Valeria Costantino

Professor of Organic Chemistry

Name Valeria
Surname Costantino
Institution University of Naples – Federico II
Address Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, via Domenico Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Resume Download
Valeria Costantino


  • A Fast Detection Strategy for Cyanobacterial blooms and associated cyanotoxins (FDSCC) reveals the occurrence of lyngbyatoxin A in campania (South Italy).

    Publication Date: 08/03/2019 on Chemosphere
    by Esposito G, Teta R, Marrone R, De Sterlich C, Casazza M, Anastasio A, Lega M, Costantino V
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.02.201

    Fast Detection Strategy for Cyanobacterial blooms and associated Cyanotoxins (FDSCC) is a multidisciplinary strategy that allows early detection, in 24 man-hours, of cyanobacteria and related cyanotoxins in water and bivalve samples. This approach combines the advantages of remote/proximal sensing with those of analytical/bioinformatics analyses, namely, LC-HRMS-based molecular networking. The detection of Lyngbyatoxin A, a lipophilic cyanotoxin, in all analyzed water samples and in bivalves, commonly used as food, was the proof of the reliability of the new method.

  • Clogging the Ubiquitin-Proteasome Machinery with Marine Natural Products: Last Decade Update.

    Publication Date: 26/11/2018 on Marine drugs
    by Della Sala G, Agriesti F, Mazzoccoli C, Tataranni T, Costantino V, Piccoli C
    DOI: 10.3390/md16120467

    The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) is the central protein degradation system in eukaryotic cells, playing a key role in homeostasis maintenance, through proteolysis of regulatory and misfolded (potentially harmful) proteins. As cancer cells produce proteins inducing cell proliferation and inhibiting cell death pathways, UPP inhibition has been exploited as an anticancer strategy to shift the balance between protein synthesis and degradation towards cell death. Over the last few years, marine invertebrates and microorganisms have shown to be an unexhaustive factory of secondary metabolites targeting the UPP. These chemically intriguing compounds can inspire clinical development of novel antitumor drugs to cope with the incessant outbreak of side effects and resistance mechanisms induced by currently approved proteasome inhibitors (e.g., bortezomib). In this review, we report about (a) the role of the UPP in anticancer therapy, (b) chemical and biological properties of UPP inhibitors from marine sources discovered in the last decade, (c) high-throughput screening techniques for mining natural UPP inhibitors in organic extracts. Moreover, we will tell about the fascinating story of salinosporamide A, the first marine natural product to access clinical trials as a proteasome inhibitor for cancer treatment.

  • Isolation of Smenopyrone, a Bis-γ-Pyrone Polypropionate from the Caribbean Sponge <i>Smenospongia aurea</i>.

    Publication Date: 17/08/2018 on Marine drugs
    by Esposito G, Teta R, Della Sala G, Pawlik JR, Mangoni A, Costantino V
    DOI: 10.3390/md16080285

    The organic extract of the Caribbean sponge has been shown to contain an array of novel chlorinated secondary metabolites derived from a mixed PKS-NRPS biogenetic route such as the smenamides. In this paper, we report the presence of a biogenetically different compound known as smenopyrone, which is a polypropionate containing two γ-pyrone rings. The structure of smenopyrone including its relative and absolute stereochemistry was determined by spectroscopic analysis (NMR, MS, ECD) and supported by a comparison with model compounds from research studies. Pyrone polypropionates are unprecedented in marine sponges but are commonly found in marine mollusks where their biosynthesis by symbiotic bacteria has been hypothesized and at least in one case demonstrated. Since pyrones have recently been recognized as bacterial signaling molecules, we speculate that smenopyrone could mediate inter-kingdom chemical communication between and its symbiotic bacteria.

  • Smenamide A Analogues. Synthesis and Biological Activity on Multiple Myeloma Cells.

    Publication Date: 13/06/2018 on Marine drugs
    by Caso A, Laurenzana I, Lamorte D, Trino S, Esposito G, Piccialli V, Costantino V
    DOI: 10.3390/md16060206

    Smenamides are an intriguing class of peptide/polyketide molecules of marine origin showing antiproliferative activity against lung cancer Calu-1 cells at nanomolar concentrations through a clear pro-apoptotic mechanism. To probe the role of the activity-determining structural features, the 16--analogue of smenamide A and eight simplified analogues in the 16- series were prepared using a flexible synthetic route. The synthetic analogues were tested on multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines showing that the configuration at C-16 slightly affects the activity, since the 16--derivative is still active at nanomolar concentrations. Interestingly, it was found that the truncated compound , mainly composed of the pyrrolinone terminus, was not active, while compound , essentially lacking the pyrrolinone moiety, was 1000-fold less active than the intact substance and was the most active among all the synthesized compounds.

  • Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of a New Structural Simplified Analogue of cADPR, a Calcium-Mobilizing Secondary Messenger Firstly Isolated from Sea Urchin Eggs.

    Publication Date: 10/03/2018 on Marine drugs
    by D'Errico S, Borbone N, Catalanotti B, Secondo A, Petrozziello T, Piccialli I, Pannaccione A, Costantino V, Mayol L, Piccialli G, Oliviero G
    DOI: 10.3390/md16030089

    Herein, we reported on the synthesis of cpIPP, which is a new structurally-reduced analogue of cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR), a potent Ca-releasing secondary messenger that was firstly isolated from sea urchin eggs extracts. To obtain cpIPP the "northern" ribose of cADPR was replaced by a pentyl chain and the pyrophosphate moiety by a phophono-phosphate anhydride. The effect of the presence of the new phosphono-phosphate bridge on the intracellular Ca release induced by cpIPP was assessed in PC12 neuronal cells in comparison with the effect of the pyrophosphate bridge of the structurally related cyclic N1-butylinosine diphosphate analogue (cbIDP), which was previously synthesized in our laboratories, and with that of the linear precursor of cpIPP, which, unexpectedly, revealed to be the only one provided with Ca release properties.

  • Identification and chemical characterization of N acyl-homoserine lactone quorum sensing signals across sponge species and time.

    Publication Date: 18/12/2017 on FEMS microbiology ecology
    by Britstein M, Saurav K, Teta R, Sala GD, Bar-Shalom R, Stoppelli N, Zoccarato L, Costantino V, Steindler L
    DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fix182

    Marine sponges form symbiotic relationships with complex microbial communities, yet little is known about the mechanisms by which these microbes regulate their behavior through gene expression. Many bacterial communities regulate gene expression using chemical signaling termed quorum sensing. While a few previous studies have shown presence of N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) based quorum sensing in marine sponges, the chemical identity of AHL signals has been published for only two sponge species. In this study we screened for AHLs in extracts from 15 sponge species (109 specimens in total) from the Mediterranean and Red Sea, using a wide-range AHL-biosensor. This is the first time that AHL presence was examined over time in sponges. We detected the presence of AHL in 46% of the sponge species, and found that AHL signals differ for certain sponge species in time and across sponge individuals. Furthermore, for the Mediterranean sponge species Sarcotragus fasciculatus, we identified 14 different AHLs. The constant presence of specific AHLs molecules in all specimens, together with varying signaling molecules between the different specimens, make S. fasciculatus a good model to further investigate the function of quorum sensing in sponge-associated bacteria. This study extends the knowledge of AHL-based quorum sensing in marine sponges.

  • Evaluating the Effects of an Organic Extract from the Mediterranean Sponge Geodia cydonium on Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines.

    Publication Date: 09/10/2017 on International journal of molecular sciences
    by Costantini S, Guerriero E, Teta R, Capone F, Caso A, Sorice A, Romano G, Ianora A, Ruocco N, Budillon A, Costantino V, Costantini M
    DOI: 10.3390/ijms18102112

    Marine sponges are an excellent source of bioactive secondary metabolites for pharmacological applications. In the present study, we evaluated the chemistry, cytotoxicity and metabolomics of an organic extract from the Mediterranean marine sponge Geodia cydonium, collected in coastal waters of the Gulf of Naples. We identified an active fraction able to block proliferation of breast cancer cell lines MCF-7, MDA-MB231, and MDA-MB468 and to induce cellular apoptosis, whereas it was inactive on normal breast cells (MCF-10A). Metabolomic studies showed that this active fraction was able to interfere with amino acid metabolism, as well as to modulate glycolysis and glycosphingolipid metabolic pathways. In addition, the evaluation of the cytokinome profile on the polar fractions of three treated breast cancer cell lines (compared to untreated cells) demonstrated that this fraction induced a slight anti-inflammatory effect. Finally, the chemical entities present in this fraction were analyzed by liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry combined with molecular networking.

  • Thermoactinoamide A, an Antibiotic Lipophilic Cyclopeptide from the Icelandic Thermophilic Bacterium Thermoactinomyces vulgaris.

    Publication Date: 22/09/2017 on Journal of natural products
    by Teta R, Marteinsson VT, Longeon A, Klonowski AM, Groben R, Bourguet-Kondracki ML, Costantino V, Mangoni A
    DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.7b00560

    The thermophilic bacterium Thermoactinomyces vulgaris strain ISCAR 2354, isolated from a coastal hydrothermal vent in Iceland, was shown to contain thermoactinoamide A (1), a new cyclic hexapeptide composed of mixed d and l amino acids, along with five minor analogues (2-6). The structure of 1 was determined by one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy, high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry, and advanced Marfey's analysis of 1 and of the products of its partial hydrolysis. Thermoactinoamide A inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 with an MIC value of 35 μM. On the basis of literature data and this work, cyclic hexapeptides with mixed d/l configurations, one aromatic amino acid residue, and a prevalence of lipophilic residues can be seen as a starting point to define a new, easily accessible scaffold in the search for new antibiotic agents.

  • Zeamide, a Glycosylinositol Phosphorylceramide with the Novel Core Arap(1β→6)Ins Motif from the Marine Sponge Svenzea zeai.

    Publication Date: 01/09/2017 on Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)
    by Della Sala G, Teta R, Esposito G, Pawlik JR, Mangoni A, Costantino V
    DOI: 10.3390/molecules22091455

    Glycosylinositol phosphorylceramides (GIPCs) show a great structural diversity, but all share a small number of core structures, with a glucosamine, a mannose, or a glucuronic acid as the first sugar linked to the inositol. The Caribbean sponge Svenzea zeai was shown to consistently contain zeamide (1), the first example of a new class of GIPCs, in which the inositol is glycosylated by a d-arabinose. The structure of zeamide was determined by spectroscopic analysis (NMR, MS, ECD) and microscale chemical degradation. The 6-O-β-d-arabinopyranosyl-myo-inositol (d-Arap(1β→6)Ins) core motif of zeamide is unprecedented not only among GIPCs, but also in any natural glycoconjugate.

  • Studies toward the Synthesis of Smenamide A, an Antiproliferative Metabolite from <i>Smenospongia aurea</i>: Total Synthesis of <i>ent</i>-Smenamide A and 16-<i>epi</i>-Smenamide A.

    Publication Date: 30/04/2017 on ACS omega
    by Caso A, Mangoni A, Piccialli G, Costantino V, Piccialli V
    DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.7b00095

    A chiral pool protocol toward the synthesis of the smenamide family of natural products is described. Two stereoisomers of smenamide A, namely, -smenamide A and 16--smenamide A were synthesized with a 2.6 and 2.5% overall yield, respectively. Their carboxylic acid moieties were assembled starting from -citronellene via two Wittig reactions and a Grignard process. Its coupling with either ()- or ()-dolapyrrolidinone, synthesized from Boc-l-Phe and Boc-d-Phe, respectively, was accomplished by using the Andrus protocol. This work also established the previously unknown relative and absolute configurations of smenamide A.