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


  • Kinesin mRNA is present in the squid giant axon.

    Publication Date: 01/07/1994 on Journal of neurochemistry
    by Gioio AE, Chun JT, Crispino M, Capano CP, Giuditta A, Kaplan BB

    Recently, we reported the construction of a cDNA library encoding a heterogeneous population of polyadenylated mRNAs present in the squid giant axon. The nucleic acid sequencing of several randomly selected clones led to the identification of cDNAs encoding beta-actin and beta-tubulin, two relatively abundant axonal mRNA species. To continue characterization of this unique mRNA population, the axonal cDNA library was screened with a cDNA probe encoding the carboxy terminus of the squid kinesin heavy chain. The sequencing of several positive clones unambiguously identified axonal kinesin cDNA clones. The axonal localization of kinesin mRNA was subsequently verified by in situ hybridization histochemistry. In addition, the presence of kinesin RNA sequences in the axoplasmic polyribosome fraction was demonstrated using PCR methodology. In contrast to these findings, mRNA encoding the squid sodium channel was not detected in axoplasmic RNA, although these sequences were relatively abundant in the giant fiber lobe. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that kinesin mRNA is a component of a select group of mRNAs present in the squid giant axon, and suggest that kinesin may be synthesized locally in this model invertebrate motor neuron.

  • Neurofilament proteins are synthesized in nerve endings from squid brain.

    Publication Date: 01/09/1993 on Journal of neurochemistry
    by Crispino M, Capano CP, Kaplan BB, Giuditta A

    It is generally believed that the proteins of the nerve endings are synthesized on perikaryal polysomes and are eventually delivered to the presynaptic domain by axoplasmic flow. At variance with this view, we have reported previously that a synaptosomal fraction from squid brain actively synthesizes proteins whose electrophoretic profile differs substantially from that of the proteins made in nerve cell bodies, axons, or glial cells, i.e., by the possible contaminants of the synaptosomal fraction. Using western analyses and immunoabsorption methods, we report now that (a) the translation products of the squid synaptosomal fraction include neurofilament (NF) proteins and (b) the electrophoretic pattern of the synaptosomal newly synthesized NF proteins is drastically different from that of the NF proteins synthesized by nerve cell bodies. The latter results exclude the possibility that NF proteins synthesized by the synaptosomal fraction originate in fragments of nerve cell bodies possibly contaminating the synaptosomal fraction. They rather indicate that in squid brain, nerve terminals synthesize NF proteins.

  • Protein synthesis in a synaptosomal fraction from squid brain.

    Publication Date: 01/08/1993 on Molecular and cellular neurosciences
    by Crispino M, Castigli E, Perrone Capano C, Martin R, Menichini E, Kaplan BB, Giuditta A
    DOI: 10.1006/mcne.1993.1046

    A synaptosomal fraction from squid brain containing a large proportion of well-presarved nerve terminals displays a high rate of [(35)S]methionine incorporation into protein. The reaction is dependent on time and protein concentration, is strongly inhibited by hypo-osmotic shock and cycloheximide, and is not affected by RNase. Chloramphenicol, an inhibitor of mitochondrial protein synthesis, partially inhibits the reaction. The ionic composition of the incubation medium markedly modulates the rate of [(35)S]methionine incorporation. Na(+) and K(+) ions are required for maximal activity, while complete inhibition is achieved by addition of the calcium ionophore A23187 and, to a substantial extent, by tetraethylammonium, ouabain, and high concentrations K(+). A thermostable inhibitor of synaptosomal protein synthesis is also present in the soluble fraction of squid brain. Using sucrose density gradient sedimentation procedures, cytoplasmic polysomes associated with nascent radiolabeled peptide chains have been identified in the synaptosomal preparation. Newly synthesized synaptosomal proteins are largely associated with a readily sedimented particulate fraction and may be resolved by gel electrophoresis into more than 30 discrete bands ranging in size from about 14 to 200 kDa. The electrophoretic pattern of the newly synthesized synaptosomal proteins is significantly different from the corresponding patterns displayed by the giant axon's axoplasm and by glial and nerve cell bodies (in the stellate nerve and ganglion, respectively). On the whole, these observations suggest that the nerve endings from squid brain are capable of protein synthesis.

  • 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.