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Research Interests

Giovanna Grimaldi graduated in Biology at the University of Naples, has worked at the NIH in the US and at the EMBL in Heidelberg and is a research director at IGB, that she joined in the middle eighties. Her current interest is focussed on the prominent family of repressors pinpointed by the KRAB domain, associated to hundreds zinc finger proteins in humans and other mammals, that her lab contributed to first identify and describe. The domain (75 aa.) is a potent and portable transcriptional repression module, whose compactness and abundance has stimulated the unraveling of the molecular pathway underlying its function, also because of its use for practical purposes (synthetic repressors) and that has emerged as a copious “end” at a crowded crucible of chromatin modifiers. Recent focuses pertain to the molecular basis of the KRAB-corepressor (KAP1/TRIM28) interaction (structure/function of KRAB domains), of importance due to the diverse cellular processes depending on KRAB-ZFPs regulation, and the analysis of genomic data regarding the structure, organization, expression and evolution of family members, also in an intra- and inter- species comparative genomic perspective. The participation of KRAB/ZFPs and connected histone and chromatin modifying factors in pivotal cellular epigenetic programmes, such as genomic imprinting, represent the basis for current research aiming at studying mechanisms of epigenetic maintenance/reprogramming.

Short CV

Italian; Married, two children
Education and Scientific Career
1973-1978: Student/ Doctor Degree Biological Sciences -University "Federico II" - Naples, Italy. Summa cum laude. Doctoral Thesis-International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics-National Research Council-Naples, Italy
1979: Trainee Fellow- at the same Institute.
1980-1983: Visiting Fellow/Visiting Scientist-Laboratory of  Biochemistry-National Cancer Institute-National Institutes of Health-Bethesda, USA.
1984-to date*: Staff Member (1984)/ Senior Staff Scientist (1997)/ Research Director (2002) - National Research Council- Institute of Genetics and Biophysics, Naples, Italy.
Stages at International Institutions and Competitive International Awards
January-March 1980: Department of Biology University of Essex- UK.(Post-Doctoral Fellow /EMBO Junior S.T. Fellowship).
1980 - 1983: Laboratory of Biochemistry, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md – USA. (Visiting Fellow; Visiting Associate/ Fogarty International Center -USA)
1984: Laboratory of  Biochemistry, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md - USA. (Consultant)
*1986-1988: Gene Structure and Regulation Programme, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg-Germany. (Visiting Scientist/ EMBO and EMBL Senior L.T. Fellowship).*(On leave of absence from IGB-Italy)
Coordination of Research Programs/ Scientific Collaborations/Other
• P.I. funded in competitive grants from:
Italian Ministry of Health-National Institute of Health,Italy/ Targeted Research Projects, National Research Council,Italy/ Dual Project Italy-USA- National Research Council, Italy/ Targeted Research Projects, National Research Council, Italy/Sub-project MIUR CLUSTER02-PE1, Ministry of Research, Italy/ Board of Research, Regione Campania, Italy. Further supports from: Fondazione”AngeloMarinelli”/Fondazione“viamarconidieci”/Fondazione“BancoNapoli”
• Has collaborated with several colleagues from foreign and italian institutions. University of Essex, UK; NCI, NIH, USA; EMBL, Germany; Baylor College of  Medicine, USA; Guy's and St. Thomas Hospital, UK; Basel Institute for Immunology, CH; Alberta Children's Hospital, Ca. and IRBM, Merck; Istituto Giannina Gaslini; University of  Bari; University of  Naples Federico II; University of Marche; IBB, IBP, ISA, ITB, National Research Council - Italy.
• Member of Scientific Societies/Coordinator of  Molecular Genetics Section-IGB- C.N.R (1993/1994; 2000)/Referee of National Granting Agencies/Peer-reviewer of International Scientific Journals (ISI)/Consultant for scientific personnel recruitment/Member of boards for scientific personnel recruitment/Advisory Board Institute of Genetics and Biophysics/Seminars series and meetings organization/ Participant on invitation at International Meetings/Board of selection for education and training projects EU funded
• Has authored and co-authored several papers on ISI journals as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA/ EMBO Journal/Trends in Biochemical Sciences/ Nucleic Acids Research/Molecular and Cellular Biology/ Gene/Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics/ Journal of Cell Biology/Genomics/Proteins and on books of international series edited by Serono Symposia-Raven Press, Pergamon Press; Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier Biomedical Press, Raven Press


Selected Publications

Quenneville S, Verde G, Corsinotti A, Kapopoulou A, Jakobsson J, Offner S, Baglivo I, Pedone PV, Grimaldi G, Riccio A, Trono D. “In embryonic stem cells, ZFP57/KAP1 recognize a methylated hexanucleotide to affect chromatin and DNA methylation of imprinting control regions” Mol. Cell 44, 361-72 (2011)

Mannini R, Rivieccio V, D'Auria S, Tanfani F, Ausili A, Facchiano A, Pedone C, Grimaldi G.“Structure/function of KRAB repression domains: structural properties of KRAB modules inferred from hydrodynamic, circular dichroism, and FTIR spectroscopic analyses” Proteins 62, 604-16 (2006)

Rivieccio V, Mannini R, Concilio L, D'Auria S, Pedone C, Grimaldi G.
“Expression, purification and partial characterization of the Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) from the human ZNF2 protein” Protein Pept. Lett. 6, 527-32 (2005)

Rosati M., Rocchi M., Storlazzi C.T., and Grimaldi G. "Assignment to chromosome 12q24.33, gene organization and splicing of the human ZNF84 KRAB/FPB containing zinc finger ZNF84 gene" Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 94, 127-130 (2001)

Senatore, B., Cafieri, A., Di Marino, I., Rosati, M., Di Nocera, P.P., and Grimaldi, G. "A variety of RNA polymerases II and III promoter classes is repressed by chimeric factors containing the Krüppel associated/finger preceding box of zinc finger proteins"Gene 234, 381-394 (1999)

Rosati, M., Franzé, A., Matarazzo, M.R., and Grimaldi G. "Coding region intron/exon organization, alternative splicing and X-chromosome inactivation of the KRAB/FPB containing human ZNF41 gene" Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 85, 291-296 (1999)



Keywords: Gene families, Transcriptional repressors, Zinc finger proteins

Giovanna Grimaldi

CNR Research Director (Dirigente di ricerca)

+39 081 6132436

Staff Members:

Shraddha Lad
Fellow (Borsista)