Pietro Pucci

Professor of Biochemistry

Name Pietro
Surname Pucci
Institution Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
Telephone +39 081 674 318 (UniNa)
Telephone 2 +39 081 373 7896 (Ceinge)
E-Mail pucci@unina.it
Address Department of Chemical Sciences, Federico II University, Via Cintia 6, 80126, Naples, Italy
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Pietro Pucci


  • Transglutaminase from rat coagulating gland secretion. Post-translational modifications and activation by phosphatidic acids.

    Publication Date: 01/11/1996 on The Journal of biological chemistry
    by Esposito C, Pucci P, Amoresano A, Marino G, Cozzolino A, Porta R

    Structural and biochemical characteristics of transglutaminase purified by a rapid chromatographic procedure from the rat coagulating gland (anterior prostate) secretion are reported. Fast atom bombardment mapping and automated Edman degradation experiments allowed us to verify that at least 85% of the entire transglutaminase amino acid sequence is identical to that derived from the cDNA of the major androgen-dependent rat prostate protein called DP1. The enzyme was found NH2 terminally blocked and largely post-translationally modified, since the presence of N-linked oligosaccharides, as well as of complex lipidic structures, was observed. Mass spectral analysis showed that Asn-408 and -488 are the glycosylated sites, the N-linked structures identified belonging to both high-mannose and complex type glycans. The presence of myo-inositol, of glycerol bound fatty acids, and the high content of mannose residues, are in agreement with previous observations suggesting that a lipid anchor is bound to coagulating gland secretion transglutaminase. Furthermore, two tightly bound calcium ions per molecule of enzyme were detected. Finally, a strong stimulation of the enzyme activity in vitro by both SDS and a variety of phosphatidic acids was observed. The reported structural and functional peculiarities should definitively lead to consider the prostate enzyme as a new member (type IV) of the transglutaminase family.

  • The gene, protein and glycan structures of laccase from Pleurotus ostreatus.

    Publication Date: 01/02/1996 on European journal of biochemistry
    by Giardina P, Aurilia V, Cannio R, Marzullo L, Amoresano A, Siciliano R, Pucci P, Sannia G

    A member of the laccase multigene family in Pleurotus ostreatus has been cloned and sequenced. The gene structure has been determined by comparison with the corresponding cDNA, synthesized by reverse transcription/PCR amplification. The gene encode a laccase isoenzyme of 533 amino acids which has already been purified and characterized [Palmieri, G., Giardina, P., Marzullo, L., Desiderio, B., Nitti, G., Cannio, R. & Sannia, G.(1993) Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 39, 632-636]. More than 92% of the protein sequence, including the N and C termini, has been verified by fast-atom-bombardment mass spectrometry, thus confirming the correspondence between the gene and its protein product. The protein was N-glycosylated Asn444. Glycan analysis showed the presence of only a high-mannose structure containing varying numbers of mannose residues. The presence of O-linked oligosaccharides as well as other post-translational modification could be ruled out by the mass analysis.

  • Structural analysis of saposin C and B. Complete localization of disulfide bridges.

    Publication Date: 28/04/1995 on The Journal of biological chemistry
    by Vaccaro AM, Salvioli R, Barca A, Tatti M, Ciaffoni F, Maras B, Siciliano R, Zappacosta F, Amoresano A, Pucci P

    Saposins A, B, C, and D are a group of homologous glycoproteins derived from a single precursor, prosaposin, and apparently involved in the stimulation of the enzymatic degradation of sphingolipids in lysosomes. All saposins have six cysteine residues at similar positions. In the present study we have investigated the disulfide structure of saposins B and C using advanced mass spectrometric procedures. Electrospray analysis showed that deglycosylated saposins B and C are mainly present as 79- and 80-residue monomeric polypeptides, respectively. Fast atom bombardment mass analysis of peptide mixtures obtained by a combination of chemical and enzymatic cleavages demonstrated that the pairings of the three disulfide bridges present in each saposin are Cys4-Cys77, Cys7-Cys71, Cys36-Cys47 for saposin B and Cys5-Cys78, Cys8-Cys72, Cys36-Cys47 for saposin C. We have recently shown that saposin C interacts with phosphatidylserine-containing vesicles inducing destabilization of the lipid surface (Vaccaro, A. M., Tatti, M., Ciaffoni, F., Salvioli, R., Serafino, A., and Barca, A. (1994) FEBS Lett. 349, 181-186); this perturbation promotes the binding of the lysosomal enzyme glucosylceramidase to the vesicles and the reconstitution of its activity. It was presently found that the effects of saposin C on phosphatidylserine liposomes and on glucosylceramidase activity are markedly reduced when the three disulfide bonds are irreversibly disrupted. These results stress the importance of the disulfide structure for the functional properties of the saposin.

  • Enzymatic methyl esterification of synthetic tripeptides: structural requirements of the peptide substrate. Detection of the reaction products by fast-atom-bombardment mass spectrometry.

    Publication Date: 15/10/1988 on European journal of biochemistry
    by Galletti P, Ingrosso D, Manna C, Sica F, Capasso S, Pucci P, Marino G

    Eukaryotic protein carboxyl methyltransferase catalyzes a two-substrates reaction in which the methyl group of S-adenosylmethionine is transferred to the free carboxyl group of D-aspartyl and L-isoaspartyl-containing peptide or protein substrates. It has been previously shown that at least three binding sites are required for the interaction of adenosylmethionine with the enzyme and/or the protein substrate [Oliva A., Galletti P., Zappia V., Paik W. K. & Kim S. (1980) Eur. J. Biochem. 104, 595-602], while very little is known concerning the structural requirements of the protein substrate. In this study several synthetic tripeptides were selected in order to elucidate the structural requirements of the methyl-accepting substrates. The results obtained with this series of peptides suggested that: (1) three residues appear to be the minimal length, so far identified, required for a productive enzyme-substrate interaction, several dipeptides being ineffective as substrates [McFadden P. N. & Clarke S. (1986) J. Biol. Chem. 261, 11,503-11,511]; (2) the isoaspartyl residue is not recognized unless its alpha-amino group is involved in a carboamide bond; (3) an hydrogen atom on the amide linkage following the isoaspartyl residue is essential for both recognition and catalysis; (4) oligopeptides containing both D-aspartyl and D-isoaspartyl residues are not recognized by this methyltransferase. On the basis of these results, interaction sites between the peptide substrate and the enzyme molecule have been proposed. This paper also reports the first application of fast-atom-bombardment mass spectrometry to the detection of the products of the enzymatic methyl esterification reaction. By this soft ionization technique, the methyl-esterified peptides as well as the corresponding cyclic imides generated during the spontaneous demethylation process have been identified.

  • Isolation and characterization of dipeptidyl peptidase IV from human meconium. Functional role of beta-casomorphins.

    Publication Date: 20/05/1985 on FEBS letters
    by Caporale C, Fontanella A, Petrilli P, Pucci P, Molinaro MF, Picone D, Auricchio S

    Dipeptidyl aminopeptidase IV (DAP-IV) (EC was purified from meconium particles sedimenting at 105 000 X g. Its molecular properties and activity on synthetic and natural substrates (casomorphin and procasomorphin) were investigated.