Marianna Crispino

Professor of Physiology

Name Marianna
Surname Crispino
Institution University of Naples – Federico II
Telephone +39 081 235 5079
Address Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II, Via Cinthia, 80126, Naples, Italy
Marianna Crispino


  • Protein synthesis in presynaptic endings from squid brain: modulation by calcium ions.

    Publication Date: 15/03/1999 on Journal of neuroscience research
    by Benech JC, Crispino M, Kaplan BB, Giuditta A
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4547(19990315)55:6<776::AID-JNR12>3.0.CO;2-1

    Previous biochemical, autoradiographic, and ultrastructural data have shown that, in the synaptosomal fraction of the squid optic lobe, protein synthesis is largely due to the presynaptic terminals of the retinal photoreceptor neurons (Crispino et al. [1993a] Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 4:366-374; Crispino et al. [1993b] J. Neurochem. 61:1144-1146; Crispino et al. [1997] J. Neurosci. 17:7694-7702). We now report that this process is close to its maximum at the basal concentration of cytosolic Ca++, and is markedly inhibited when the concentration of this ion is either decreased or increased. This conclusion is supported by the results of experiments with: 1) compounds known to increase the level of cytosolic Ca++, such as A23187, ionomycin, thapsigargin, and caffeine; 2) compounds sequestering cytosolic calcium ions such as BAPTA-AM; and 3) agents that block the role of Ca++ as second messenger, such as TFP and W7, which inhibit calmodulin, and calphostin, which inhibits protein kinase C. We conclude that variations in the level of cytosolic Ca++ induced in presynaptic terminals by neuronal activity may contribute to the modulation of the local synthesis of protein.

  • Ribosomal RNAs synthesized by isolated squid nerves and ganglia differ from native ribosomal RNAs.

    Publication Date: 01/03/1999 on Journal of neurochemistry
    by Perrone-Capano C, Crispino M, Menichini E, Kaplan BB, Giuditta A

    The large rRNA of the squid comprises two chains that may be dissociated by heating at 65 degrees C. A single chain constitutes the small rRNA. Surprisingly, the RNAs synthesized by dissected squid fin nerves and stellate nerves and ganglia differed in size from native rRNAs and did not manifest thermal instability. Nonetheless, they resembled native rRNAs in relative abundance, subcellular distribution, lack of poly(A), and metabolic stability. In addition, newly synthesized RNA was localized in nerve and glial cells, as shown by autoradiographic analysis, and was assembled into 80S ribosomes, which supported the synthesis of neuron-specific neurofilament proteins. Following incubation of nerves and ganglia for >10 h, native rRNAs started to disappear, while two major newly synthesized RNAs progressively accumulated. As a result, after 20 h, native rRNAs were substituted by the two novel RNAs. With use of 32P-cDNA synthesized from the latter RNAs as a probe, the novel RNAs demonstrated a considerable degree of homology with native rRNA in northern analysis. Taken together, the data suggest that in dissected squid nerves and ganglia, the synthesis of native rRNAs is gradually terminated while two novel rRNAs are being synthesized, presumably as a correlate of reactive gliosis and/or neuronal degeneration/regeneration.

  • Protein synthesizing units in presynaptic and postsynaptic domains of squid neurons.

    Publication Date: 01/11/1998 on Journal of cell science
    by Martin R, Vaida B, Bleher R, Crispino M, Giuditta A

    Putative protein synthesizing domains, called plaques, are characterized in the squid giant synapse and axon and in terminals of squid photoreceptor neurons. Plaques are oval-shaped formations of about 1 microm in size, which (1) generate signals that have spectroscopic electron energy loss characteristics of ribosomes, (2) exhibit ribonuclease-sensitive binding of YOYO-1, a fluorescent RNA/DNA dye, and (3) in part hybridize with a poly(dT) oligonucleotide. In the giant synapse plaques are abundant in the postsynaptic area, but are absent in the presynaptic terminal. In the cortical layer of the optic lobes, plaques are localized in the large carrot-shaped presynaptic terminals of photoreceptor neurons, where they are surrounded by synaptic vesicles and mitochondria. Biochemical and autoradiographic data have documented that the protein synthetic activity of squid optic lobe synaptosomes is largely due to the presynaptic terminals of the photoreceptor neurons. The identification of ribosomes and poly(A+)-mRNA in the plaques indicates that these structures are sites of local protein synthesis in synaptic domains.

  • Dystrophin localization and gene expression in the developing nervous system of the chick.

    Publication Date: 01/01/1998 on Journal of neuroscience research
    by Perrone-Capano C, Crispino M, Oteri G, Tata AM, Vignoli AL, Poiana G
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4547(19980101)51:1<109::AID-JNR12>3.0.CO;2-6

    The presence and distribution of dystrophin was studied in selected areas of the chick embryo nervous system and in primary cultures. Dystrophin was examined at the protein level by immunocytochemistry and at the transcriptional level by a semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis. Immunofluorescence staining shows that dystrophin is present early during embryogenesis in dorsal root ganglia, spinal cord, and ciliary ganglia and colocalizes with neurofilament subunits. Cultured dorsal root ganglion, spinal cord, and ciliary ganglion neurons show immunoreactivity for dystrophin, both in cell bodies and along fibers. Dystrophin mRNA level in ciliary and dorsal root ganglia is higher than in spinal cord throughout development and shows a tissue-specific pattern of expression. In primary cultures of dorsal root ganglia and ciliary ganglia, dystrophin mRNA level increases with time in vitro. However, in spinal cord cultures, dystrophin mRNA drastically decreases with time in vitro, but it is significantly increased when embryonic muscle extract is added to the cultures. Our results show that dystrophin is present in neurons from different areas of embryonic chick nervous system and that its mRNA level is developmentally regulated both in vivo and in vitro.

  • Active polysomes are present in the large presynaptic endings of the synaptosomal fraction from squid brain.

    Publication Date: 15/10/1997 on The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
    by Crispino M, Kaplan BB, Martin R, Alvarez J, Chun JT, Benech JC, Giuditta A

    Previous data have suggested that the large nerve terminals present in the synaptosomal fraction from squid optic lobe are capable of protein synthesis (Crispino et al., 1993a,b). We have further examined this issue by comparing the translation products of synaptosomal and microsomal polysomes. Both preparations programmed an active process of translation, which was completely abolished by their previous treatment with EDTA. After immunoabsorption of the newly synthesized neurofilament (NF) proteins, the labeling ratio of the 60 and 70 kDa NF proteins was found to differ, in agreement with comparable differences obtained with intact synaptosomes. These observations indicate that the set of mRNAs translated by synaptosomes differs from that translated by nerve cell bodies. Hence, because NF proteins are neuron-specific, they support the view that the active synaptosomal polysomes are mostly localized in the large nerve terminals that represent the most abundant neuronal component of the fraction. This hypothesis was confirmed (1) by electron spectroscopic data demonstrating the presence of ribosomes and polysomes within the large nerve endings of the synaptosomal fraction, as well as in the carrot-like nerve endings of the retinal photoreceptors that constitute the only large terminals in the optic lobe, and (2) by light and high resolution autoradiography of synaptosomal samples incubated with [3H]leucine, showing that most labeled proteins are associated with the large nerve endings. This response was abolished by cycloheximide. Taken together, the data provide the first unequivocal demonstration that presynaptic nerve terminals are capable of protein synthesis.

  • Molecular cloning and characterization of a novel mRNA present in the squid giant axon.

    Publication Date: 15/07/1997 on Journal of neuroscience research
    by Chun JT, Gioio AE, Crispino M, Eyman M, Giuditta A, Kaplan BB

    Previously, we reported the presence of a heterogeneous population of mRNAs in the squid giant axon. The construction of a cDNA library to this mRNA population has facilitated the identification of several of the constituent mRNAs which encode several cytoskeletal and motor proteins as well as enolase, a glycolytic enzyme. In this communication, we report the isolation of a novel mRNA species (pA6) from the axonal cDNA library. The pA6 mRNA is relatively small (550 nucleotides in length) and is expressed in both nervous tissue and skeletal muscle. The axonal localization of pA6 mRNA was unequivocally established by in situ hybridization histochemistry. The results of quantitative RT-PCR analysis indicate that there are 1.8 x 10(6) molecules of pA6 mRNA (approximately 0.45 pg) in the analyzed segment of the giant axon and suggest that the level of pA6 mRNA in the axonal domain of the giant fiber system might be equal to or greater than the level present in the parental cell soma. Sequence analysis of pA6 suggests that the mRNA encodes an integral membrane protein comprising 84 amino acids. The putative protein contains a single transmembrane domain located in the middle of the molecule and a phosphate-binding loop situated near the N terminus. The C-terminal region of the protein contains two potential phosphorylation sites. These four structural motifs manifest striking similarity to domains present in the ryanodine receptor, raising the possibility that pA6 represents a cephalopod intracellular calcium release channel protein.

  • Differential compartmentalization of mRNAs in squid giant axon.

    Publication Date: 01/11/1996 on Journal of neurochemistry
    by Chun JT, Gioio AE, Crispino M, Giuditta A, Kaplan BB

    Previously, we reported that the squid giant axon contains a heterogeneous population of mRNAs that includes beta-actin, beta-tubulin, kinesin, neurofilament proteins, and enolase. To define the absolute levels and relative distribution of these mRNAs, we have used competitive reverse transcription-PCR to quantify the levels of five mRNAs present in the giant axon and giant fiber lobe (GFL), the location of the parental cell soma. In the GFL, the number of transcripts for these mRNAs varied over a fourfold range, with beta-tubulin being the most abundant mRNA species (1.25 x 10(9) molecules per GFL). Based on transcript number, the rank order of mRNA levels in the GFL was beta-tubulin > beta-actin > kinesin > enolase > microtubule-associated protein (MAP) H1. In contrast, kinesin mRNA was most abundant in the axon (4.1 x 10(7) molecules per axon) with individual mRNA levels varying 15-fold. The rank order of mRNA levels in the axon was kinesin > beta-tubulin > MAP H1 > beta-actin > enolase. The relative abundance of the mRNA species in the axon did not correlate with the size of the transcript, nor was it directly related to their corresponding levels in the GFL. Taken together, these findings confirm that significant amounts of mRNA are present in the giant axon and suggest that specific mRNAs are differentially transported into the axonal domain.

  • Protein synthesis in the presynaptic endings of the squid photoreceptor neuron: in vitro and in vivo modulation.

    Publication Date: 01/10/1996 on The Biological bulletin
    by Benech JC, Crispino M, Martin R, Alvarez J, Kaplan BB, Giuditta A
    DOI: 10.1086/BBLv191n2p263
  • Characterization of squid enolase mRNA: sequence analysis, tissue distribution, and axonal localization.

    Publication Date: 01/08/1995 on Neurochemical research
    by Chun JT, Gioio AE, Crispino M, Giuditta A, Kaplan BB

    Enolase is a glycolytic enzyme whose amino acid sequence is highly conserved across a wide range of animal species. In mammals, enolase is known to be a dimeric protein composed of distinct but closely related subunits: alpha (non-neuronal), beta (muscle-specific), and gamma (neuron-specific). However, little information is available on the primary sequence of enolase in invertebrates. Here we report the isolation of two overlapping cDNA clones and the putative primary structure of the enzyme from the squid (Loligo pealii) nervous system. The composite sequence of those cDNA clones is 1575 bp and contains the entire coding region (1302 bp), as well as 66 and 207 bp of 5' and 3' untranslated sequence, respectively. Cross-species comparison of enolase primary structure reveals that squid enolase shares over 70% sequence identity to vertebrate forms of the enzyme. The greatest degree of sequence similarity was manifest to the alpha isoform of the human homologue. Results of Northern analysis revealed a single 1.6 kb mRNA species, the relative abundance of which differs approximately 10-fold between various tissues. Interestingly, evidence derived from in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction experiments indicate that the mRNA encoding enolase is present in the squid giant axon.

  • Protein synthesis in nerve endings from squid brain: modulation by calcium ions.

    Publication Date: 01/10/1994 on The Biological bulletin
    by Benech J, Crispino M, Chun JT, Kaplan BB, Giuditta A
    DOI: 10.1086/BBLv187n2p269