Antonella Longo | BioDiscovery Institute

Antonella Longo

Research Scientist II

Antonella Longo, Ph.D., obtained her B.S. in Biology from the University of Tor Vergata in Rome and her Master's and Ph.D. in Biophysics from the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy. Post-doctoral studies brought her to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and to the NIEHS in the Research Triangle Park. Subsequently, she held a joint faculty position between the Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry at NCSU, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 2012, she joined the Department of Biological Sciences at UNT as research assistant professor. She is currently a Research Scientist II.

Dr. Longo has been a member of the ORNL Neutron Scattering Science Review Committee since 2011. She also served in the SHUG (SNS and HFIR User Group) executive committee (2010-2014). She served in the UNT COS Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Council (dismantled due to S.B. 17).

Dr. Longo has successfully used x-ray crystallography to determine the structure of several proteins including human transcription factors in complex with their target DNA and a yeast intron-encoded maturase. Since joining UNT, she has expanded her interests to study membrane proteins in plants, diatoms, and fungi using structural modeling, in planta and heterologous systems for functional studies. She was recently awarded a BDI seed grant with collaborator Dr. Liz Skellam to investigate the role of transporters in fungal natural products biosynthesis.


  • Structural and functional studies of membrane proteins
  • Role of nitrate and iron transporters in legume nitrogen fixation
  • Role of ABC and MSF transporters in fungal natural products biosynthesis.

For Prospective Graduate Students

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Current Grant-FUnded Projects

  • BDI Seed grant Skellam and Longo (PIs) June 2023 - May 2024 "Exploring drug-resistant transporters as a mechanism to identify potent bioactive molecules in potential biocontrol agents"


  1. Cai, J., Longo, A., & Dickstein, R. (2024). Expression and mutagenesis studies in the Medicago truncatula iron transporter MtVTL8 confirm its role in symbiotic nitrogen fixation and reveal amino acids essential for transport. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14, 1306491. doi:10.3389/fpls.2023.1306491
  2. Campopiano, M. C., Fogli, A., Michelucci, A., Mazoni, L., Longo, A., et al. (2022). Case report: Early-onset osteoporosis in a patient carrying a novel heterozygous variant of the WNT1 gene. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 13, :91868 doi:10.3389/fendo.2022.918682.
  3. Yu, Y. C., Dickstein, R., Longo, A. (2021). Structural modeling and in planta complementation studies link mutated residues of the Medicago truncatula Nitrate Transporter NPF1.7 to functionality in root nodules. Frontiers Plant Science, 12, 685334. doi:10.3389/fpls.2021.685334.
  4. Santin, A., Caputi, L., Longo, A., Chiurazzi, M., Ribera d'AlcalĂ , M., Russo, M., Ferrante, M., and Rogato, A. (2021). Integrative omics identification, evolutionary and structural analysis of low affinity nitrate transporters in diatoms, diNPFs. Open Biol. 11, 200395. doi: 10.1098/rsob.20.0395.
  5. Longo, A.*, Miles, N.W., Dickstein, R. (2018). Genome mining of plant NPFs reveals varying conservation of signature motifs associated with the mechanism of transport. Frontiers in Plant Biology, 9, 1668. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01668. (* corresponding author)
  6. Longo, A., Guanga, G.P., Rose, R.B. (2008). Crystal structure of E47-NeuroD1/Beta2 bHLH domain-DNA complex: heterodimer selectivity and DNA recognition. Biochemistry 47: 218-29. doi:10.1021/bi701527r
  7. Longo, A, Guanga, G.P., Rose, R.B. (2007) Structural basis for induced fit mechanisms in DNA recognition by the Pdx1 homeodomain. Biochemistry 46: 2948-57. doi:10.1021/bi060969l.
  8. Longo, A., Leonard, C.W., Bassi, G.S., Berndt, D., Krahn, J.M., Hall, T.M., Weeks, K.M., (2005) Evolution from DNA to RNA recognition by the bI3 LAGLIDADG maturase. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 12: 779-87. doi:10.1038/nsmb976