C Della Giovampaola

Università degli Studi di Siena, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

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Publications (14)41.17 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Beta-actin, a critical player in cellular functions ranging from cell motility and the maintenance of cell shape to transcription regulation, was evaluated in the erythrocyte membranes from patients with typical Rett syndrome (RTT) and methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene mutations. RTT, affecting almost exclusively females with an average frequency of 1∶10,000 female live births, is considered the second commonest cause of severe cognitive impairment in the female gender. Evaluation of beta-actin was carried out in a comparative cohort study on red blood cells (RBCs), drawn from healthy control subjects and RTT patients using mass spectrometry-based quantitative analysis. We observed a decreased expression of the beta-actin isoforms (relative fold changes for spots 1, 2 and 3: -1.82±0.15, -2.15±0.06, and -2.59±0.48, respectively) in pathological RBCs. The results were validated by western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy. In addition, beta-actin from RTT patients also showed a dramatic increase in oxidative posttranslational modifications (PTMs) as the result of its binding with the lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE). Our findings demonstrate, for the first time, a beta-actin down-regulation and oxidative PTMs for RBCs of RTT patients, thus indicating an altered cytoskeletal organization.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e93181. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we demonstrate the existence and localization of fucosyl-containing O-glycoforms of nucleolin in cultured bovine endothelial cells (CVEC) and malignant cultured human A431 cells. The tool for this discovery was an antibody raised against gp273, a glycoprotein ligand for the sperm-egg interaction in the mollusc bivalve Unio elongatulus. The function and immunological properties of gp273 mainly depend on clustered Lewis-like, fucose-containing O-glycans. Here an anti-gp273 antibody was used to evaluate whether glycoepitopes similar to those of gp273 are part of potential ligands of selectins in endothelial cells. We found that anti-gp273 strongly and exclusively interacted with a 110 kDa protein in CVEC and A431 tumor cells. After partial purification, mass spectrometry identified the protein as nucleolin. This was confirmed by comparing anti-gp273 and anti-nucleolin antibody immunoblotting after nucleolin depletion. We confirmed that anti-gp273 binding to nuclear and extranuclear nucleolin was against a fucose-containing O-glycoepitope by immunoblot analysis of the protein after chemically removing O-glycans and by lectin-blot analysis of control and nucleolin-depleted samples. Using anti-gp273 IgG, we detected nucleolin on the plasma membrane and cytoplasm. O-Glycosylation may regulate the plethora of functions in which nucleolin is involved.
    Glycobiology 12/2008; 19(4):337-43. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Paramecium primaurelia mating interactions take place immediately after mixing mating-competent cells of opposite mating types. The cells clump in clusters (mating reaction) and then separate in pairs. Previous results have shown that sialic acid-containing glycoconjugates are present on the cell surface and are involved in mating-cell pairing. In order to identify the sialic acid-containing glycoprotein(s), we first metabolically radiolabelled non-mating-competent cells with D-[6-(3)H]galactose, and then analyzed the radiolabelled proteins by anion exchange chromatography. We characterized a 38 kDa (gp38) sialic acid-containing glycoprotein and raised the corresponding polyclonal antibody by means of which we localized the antigen at the level of the oral region of non-mating-competent cells and on the ciliary surface of mating-competent cells. Immunoblot analysis of the ciliary protein fraction showed that the anti-gp38 serum interacted with a 38 kDa protein in both mating types I and II cells. We also demonstrated the functional activity of gp38 in the mating reaction by means of anti-gp38 antibody competition assays.
    European Journal of Protistology 06/2008; 44(2):81-90. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD52 is a human glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored antigen exclusively expressed in leukocytes and epididymal cells. It is also present in sperm, being inserted in their plasma membrane as they pass through the epididymis. In a previous paper we identified a new CD52 form without GPI anchor by fast performance liquid chromatography (FPLC) fractionation of semen components. The form has a lower negative charge than the GPI-anchored form and occurs as the only CD52 form in prostasome-free seminal plasma. It was also found associated with the ejaculated sperm, but in contrast to the GPI-anchored one, it is lost during the capacitation process. In this paper we indicate that (1) the GPI-anchored CD52 of the sperm surface serves as receptor for semenogelin I during clot formation, (2) liquefaction involves cleavage of the GPI anchor from certain CD52 molecules, releasing sperm from the clot and the soluble antigen bound to semenogelin fragments into the seminal plasma and (3) the clot is a sponge-like structure housing sperm. Soluble CD52 was immunopurified from the soluble CD52-containing FPLC fraction using CAMPATH-1G and was found to be complexed with a semenogelin-derived peptide of the carboxyl terminal portion of semenogelin I, having the sequence SQTEKLVAGKQI and starting from amino acid 376. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblot analyses using CAMPATH-1G and anti-semenogelin as immunoprecipitating antibodies and anti-gp20 and anti-semenogelin as immunoblot detectors of the corresponding antigens, confirmed that the soluble CD52 formed a complex with semenogelin. The semenogelin-CD52 soluble form was found to be a direct consequence of the liquefaction process since only the GPI-anchored CD52 was recovered in uniquefied semen after recovering sperm and seminal plasma by urea solubilization of the clot.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 03/2008; 75(2):326-35. · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • F. Rosati, R. Focarelli, A. Capone, C. Della Giovampaola, F. Flori, L. Ermini
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    ABSTRACT: CD52 is the product of a single gene on chromosome 1, first characterized as a human leukocyte differentiation antigen expressed on the surface of lymphocytes and monocytes and then identified in the epithelial cells of epididymal corpus and cauda and in the deferent ducts. Sperm also have this antigen, acquiring it as they pass through the epididymis. The precursor of CD52 is 61 amino acids long, but the mature antigen, that serves as backbone for N-glycosylation and a final GPI-anchor, only contains 12 amino acids. O-linked oligosaccharide chains are also bound to certain glycoforms of this complex antigen. The first and most commonly used anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody, termed CAMPATH-1, generated in the immune system, interacts with the last three amino acids and the first part of GPI, and recognizes CD52 on leukocytes, epididymal cells and sperm. Other antibodies such as S19 and Mab H6-3C4 react only with CD52 carbohydrate epitopes specific to the reproductive system. We generated a polyclonal antibody that mainly recognizes CD52 glycoforms containing O-linked oligosaccharide chains. We called this antibody anti-gp20 because it was raised against a 20 kDa sialylglycoprotein, homologous to CD52, recovered as sole radiolabelled glycoprotein after radiolabelling surface sialic acid residues of capacitated human sperm. Anti-gp20 revealed that the O-glycan-containing glycoform in capacitated sperm differs from the other CD52 glycoforms in localization on the surface and microdomain segregation. This does not occur on leukocytes and freshly ejaculated sperm. Since this form specifically localizes in the equatorial region of sperm capacitated in vitro and anti-gp20 impairs sperm penetration of denuded hamster eggs, a role in sperm-egg fusion has been suggested for it. The capacity of CD52 to form a complex with semenogelin I recently indicated that the antigen also has a role in semen clot formation and liquefaction.
    Trends in reproductive biology 01/2006;
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    ABSTRACT: Gp20 is a sialylglycoprotein of the human sperm surface related to maturation and capacitation and is homologous to CD52, a glycosyl- phosphatidyl-inositol (GPI)-anchored protein highly expressed in lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and epididymal cells, described by the monoclonal antibody family CAMPATH. The CAMPATH antigen is characterized by a very short peptide (12 amino acids) and an N-linked oligosaccharide chain bound to the asparagine located in the third position and a GPI anchor bound to the C-terminal serine. The CAMPATH epitope includes three amino acids at the C-terminus and part of the GPI anchor. It has been suggested that anti-gp20 interacts with the same peptide recognized by CAMPATH antibodies but with a different epitope, since it describes the corresponding antigen in a different way. For example, it localizes the corresponding antigen in the equatorial region of the sperm head when sperm are capacitated, whereas CAMPATH antibodies bind all over the sperm surface. Our results indicate that the anti-gp20 epitope does not include the peptide backbone, the GPI anchor, or the N-glycans but consists of O-linked oligosaccharide chains bound to a unique CD52 glycoform present both in sperm and leukocytes. This is suggested by results obtained using many different approaches, such as immunoblot analysis of gp20 after removal of N- and O-glycans and after jacalin (Artocarpus integrifolia agglutinin)-affinity chromatography.
    Tissue Antigens 10/2005; 66(3):209-16. · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: gp20, a sialylglycoprotein of human sperm homologous to CD52, is present everywhere on the surface of the freshly ejaculated sperm but is prevalently localized in the equatorial region of the head of capacitated sperm. In the present study, we confirmed this feature on large scale and correlated equatorial exposure of the antigen to the presence of serum albumin (SA) in the capacitation medium. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationship between the presence of the antigen and its equatorial exposure after capacitation and fertility, by comparing immunostaining for gp20 in the motile fraction of spermatozoa from fertile and subfertile men. A significantly higher percentage of nonimmunostained spermatozoa before capacitation (38.5% +/- 23 vs. 12% +/- 7, P < 0.0001) and a lower increase in the percentage of sperm with equatorial localization after capacitation (19.3% +/- 25 vs. 34.6% +/- 22, P = 0.039) were observed in subfertile men (n = 60) compared to fertile men (n = 15). In the whole study group, a positive correlation was also found between the percentage of spermatozoa exhibiting equatorial localization in capacitated samples and normal head forms (R = 0.50; P < 0.0001).
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 11/2004; 69(2):235-40. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a previous article, we suggested that gp273, the ligand molecule for sperm-egg interaction in the bivalve mollusk Unio elongatulus has functional carbohydrate epitopes in common with a human zona pellucida glycoprotein, probably ZP3. We demonstrated that: 1) anti-gp273-purified immunoglobulin G (IgG), which recognizes a carbohydrate gp273 epitope including a Lewisa-like structure, interacts with a zona pellucida protein; 2) human sperm specifically bind to gp273; and 3) binding is reversed by anti-gp273 IgG. In the present study, we confirm this suggestion by demonstrating that heat-solubilized zonae pellucidae reverse gp273-human sperm binding, that gp273-binding sites are restricted to the acrosomal region, and that gp273 induces the acrosome reaction in human sperm. We also demonstrated that gp273-binding sites on human sperm function as signaling receptors because exposure of spermatozoa to this glycoprotein results in significant stimulation of protein kinase C (PKC) activity. Because the PKC inhibitor, bisindolylmaleimide I, reverses both PKC activation and the acrosome reaction, this kinase is a key component of the signal transduction pathway activated by gp273 and leading to the exocytotic event.
    Biology of Reproduction 01/2004; 69(6):1779-84. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It was suggested in a previous study that cells of Acinetobacter venetianus VE-C3 adhere to diesel fuel by synthesizing a capsular polysaccharide containing glucose and/or mannose. To study the fine structure of cells and localization of bacterial polysaccharide in the presence of diesel fuel, two lectins were used: ConA, an agglutinin from Canavalia ensiformis specific for mannose and/or glucose residues, and PNA, an agglutinin from Arachis hypogaea, for terminal galactose residues. The lectins were conjugated with electron dense ferritin for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) for scanning confocal laser microscopy (SCLM). Samples were prepared by freeze substitution, which allows glycosylation to be determined in situ in thin sections of specimens. The distribution of glycosylation was imaged with and without treatment of specimens with their specific hapten (glucose and galactose). The glycosylation activity produced a polysaccharide capsule. Emulsified diesel fuel nanodroplets were observed at the cell envelope perimeter. Fine structure of vesicles consisted of polysaccharide and diesel fuel nanodroplets. Lectin blotting analysis showed ConA-positive glycoprotein with an apparent molecular mass of 22 kDa in the outer membrane. Its production was induced by diesel fuel. This glycoprotein was probably responsible for bioemulsifying activity at the cell envelope. Several other glycoproteins were positive for PNA lectin, the main constituent migrating with an apparent molecular weight of 17.8 kDa. However, they were all constitutive and probably involved in cell biofilm formation at the oil surface.
    Research in Microbiology 04/2003; 154(6):417-424. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: gp20 is a sialoglycoprotein of the human sperm surface with a core peptide homologous to the leukocyte antigen CD52, a GPI-anchored glycosylated protein which is described by the monoclonal antibody CAMPATH-1. Comparative analyses, by means of CAMPATH and anti-gp20, indicated that they describe it in morphologically and functionally different ways, suggesting that the respective epitopes are different but also casting doubt on the immunological identity of the antigen. In the present study, we used immunodepletion to demonstrate that CAMPATH and anti-gp20 interact with the same antigen, but that anti-gp20 has a much higher avidity for the antigen than CAMPATH. Anion exchange fractionation analysis of the antigen revealed three differently charged gp20-CD52 forms, the least charged of which, was largely without a GPI-anchor. All three forms were associated with freshly ejaculated sperm, whereas capacitated sperm only contained the two GPI-anchored, more charged forms, which were also the ones found in the prostasome fraction of seminal plasma and in leukocytes. The two charged, GPI-anchored forms were described as homogeneous by anti-gp20, since they ran as a singlet; the third form ran as a doublet. When tested for insertion into Jurkat T cells, the medium charged form inserted the most readily and the less charged one could not be inserted at all.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 10/2001; 60(1):89-96. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    F Rosati, A Capone, C D Giovampaola, C Brettoni, R Focarelli
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    ABSTRACT: This article first examines the events occurring in male and female genital tracts, which prepare human sperm to encounter the egg. Central is a glycoprotein, gp20, homologous to the leukocyte antigen CD52. This protein is secreted in the epididymal cells, inserted in the sperm plasma membrane and exposed in the equatorial region of the head at the end of the capacitation process. The mechanisms and molecules of the first interaction event between gametes in the mollusk bivalve Unio elongatulus and the current state of our knowledge of the same interaction in other species is then considered. The egg of Unio is very peculiar because it is highly polarized. Similar to other well-known egg models, the ligand for recognition is located on the egg coat which is a sort of fibrous network made up of very few glycoproteins, while the receptor is on the sperm surface. The difference is that in this egg, the ligand molecules are not uniformly distributed but are restricted to an area of the egg coat at the vegetal pole, the crater area. The role of carbohydrates in ligand function and of a specific type of oligosaccharide chain in particular, is discussed in the wider context of glycans acting as recognition signals.
    The International Journal of Developmental Biology 02/2000; 44(6):609-18. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In previous work we demonstrated that gp20, a sialoglycoprotein of human sperm is homologous to the leukocyte antigen CD52 and that anti-gp20 recognizes an antigen of the same molecular weight as that recognized by CAMPATH-1 (anti CD52) in leukocytes and sperm, but with some differences. In this study we used anti-gp20 to perform immunoblot analysis of many different sperm, seminal plasma and leukocyte samples. The sperm and seminal plasma antigens were similar and appeared to consist of two components, whereas the leukocyte antigen is unique. Evidence of the presence of two components of the sperm antigen, running respectively at about 19 and 21 kDa, was obtained by analyzing the purified antigen stained with Coomassie brilliant blue and by immunoblot analysis of the antigen after two-dimensional electrophoresis. Both components had an isoelectric point (pI) between 3 and 6. MALDI analysis of the purified antigen confirmed the presence of two components and indicated masses (Mr) of 8243 and 10908. The possible relationship between these findings and the presence of two forms of the CD52 gene differing at two aminoacids C-terminal to the GPI-anchor site has been discussed.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/1999; 258(3):639-43. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we performed N-terminal sequence analysis of gp20, a 20 kDa sialoglycoprotein on the human sperm surface previously identified by radiolabelling of the sialic acid residues of sperm surface. We found 100% identity with the N-terminus of CD52, an antigen expressed on almost all human leukocytes. We also show that, like CD52, gp20 behaves as a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein and that anti-gp20 antiserum reacts with an antigen on leukocytes of the same molecular weight as CD52. Using CAMPATH-1, the monoclonal antibody against CD52, in fluorescent staining of capacitated spermatozoa, Western blot analysis and the zona-free hamster egg penetration test, we found that the effect of this antibody was different from that of our anti-gp20. Western blot analysis revealed a well-defined 20 kDa band with anti-gp20, whereas a 14-20 kDa band was detected with CAMPATH-1. Anti-gp20 stained the equatorial region of the sperm head, whereas CAMPATH-1 stained the tail in immunofluorescence analysis of capacitated spermatozoa. A dose-dependent inhibitory effect was seen with CAMPATH-1, similar to that previously detected with anti-gp20, in a zona-free hamster egg penetration test. However, with CAMPATH-1 agglutination of motile spermatozoa was detected, and this was not present with anti-gp20. This suggests that the epitopes recognized by the two antibodies are different.
    Molecular Human Reproduction 02/1999; 5(1):46-51. · 4.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we set out to characterize gp20, a 20 kDa glycoprotein of the human sperm surface, first identified by us by radiolabelling the sialic acid residues of the sperm surface [R. Focarelli et al. (1995), Mol. Hum. Reprod., 2, 2755-2759]. The protein was partially purified from pooled sperm samples of several healthy donors and used to raise a specific antiserum to study its localization in the reproductive system. When tested with freshly ejaculated spermatozoa, the anti-gp20 antibody intensely stained the head and midpiece. However, on capacitated spermatozoa the antigen was restricted to a sharp zone in the equatorial region. The antibody did not bind to differentiating germ cells but the antigen was present in epididymal epithelial cells and also in seminal plasma. Anti-gp20 exerted a blocking effect in a test for sperm penetration of zona-free hamster eggs, thus suggesting that gp20 is involved in the early stages of fertilization.
    Molecular Human Reproduction 02/1998; 4(2):119-25. · 4.54 Impact Factor