Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources

National Research Council of Italy

Maria Antonietta Ciardiello

Role: Researcher
Section: Researchers and Technologists
Division: Naples
Tel: (39) 081-6132573
E-mail: mariaantonietta.ciardiello@ibbr.cnr.it

Name: Maria Antonietta Ciardiello

Role: Researcher

Date and Place of Birth: 09.11.1960, Postiglione, Italy

Address: Institute of Biosciences and BioResources, Division of Naples, National Research Council, - Via Pietro Castellino, 111 - 80131 Napoli, Italy,

Tel: ++39 081 6132573
E-mail: mariaantonietta.ciardiello@ibbr.cnr.it

Education and Training

1985: Degree in Biological Science at the University "Federico II" of Naples.

  • 1985-1986 - Post-doctoral Fellow at the Department of Organic and Biological Chemistry, University "Federico II" of Naples.
  • 1987-1991: Research fellow as PhD student at the Department of Organic and Biological Chemistry, University "Federico II" of Naples.
  • 1991: PhD in Biochemical Sciences, Department of Organic and Biological Chemistry, Universities of Naples and Bari.
  • 1992-2001: Researcher (5-years ex art. 36 contract) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Protein Biochemistry and Enzymology (IBPE), Naples.
  • 1997: Awarded a three-months EMBO short-term fellowship at the Laboratoire de Biochimie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.
  • 1997: Awarded a fellowship, in the framework of the CNR Programme "short-term mobility", at the Laboratoire de Biochimie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.
  • 2001: Permanent position as Researcher at the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Protein Biochemistry (IBP), Naples.
  • 2014 to date. Researcher at the CNR Institute of Biosciences and BioResources, UOS Naples.

Research Interests

Our research interest is the study of the structural and functional properties of food and environmental proteins and peptides, their physiological role and the impact on human health. New and already known proteins are purified from the natural source by classical biochemical methods and identified by direct amino acid sequencing. The protein characterisation includes the study of the primary, secondary and tertiary structure and post-translational modifications. The functional characterisation includes kinetic studies of enzymatic activities.

Keywards: structure/function of proteins, allergens, nutraceutical peptides, enzymes, food security, functional food, pollen, protein stability.

Current favorite research topics

Identification and purification of new allergenic proteins from the natural food or environmental sources.

  • Structural and immunological characterisation of the molecules under investigation.
  • Analysis of the protein and allergen profile in different foods.
  • Stability of specific allergens under different environmental/experimental conditions, including heat stability and gastrointestinal digestion.
  • Influence of several factors (ripening stage, post-harvest treatments, cultivar, etc) on the variation of the protein and allergen profiles in plant foods.
  • Study of nutraceutical peptides from plant food. Currently our attention is focused on kissper, a peptide isolated from green kiwifruit and showing ion channeling activity in sinthetic membranes, as well as anti-inflammatory effect on human intestinal cells from patients suffering from Crohn’s disease.

Investigation of the protein biological activities, of their possible effects on human health and of their biomedical applications involves the collaboration with research groups having appropriate expertise in the fields of 3D-structure determination, physiology and clinics.

Current main collaborations

Prof. Adriano Mari, Associated Centers for Molecular Allergology (CAAM), Rome


Prof. Maksymilian Chruszcz, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA


Prof. Delia Picone, Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Napoli (www.docenti.unina.it/delia.picone)

Dr Silvia Pasquariello, C.R.A. Research Unit on Fruit Trees, Caserta, Italy (http://sito.entecra.it/portale/cra_dati_istituto.php?id=233&lingua=EN)

Prof. Carolina Ciacci, Gastrointestinal Unit, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno


Selected publications

Tuppo L., Spadaccini R., Alessandri C., Wienk H., Boelens R., Giangrieco I., Tamburrini M., Mari A., Picone D., Ciardiello M.A., Structure, stability, and IgE binding of the peach allergen Peamaclein (Pru p 7), Biopolymers: Peptide Science (2014), 102(5):416-425, doi: 10.1002/bip.22530.

Ciacci C., Russo I., Bucci C., Iovino P., Pellegrini L., Giangrieco I., Tamburrini M., Ciardiello M.A., The Kiwifruit Peptide Kissper Displays Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects in In Vitro And Ex Vivo Human Intestinal Models. Clin Exp Immunol 175 (2014) 476-484.

Mari A., Ciardiello M.A., Passalacqua G., Vliagoftis H., Wardlaw A.J., Wickman M. Developments in the field of allergy in 2012 through the eyes of Clinical and Experimental Allergy. Clin Exp Allergy 43 (2013) 1309-1332. Review.

Ciardiello M.A., Tamburrini M., Liso M., Crescenzo R., Rafaiani C., Mari A. Food allergen profiling: A big challenge. Food Research International 54 (2013) 1033-1041. Review.

Tuppo L., Alessandri C., Pomponi D., Picone D., Tamburrini M., Ferrara R., Petriccione M., Mangone I., Palazzo P., Liso M., Giangrieco I., Crescenzo R., Bernardi M.L., Zennaro D., Helmer-Citterich M., Mari A., Ciardiello M.A. Peamaclein - a new peach allergenic protein: similarities, differences and misleading features compared to Pru p 3. Clin Exp Allergy 43 (2013) 128-140.

Palazzo P., Tuppo L., Giangrieco I., Bernardi M.L., Rafaiani C., Crescenzo R., Tamburrini M., Zuzzi S., Alessandri C., Mari A., Ciardiello M.A., Prevalence and peculiarities of IgE reactivity to kiwifruit pectin methylesterase and its inhibitor, Act d 7 and Act d 6, in subjects allergic to kiwifruit. Food Research International 53 (2013) 24-30.

Chruszcz M., Ciardiello M.A., Osinski T., Majorek K.A., Giangrieco I., Font J., Breiteneder H., Thalassinos K., Minor W., Structural and bioinformatic analysis of the kiwifruit allergen Act d 11, a member of the family of ripening-related proteins. Mol Immunol 56 (2013) 794-803.

Pasquariello MS, Palazzo P, Tuppo L, Liso M, Petriccione M, Rega P, Tartaglia A, Tamburrini M, Alessandri C, Ciardiello MA, Mari A (2012) Analysis of the potential allergenicity of traditional apple cultivars by Multiplex Biochip-Based Immunoassay. Food Chemistry, 135(1): 219-227.

Giangrieco, I.; Rafaiani, C.; Liso, M.; Palazzo, P.; Pomponi, D.; Tuppo, L.; Crescenzo, R.; Tamburrini, M.; Mari, A.; Ciardiello, M. A. (2012). Allergens in allergy diagnosis: a glimpse at emerging new concepts and methodologies. Translational Medicine @ UniSa, 4, 27-33. Review.

Pomponi D, Bernardi ML, Liso M, Palazzo P, Tuppo L, Rafaiani C, Santoro M, Labrada A, Ciardiello MA, Mari A, Scala E. Allergen micro-bead array for IgE detection: a feasibility study using allergenic molecules tested on a flexible multiplex flow cytometric immunoassay. PLoS One 2012; 7:e35697.

Bernardi, M. L.; Giangrieco, I.; Camardella, L.; Ferrara, R.; Palazzo, P.; Panico, M. R.; Crescenzo, R.; Carratore, V.; Zennaro, D.; Liso, M.; Santoro, M.; Zuzzi, S.; Tamburrini, M.; Ciardiello, M. A.; Mari, A. (2011) Allergenic lipid transfer proteins from plant-derived foods do not immunologically and clinically behave homogeneously: the kiwifruit LTP as a model. PLoS One, 6 (11), e27856.

Schulten V, Nagl B, Scala E, Bernardi ML, Mari A, Ciardiello MA, Lauer I, Scheurer S, Briza P, Jürets A, Ferreira F, Jahn-Schmid B, Fischer GF, Bohle B. (2011) Pru p 3, the non-specific lipid transfer protein from peach, dominates the immune response to its homolog in hazelnut. Allergy, 66(8):1005-1013.

D’Avino R, Bernardi M. L., Wallner M., Palazzo P., Camardella L., Tuppo L., Alessandri C., Breiteneder H., Ferreira F., CiardielloM. A., Mari A. (2011) Kiwifruit Act d 11 is the first member of the ipening-related protein family identified as an allergen. Allergy, 66(7):870-7.

Bublin, M.; Dennstedt, S.; Buchegger, M.; Ciardiello M.A.; Bernardi, M. L.; Tuppo, L.; Harwanegg, C.; Hafner, C.; Ebner, C.; Ballmer-Weber, B. K.; Knulst, A.; Hoffmann-Sommergruber, K.; Radauer, C.; Mari, A.; Breiteneder, H. (2011) The performance of a component-based allergen microarray for the diagnosis of kiwifruit allergy. Clin Exp Allergy, 41 (1), 129-136.

Mari A., Ciardiello M.A., Tamburrini M., Rasi C., Palazzo P. (2010) Proteomic analysis in the identification of allergenic molecules. Expert Rev. Proteomics 7(5):723-734. Review.

Bernardi M.L., Picone D., Tuppo L., Giangrieco I., Petrella G., Palazzo P., Ferrara R., Tamburrini M., Mari A., Ciardiello M.A. (2010) Physico-chemical features of the environment affect the protein conformation and the immunoglobulin E reactivity of kiwellin (Act d 5). Clin. Exp. Allergy, 40:1819-1826.

Ciardiello M.A., Palazzo P., Bernardi M.L., Carratore V., Giangrieco I., Longo V., Melis M., Tamburrini M., Zennaro D., Mari A., Colombo P. (2010) Biochemical, immunological and clinical characterization of a crossreactive nonspecific lipid transfer protein 1 from mulberry. Allergy 65(5):597-605.

Krause S., Reese G., Randow S., Zennaro D., Quaratino D., Palazzo P., Ciardiello M.A., Petersen A, Becker W-M, Mari A. (2009) The Lipid Transfer Protein (Ara h 9) as a New Peanut Allergen relevant for a Mediterranean Allergic Population. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 124: 771-778.

Ciardiello M.A., Giangrieco I., Tuppo L., Tamburrini M., Buccheri M., Palazzo P., Bernardi M.L., Ferrara R., Mari A. (2009) Influence of the natural ripening stage, cold storage, and ethylene treatment on the protein and IgE-binding profiles of green and gold kiwi fruit extracts. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57(4):1565-1571.

Tuppo L., Giangrieco I., Palazzo P., Bernardi M.L., Scala E., Carratore V., Tamburrini M., Mari A., Ciardiello M.A. (2008) Kiwellin, a modular protein from green and gold kiwi fruits: evidence of in vivo and in vitro processing and IgE binding. J. Agric. Food Chem. 56:3812-3817.

Ciardiello M.A., Meleleo D., Saviano G., Crescenzo R., Carratore V., Camardella L., Gallucci E., Micelli S., Tancredi T., Picone D., Tamburrini M. (2008) Kissper, a kiwi fruit peptide with channel-like activity: structural and functional features. J. Pept. Sci. 14 (6):742-754.

Ciardiello M.A., D’avino R., Amoresano A., Tuppo L., Carpentieri A., Carratore V., Tamburrini M., Giovane A., Pucci P., Camardella L. (2008) The peculiar structural features of kiwi fruit pectin methylesterase: Amino acid sequence, oligosaccharides structure, and modeling of the interaction with its natural proteinaceous inhibitor. Proteins 71 (1):195-206.

Tamburrini M., Cerasuolo I., Carratore V., Stanziola A.A., Zofra S., Romano L., Camardella L., Ciardiello M.A. (2005) Kiwellin, a novel protein from kiwi fruit. Purification, biochemical characterization and identification as an allergen. Protein J., 24, 423-429.

Ciardiello M.A., Tamburrini M., Tuppo L., Carratore V., Giovane A., Mattei B., Camardella L. (2004) Pectin methylesterase from kiwi and kaki fruits: purification, characterization and role of pH in the enzyme regulation and interaction with the kiwi proteinaceous inhibitor. J. Agric. Food Chem., 52:7700-7703.

Giovane A., Servillo L., Balestrieri C., Raiola A., D’Avino R., Tamburrini M., Ciardiello M.A., Camardella L. (2004) Pectin methylesterase inhibitor. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1696 (2), 245-52. Review.

Scognamiglio M.A., Ciardiello M.A., Tamburrini M., Carratore V., Rausch T., Camardella L. (2003) The plant invertase inhibitor shares structural properties and disulfide bridges arrangement with the pectin methylesterase inhibitor. J. Prot. Chem. 22 (3), 363-369.


Selected Publications
(full list available at CNR People)

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