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Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources

National Research Council of Italy

Mariarita De Felice

Role: Researcher
Section: Researchers and Technologists
Division: Naples
Tel: (39) 081-6132281-081-6132246
E-mail: mariarita.defelice@ibbr.cnr.it


Mariarita De Felice

Role: Researcher

Section: Researchers and Technologists


Division: Napoli

Tel: (39) 081-6132281, 081-6132246


E-mail: mariarita.defelice@ibbr.cnr.it

Position

December 2001 to present: Staff scientist at CNR, Naples, Italy.

Main research topic

Our research interest is focused on the biochemical analysis of proteins and enzymes involved in DNA replication and/or repair. In all organisms, genetic material is continuously subjected to a wide variety of harmful lesions. Some intrinsic errors and structural anomalies are produced during DNA replication, recombination, and chromosome segregation. Rapid and accurate repair of this damage is essential for maintaining chromosomal integrity and for preserving cellular viability.

In the last ten years, our main interest was focused on the study of the hyper-thermophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus since the archaeal DNA replication and repair machineries are a simplified version of the eukaryal ones. On the base of this assumption they represent a useful model system to understand the molecular mechanisms of the eukaryotic counterparts.

More recently, we decided to undertake also the study of human DNA replication and repair factors to make a better understanding of DNA replication and repair machineries in the two domains of life.

University Education

July-September 1994: Under-graduate summer stage at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Advisor Prof. G. H. Haughn. DNA cloning in bacterial cells and gas-chromatography sampling and analysis.

December 1995 - July 1997: Experimental work for Master’s thesis at IBP-CNR, Naples, Italy.

July 1997: Graduation (Italian “Laurea”) cum laude in Biological Sciences at the University of Naples Federico II. Thesis: “ Amino acid residues involved in the processivity of the 3’-5’ exonuclease activity of a family B DNA polymerase from the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus”. Supervisors: Prof. M. Rossi and Dr F. M. Pisani.

October 1997 - October 2001: PhD thesis in “Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology” at IBP-CNR, Naples, Italy. Thesis: “Enzymology of DNA replication in the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus”. Advisors: Prof. M. Rossi and Dr F. M. Pisani.

September 1999-September 2000: Stage as a part of thesis work at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA, in the laboratory of Prof. J. Hurwitz. Participation to a project of cloning and expression of yeast DNA polymerase delta subunits in insect cells and to the study of proteins involved in yeast DNA replication initiation.

April-July 2007: stage at The Burnham Institute for Medical Research, La Jolla, CA, USA, in the laboratory of Prof. W. Jiang for a scientific collaboration aimed at producing some human DNA replication factors in insect cells and at analyzing their possible interaction in vitro and in vivo.

International publications

Pisani FM, De Felice M, Manco G, Rossi M. (1998) Domain organization and biochemical features of Sulfolobus solfataricus DNA polymerase. Extremophiles, 2, 171-177.

Pisani FM, De Felice M, Rossi M. (1998) Amino acid residues involved in determining the processivity of the 3’-5’ exonuclease activity in a family B DNA polymerase from the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Biochemistry, 37, 15005-15012.

De Felice M, Sensen CW, Charlebois RL, Rossi M, Pisani FM. (1999) Two DNA polymerase sliding clamps from the thermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. J. Mol. Biol., 291, 47-57.

Pisani FM, De Felice M, Carpentieri F, Rossi M. (2000) Biochemical characterization of a clamp-loader complex homologous to eukaryotic replication factor C from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. J. Mol. Biol., 301, 61-73.

Carpentieri F, De Felice M, De Falco M, Rossi M, Pisani FM. (2002) Physical and functional interaction between the MCM-like DNA helicase and the single-stranded DNA binding protein from the crenarchaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. J. Biol. Chem., 277, 12118-12127.

Gruz P, Shimizu M, Pisani FM, De Felice M, Kanke Y, Nohmi T. (2003) Processing of DNA lesions by archaeal DNA polymerases from Sulfolobus solfataricus. Nucleic Acids Res., 31, 4024-4030.

De Felice M, Esposito L, Pucci B, Carpentieri F, De Falco M, Rossi M, Pisani FM. (2003) Biochemical characterization of a CDC6-like protein from the crenarchaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. J. Biol. Chem,. 278, 46424-31.

De Felice M, Esposito L, Pucci B, De Falco M, Manco G, Rossi M, Pisani FM. (2004) Modular organization of a Cdc6-like protein from the crenarchaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Biochem. J,. 381, 645-53

De Felice M, Esposito L, Pucci B, De Falco M, Rossi M, Pisani FM. (2004) A Cdc6-like factor from the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus promotes binding of MCM to DNA. J. Biol. Chem., 279, 43008-43012.

Pucci B, De Felice M,. Rossi M, Onesti S, Pisani FM. (2004) Amino acids of the Sulfolobus solfataricus mini-chromosome maintenance-like DNA helicase involved in DNA binding/remodeling. J. Biol. Chem., 279, 49222-49228.

De Falco M, . Fusco A, De Felice M, Rossi M, Pisani FM. (2004) The DNA primase of Sulfolobus solfataricus is activated by substrates containing a thymine-rich bubble and has a 3’-terminal nucleotidyl-transferase activity. Nucleic Acids Res., 32, 5223-5230.

De Felice M, Esposito L, Rossi M, Pisani FM. (2006) Biochemical characterization of two Cdc6/ORC1-like proteins from the crenarchaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Extremophiles, 10, 61-70.

De Felice M, Medagli B, Esposito L, Rossi M, Gruz P, Nohmi T, Pisani FM. (2007) Biochemical evidence of a physical interaction between Sulfolobus solfataricus B-family and Y-family DNA polymerases. Extremophiles, 11, 277-282.

De Falco M, Ferrari E, De Felice M, Rossi M, Hübscher U, Pisani FM. (2007) The human GINS complex binds and specifically stimulates human DNA polymerase a/primase. EMBO rep., 8, 99-103.

Pucci B, De Felice M, Rocco M, Esposito F, De Falco M, Esposito L, Rossi M, Pisani FM. (2007) Modular organization of the Sulfolobus solfataricus Mini-Chromosome Maintenance protein J. Biol. Chem., 282, 12574-12582.

De Felice M, Aria V, Esposito L, De Falco M, Pucci B, Rossi M, Pisani FM. (2007) A novel DNA helicase with strand annealing activity from the crenarchaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus, Biochem. J., 408, 87-95.

Valenti A, De Felice M, Perugino G, Bizard A, Nadal M, Rossi M, Ciaramella M. (2012) Synergic and opposing activities of thermophilic RecQ-like helicase and topoisomerase 3 proteins in Holliday junction processing and replication fork stabilization. J Biol Chem. 287:30282-95.

Aria V, De Felice M, Di Perna R, Uno S, Masai H, Syväoja JE, van Loon B, Hübscher U, Pisani FM. (2013) The human Tim-Tipin complex interacts directly with DNA polymerase epsilon and stimulates its synthetic activity. J Biol Chem. 288:12742-52.

Di Perna R, Aria V, De Falco M, Sannino V, Okorokov AL, Pisani FM, De Felice M. (2013) The physical interaction of Mcm10 with Cdc45 modulates their DNA-binding properties. Biochem J. 454:333-43.

 

Selected Publications
(full list available at CNR People)

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