin of axoplasmic RNA in the squid giant fiber.

    Publication Date: 01/12/1983 on Neurochemical research
    by Cutillo V, Montagnese P, Gremo F, Casola L, Giuditta A

    The origin of axoplasmic RNA in the squid giant fiber was investigated after exposure of the giant axon or of the giant fiber lobe to [3H]uridine. The occurrence of a local process of synthesis was indicated by the accumulation of labeled axoplasmic RNA in isolated axons incubated with the radioactive precursor. Similar results were obtained in vivo after injection of [3H]uridine near the stellate nerve at a sizable distance from the ganglion. Exposure of the giant fiber lobe to [3H]uridine under in vivo and in vitro conditions was followed by the appearance of labeled RNA in the axoplasm and in the axonal sheath. While the latter process is attributed to incorporation of precursor by sheath cells, a sizable fraction of the radioactive RNA accumulating in the axoplasmic is likely to originate from neuronal perikarya by a process of axonal transport.

  • Brain protein and DNA synthesis during seizures.

    Publication Date: 01/01/1983 on Advances in neurology
    by Giuditta A, Metafora S, Popoli M, Perrone-Capano C
  • DNA turnover in rat cerebral cortex.

    Publication Date: 01/01/1982 on Journal of neurochemistry
    by Perrone-Capano C, D'Onofrio G, Giuditta A

    After the intracranial injection of [methyl-3H]thymidine the specific activity of rat cortical DNA increases rapidly, reaching a maximum at about 5 h. More than half of the radioactive DNA disappears from the tissue in the following few hours. During the same period of time the concentration of radioactive DNA in liver remains essentially constant. Minor variations occur in both organs after 41 h. An apparent rapid turnover of DNA is also present in a fraction of purified neuronal perikarya prepared from the cerebral cortex.