National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

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Anna Valenti

Role: Researcher
Section: Researchers and Technologists
Division: Naples
Tel: (39) 081-6132247


Valenti Anna:

ORCID: 0000-0002-5278-3524

Nationality: Italy


2008 Applied Biology PhD University of Naples "Federico II".

2004 Biological Sciences Degree University of Naples "Federico II".


2014-present Staff Researcher at National Council of Research of Italy, Institute of Biosciences and BioResources (IBBR) -Naples


2012-2014 Staff Researcher National Council of Research of Italy/ Institute of Protein Biochemistry (IBP)- Naples

2012 Temporary position as Researcher National Council of Research of Italy/ Institute of Protein Biochemistry (IBP)- Naples

2008-2012 Post-doctoral fellow National Council of Research of Italy/ Institute of Protein Biochemistry (IBP)- Naples.

2004-2008 PhD student in Applied Biology University of Naples "Federico II".


2008-2012 Post-doctoral fellowship at National Council of Research of Italy/Institute of Protein Biochemistry in Naples (CNR-IBP)

2004-2008 Research fellowship at National Council of Research of Italy/Institute of Protein Biochemistry in Naples (CNR-IBP)


2020-present Guest Editor of Catalyst Journal

2019-present Editorial Board member of Scientific Reports (Nature Journal)


My research activities at the Naples Division of IBBR are mainly focused on biochemical studies of conserved proteins and enzymes involved in DNA transactions. During PhD work and subsequently, I dedicated my activity to analyze the roles of proteins related to DNA structure regulation and to the safeguard of genomic stability. Pioneering studies have been carried out, in vivo and in vitro, on molecular adaptation to high temperatures by clarifying the role of peculiar DNA topoisomerases in thermophilic organisms. The expertise acquired in the manipulation of DNA-enzymes has provided the basis to coordinate several studies on DNA interacting proteins, both in thermophilic and mesophilic organisms and to open international collaborations, which have led to achieve significant results in the field of: i) the interaction between human topoisomerases and small molecules; ii) the analysis of DNA topology at the nanometric level; iii) the link between DNA topology and DNA transcations; iv) in vivo and in vitro study of conserved DNA-alkyltransfares both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In the last years she was also interested in the biotechnological application by employing DNA active enzymes.

The results obtained in my carrier derived from different collaborations and many of them were international.

Ten Representative Pubblications

  1. Mattossovich, R., Merlo, R., Miggiano, R., Valenti A*, Perugino, G. O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferases in microbes living on the edge: From stability to applicability International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2020, 21(8), 2878 IF. 5.923

*corresponding author

This review traces recent progress in this class of thermozymes, emphasizing their usefulness in basic research and their consequent advantages for in vivo and in vitro biotechnological applications.

  • Visone V, Szabó I, Perugino G, Hudecz F, Bánóczi Z, Valenti A. Topoisomerases inhibition and DNA binding mode of daunomycin-oligoarginine conjugate. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2020 IF. 5.091

This work showcases for the first time the effect of daunomycin-oligoarginine derivative on topoisomerase inhibition. The results of biochemical studies represent a proof-of-concept, which open new strategies to expand the effect of anthracycline on the DNA-interacting enzymes inhibition, contributing to the rational design of new chemotherapeutic compound with enhanced potency.

  • Serpe M, Forenza C, Adamo A, Russo N, Perugino G, Ciaramella M, Valenti A* (2019). The DNA Alkylguanine DNA Alkyltransferase-2 (AGT-2) Of Caenorhabditis Elegans Is Involved In Meiosis And Early Development Under Physiological Conditions. Sci Rep. 9: 6889. IF. 4.379

*corresponding author

The paper report for the first time the characterization of DNA Alkyltransferase-2 (AGT-2) Of Caenorhabditis Elegans. For these analyses I used microscopy techniques for immunofluorescence detection and for nematodes manipulation thus acquiring an expertise in this field. These studies demonstrate an unexpected role of AGT in meiosis and early development under physiological conditions. This work suggests a general function for AGTs in cell processes, which is distinct from repair of alkylating damage.

  • Defez R*, Valenti A*, Andreozzi A, Romano S, Ciaramella M, Pesaresi P, Forlani S, Bianco C. New Insights into Structural and Functional Roles of Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA): Changes in DNA Topology and Gene Expression in Bacteria. Biomolecules. 2019 Sep 23;9(10). IF. 4.694.

*first author

This pioneeristic work demonstrate the involvement of the plant hormone Indole-3-acetic acid IAA in the DNA structure/function modifications. This paper proposes for the first time the IAA as DNA -binding agent able to inhibit selected DNA topoisomerases, influencing DNA conformational changes and gene expression. These studies suggest potential application of IAA in cancer therapy.

  • Bettotti P, Visone V, Lunelli L, Perugino G, Ciaramella M, Valenti A.* (2018). Structure and Properties of DNA Molecules Over The Full Range of Biologically Relevant Supercoiling States. Sci Rep. 18: 6163. IF: 4.379 *corresponding author

This work reports a comprehensive analysis by AFM of DNA plasmid molecules with defined supercoiling degree, covering the full spectrum of biologically relevant topologies. The characterization of DNA supercoiling under different chemical physical conditions has clarified the relationship between DNA topology and its biological function.

  • Visone V, Han W, Perugino G, Del Monaco G, She Q, Rossi M, Valenti A*, Ciaramella M*. (2017). In vivo and in vitro protein imaging in thermophilic archaea by exploiting a novel protein tag. PLoS One. Oct 3;12(10):e0185791. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185791. eCollection 2017 IF: 3.240

*corresponding author

This is the first report of in vivo imaging of any protein of a thermophilic archaeon, filling an important gap in available tools for cell biology studies in these organisms.

  • Vvedenskaya IO, Zhang Y, Goldman SR, Valenti A, Visone V, Taylor DM, Ebright RH, Nickels BE. (2015) Massively Systematic Transcript End Readout, "MASTER": Transcription Start Site Selection, Transcriptional Slippage, and Transcript Yields Mol Cell. 2015 Dec 17;60(6):953-65 IF: 17.974

This paper proposes a new approach to analyze biological processes that involve protein-nucleic acid interactions clarifying the relationship between transcription and DNA topology

  • Valenti A, Napoli A, Ferrara MC, Nadal M, Rossi M, Ciaramella M (2006). Selective degradation of reverse gyrase and DNA fragmentation induced by alkylating agent in the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. Nucleic Acids Res, ISSN: 0305-1048 IF: 16.971

This paper reports on the effect of DNA alkylation damages in the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus, describing a mechanism of DNA degradation and proteins regulation after methylation treatment.

  • Valenti A, Perugino G, Nohmi T, Rossi M, Ciaramella M. Inhibition of translesion DNA polymerase by archaeal reverse gyrase. Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 Jul;37(13):4287-95. IF: 16.971

This paper described the inhibition of translation polymerase by topoisomerase reverse gyrase. These results suggest a previously unconsidered mechanism preventing potentially mutagenic activity of polymerase when undesired.

  • Valenti A, Perugino G, D’Amaro A, Cacace A, Napoli A, Rossi M, Ciaramella M. Dissection of reverse gyrase activities: insight into the evolution of a thermostable molecular machine Nucleic Acids Res (2008) Aug;36(14):4587-97 IF: 16.971 This paper shows the biochemical mechanism of reverse gyrase activity by dissecting the enzyme in two distinct domains. These studies clarify the role of each part in positive supercoiling activity.

Research Unit coordinator: ISenseDNA concerning the development of DNA-nanotransducers for biomolecules structure and function identification. In the frame of HORIZON-EIC-2021-PATHFINDEROPEN-01-01 (2022-2026)

Participant in Operative Unit: PRIN: progetti di ricerca di rilevante interesse nazionale - bando 2017 prot. 2017954 wnt "UNderstanding how stress affects honey bee Immunity to manage COlony losses (UNICO)". Unit coordinator: Silvia Gigliotti

Participant in Operative Unit: “Progetto trasferimento tecnologico e di prima industrializzazione per le imprese innovative ad alto potenziale per la lotta alle patologie oncologiche - campania terra del buono” :"Good Water" . POR Campania-FESR 2014-2020. Unit Coordinator: Ivo Rendina (IMM-CNR)

Participant in Operative Unit: “Fondazione CARIPLO” (2016-2018) Rif. 2016-0604: "Deciphering molecular aspects of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA repair to disclose its role in the pathogenesis tuberculosis in humans". Unit coordinator: Dr.Giuseppe Perugino (IBBR-CNR-NA).

Unit coordinator: MIUR-FIRB (2013-2016) RBFR12OO1G_002: "Materiali Nanoporosi: lavagnEautoasseMblAnti per lo sTudio della struttura e delle Interazioni del DNA (NEMATIC)". Principal Investigator: Dr. Paolo Bettotti (IBP - CNR).

Participant in Operative Unit: AIRC (2012-2015): "Cisplatin sensitivity/tolerance/resistance genetic pathways in hereditary cancer predisposition". Principal Investigator: Dr. La Volpe Adriana (IGB - CNR).

Participant in Operative Unit: TELETHON (2012-2015): "New pharmacological targets in Fanconi Anemia". Principal Investigator: Dr. La Volpe Adriana (IGB - CNR).

Participant in Operative Unit: CNR Progetto MERIT(2011-2016): Oncologia Molecolare. Unit Coordinator: prof. Rossi Mosè (IBP - CNR).

Participant in Operative Unit: Agenzia spazialeitaliana (2007-20009) Dalle Molecole all’Uomo: Applicazioni Biotecnologiche della Ricerca Spaziale” PI Maria Ciaramella Unit Coordinator: prof. Rossi Mosè (IBP - CNR).

Participant in Operative Unit: MIUR (2004-2006) - Progetto N. 151- PI Mosè Rossi (IBP - CNR).


Selected Publications

(full list available at CNR People)

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