Cabecera lazomsalas2019 11 08 CBMSO CSIC UAM

Wednesday, 20th November 2019

A Cell Biology and Immunology - Overview

Overview

The department of Cell Biology and Immunology (CBI) gathers 20 groups interested in studying molecular mechanisms of mammalian cell organization and function. The research groups that compose the CBI share common experimental approximations, technologies and an interest in a limited set of cell processes: differentiation, motility, polarity, cell-cell interaction and signal transduction. The CBI’s research activities are structured around two major areas of research interest: the immune system and cell processes. The groups interested in the immune system tackle various fundamental aspects including how immune cells differentiate from hematopoietic precursors, how immune cells interact with parasites and viruses and the processes of antigen presentation and antigen recognition. The encounter with the antigen and the resulting activation of intracellular signaling pathways is also studied and compared with other cell systems. The groups studying cell processes focus on dissecting the molecular mechanisms that govern cell polarization, intracellular trafficking of proteins, cell adhesion and cell migration. These processes are studied in immune cells, epithelial cells and the endothelium. An important part of the CBI is dedicated to the T cell as a model system: T cell development and its perturbation during malignant transformation, mechanisms of antigen presentation by MHC molecules linked to arthropathies, antigen presentation of viral proteins and mechanisms of cyotoxic T cell killing, mechanisms of T cell adhesion and its regulation by tetraspanins, and T cell receptor signaling mechanisms influencing differentiation to pro-inflammatory effector T cells. Viruses and intracellular protozoa affecting inflammation and causing cardiac damage are also being investigated as models of perturbation of the immune system. Interestingly, inflammation and the cardiovascular system are also approached from the side of endothelial cells and signaling mechanisms, with repercussions on diabetes and obesity. Finally, the cytoskeleton, the polarization of epithelial cells, intracellular vesicular transport, and the loss of epithelial features during epithelial-to-mesenchimal transition and its impact on fibrosis and cancer metastasis are being actively investigated. The research carried out in the CBI has a clear translational angle, applying to cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

Overview

The Department of Cell Biology and Immunology (CBI) gathers 20 groups interested in studying molecular mechanisms of mammalian cell organization and function. The research groups that compose the CBI share common experimental approximations, technologies and an interest in a limited set of cell processes: differentiation, motility, polarity, cell-cell interaction and signal transduction. The CBI’s research activities are structured around two major areas of research interest: the immune system and cell processes.

Read more about the Dept. of Cell Biology and Immunology

Department's shared resources databases:

 

 Director of the Dept.: María Luisa Toribio

Group Leader 

   Research
Balbino Alarcón   Signal transduction by the T-cell antigen receptor
Miguel A. Alonso   Cell polarity
Pedro Bonay   Functional Glycogenomics
Carlos Cabañas   Functional interactions between tetraspanin CD9 and cell adhesion molecules
Susana Cadenas   Mitochondrial pathophysiology
César Cobaleda   Cellular plasticity in development and cancer
Isabel Correas   Cytoskeleton-plasma membrane interactions
José M. Cuezva    Biogenesis and function of mitochondria and its role in pathology
Margarita del Val   Viral immunology
José Fernández-Piqueras   Genetics susceptibility in complex diseases: genes involved in susceptibility to T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma
Manuel Fresno   Regulation and function of proinflammatory mediators and their involvement in immune and inflammatory mediated diseases
Miguel A. Íñiguez   Prostanoids actions in inflammatory processes
José María Izquierdo   Molecular and cellular basis of the physio(patho)logy associated with the expression of intracellular antigens
Santiago Lamas   Molecular Pathophysiology of Fibrosis
Manuel López-Cabrera   Role of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of mesothelial cells in peritoneal fibrosis and metastasis
José A. López de Castro   Mechanism of association of HLA-B27 with spondyloarthropathies (JALC)
Federico Mayor Jr.   G protein-coupled receptor networks: signal transduction and pathophysiological implications
Jaime Millán   Cell biology of inflammation
María Mittelbrunn   Immunometabolism and Inflammation Laboratory
María N. Navarro   Intracellular Signalling in Inflammatory Processes
Fernando Rodríguez-Pascual   Extracellular matrix remodeling in the cardiovascular system
Juan M. Serrador   Nitric oxide and adaptive immune response: regulation and function of nitric oxide synthase activity in the differentiation and activation of T-lymphocytes
María L. Toribio   Human hematolymphoid development
Ignacio V. Sandoval   Metabolic homeostasis
María Yáñez-Mó    Tetraspanin-enriched membrane microdomains in extracellular vesicles and cell adhesion and migration

 

 

                      Project Leaders 
      Nuria Gironés
(associated with Manuel Fresno)
Cristina Murga
(associated with Federico Mayor)
               Catalina Ribas
(Federico Mayor Jr. lab.)
Hisse M. van Santen
(Balbino Alarcón lab.)

 

 

Virology and Microbiology - Tables

2018 01 03 Virology

Overview

Infectious diseases remain an important cause of human morbidity and mortality, and are responsible for major economic losses to livestock owners all over the world.  We carry out high-quality basic research in molecular virology/microbiology covering all relevant aspects of the interactions of microbes with their hosts and environment, from the molecular basis of viral disease in humans and animals (cell receptor recognition, viral replication, transcriptional and translational regulation, assembly and mechanisms employed by infectious agents to evade immunity) to the biochemical analysis of regulatory processes involved in controlling bacterial growth, morphogenesis, cell division, antibiotic resistance and sporulation.  

Read more about the Dept. of Virology and Microbiology....

Director of the Dept.: Francisco Sobrino

Group Leader 

   Research
Antonio Alcamí  Viral modulation of the immune response
José M. Almendral  Molecular basis of parvovirus pathogenesis and anticancer potential
Ricardo Amils  Molecular ecology of extreme environments
Juan A. Ayala  Bacterial cell division and antibiotic resistance
José Berenguer  Biotechnology and genetics of extreme thermophiles
Esteban Domingo  Genetic variability of RNA viruses
Paulino Gómez-Puertas Molecular modelling group
María Fernández-Lobato  Yeast enzymes bioengineering to generate bioactive compounds
Mauricio G. Mateu  Virus engineering and Nanobiotechnology
Wilfried J.J. Meijer  Effects of extrachromosomal elements on behavior of its host and mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer in Bacillus
Luis Menéndez-Arias  Human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase and antiretroviral therapy
Yolanda Revilla    Virus Cell Interaction. The African swine fever virus model
Francisco Sobrino 
New strategies for prevention and control of viral diseases: foot-and-mouth disease virus as a model
Iván Ventoso  mRNA structure and translation control in biological systems

 

 

                      Project Leaders 
            Alberto López-Bueno
(José María Almendral lab.)
Angel L. López Carrascosa
(Yolanda Revilla lab)
Margarita Sáiz
(Francisco Sobrino lab.)

Virology and Microbiology - Overview

Overview

Infectious diseases remain an important cause of human morbidity and mortality, and are responsible for major economic losses to livestock owners all over the world. We carry out high-quality basic research in molecular virology/microbiology covering all relevant aspects of the interactions of microbes with their hosts and environment, from the molecular basis of viral disease in humans and animals (cell receptor recognition, viral replication, transcriptional and translational regulation, assembly and mechanisms employed by infectious agents to evade immunity) to the biochemical analysis of regulatory processes involved in controlling bacterial growth, morphogenesis, cell division, antibiotic resistance and sporulation. These studies are complemented by genomic and transcriptome analysis of microbial populations in different environments (e.g., studies of viral quasispecies in infected cell cultures and natural hosts and metagenomic analysis of microbes in extreme environments). 

We take a multidisciplinary approach, studying viruses from different families: poxvirus, herpesvirus, picornavirus, parvovirus, retrovirus, asfarvirus, togavirus and arenavirus, as well as cellular microorganisms (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacteroides fragilis, Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio cholerae, Bacillus subtilis, Thermus thermophilus, Asticcacaulis biprosthecium, Streptomyces sp., Rhodotorula sp., Schawannoidmyces occidentalis, iron and sulphur oxidizers, etc.).

As a whole, our studies are expected to contribute to the development of novel antimicrobial drugs and vaccines, as well as enzymes and other reagents with biotechnological and industrial applications.  

The research carried out in the Department of Virology and Microbiology is organized into five major areas:

(1) Population dynamics and characterization of microbiomes: Genetic variability of RNA and single-stranded DNA viruses and metagenomic analysis in extreme environments.

(2) Virus-host interactions: Immunity and modulation of the immune response: Modulation of the immune response by viruses, African swine fever virus as a model of evasion and protection, and novel vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease virus.

(3) Basic molecular and cellular virology: Viral entry, genome replication, translation regulation and viral tropism, and capsid formation and morphogenesis.

(4) Basic molecular and cellular bacteriology: Bacterial morphogenesis, cell division and antibiotics resistance, and extrachromosomal elements in Bacillus subtilis.

(5) Biotechnological applications in virology and microbiology: Viral capsids as nanocontainers, fidelity of reverse transcriptases, genetics of extreme thermophiles, usage of acidophile microorganisms in biomining, and production of prebiotic oligosaccharides from non-conventional yeasts.

Overview

 

The formation of an adult organism is the result of the progressive and spatio-temporally controlled specification of groups of cells, which simultaneously undergo cell divisions and movements under the tight control of networks of intra-cellular signalling pathways and transcription factors. Understanding these events is of fundamental importance to unravel the basis of many human diseases and normal aging and to design strategies for tissue repair or regeneration.

 

 

Read more about the Dept. of Development and Regeneration...

 

Director of the Dept:  Paola Bovolenta

Group Leader 

   Research
Antonio Baonza    Control of cell proliferation and organ regeneration through intercellular signals
Paola Bovolenta    Morphogenesis and differentiation of vertebrate central nervous system
Ana Busturia    Drosophila Developmental Epigenetics
Sonsoles Campuzano   Regulation of gene expression during Drosophila development
José F. de Celis    Cell signalling during imaginal development in Drosophila
Carlos Estella   Gene expression control, patterning and growth during appendage development
Isabel Guerrero    Signalling mechanisms during development
Fernando J. Díaz-Benjumea   Cell fate specification in the development of the Drosophila central nervous system
Fernando Martín Belmonte   Epithelial cell polarity and cancer
David Míguez   Biophysics and Systems Biology
Ginés Morata    Genetic control of morphogenesis
Mar Ruiz-Gómez   Genetic and functional analysis of the renal filtration diaphragm in health and disease
Ernesto Sánchez-Herrero    Segmental specification and pattern formation in Drosophila

 

  Ad Honorem Professors
     -   
 Antonio García-Bellido  
 Juan Modolell
                      Project Leaders 

Natalia Azpiazu
(Ginés Morata lab.)

Florencia Cavodeassi
(Paola Bovolenta lab.)
Nicole Gorfinkiel
(Isabel Guerrero lab.)

Development and Regeneration

       Epigenetic Regulation of gene expression during Drosophila development

 

 

 Busturia group 400px

 


Ana María de Busturia

CSciStaff

CPublications

 

 

 

Research Summary:

Research in my laboratory is focused on the study of the epigenetic regulation of gene ex-pression mediated by the Polycomb (PcG) and trithorax (trxG) groups of proteins as well as by microRNAs. We use Drosophila as a model system to understand normal and pathologi-cal development.

Gene transcriptional states are established as either active or repressed depending on the cellular context, biological process or developmental time. Once established, they have to be faithfully maintained throughout proliferation in order to achieve normal development. PcG and trxG proteins control the transcriptional memory and they do so by compacting chromatin and by modificationof histones. Moreover, microRNAs are also post-transcriptional regulators that bind to their mRNAs targets usually resulting in gene silencing. We aim to understand how activation and repression affects the homeostasis of an organism by studying the function of the microRNAs and the relevance of the expression levels and/or activity of the PcG/trxG proteins in normal and pathological development. This research is done through the study of the function of these epigenetic regulators in the control of cell proliferation, apoptosis and innate immune response. Moreover, to gain insight into the mechanisms that provide the PcG/trxG with the characteristics of a dynamic, reversible and adaptable control system, we also study to what external cues and signals the microRNAs and the PcG/trxG system responds.

As the microRNAs and the PcG/trxG proteins are highly conserved throughout the animal kingdom, it is expected that our research should yield results that directly impact on the understanding of the function of these proteins in other organisms, including humans. Morever, deciphering the role(s) of miRNAs and PcG/trxG may lead to a more profound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the genesis and progression of human diseases

  Figure 300px
 

 

Dp53-induced proliferation is dependent on Notch levels of expres-sion. a-f wing imaginal discs of the geno-types indicated stained with TO-PRO-3. The proliferation of the wing imaginal cells is not affected by the absence of one dose of Notch gene (b) or by the presence of an extra-dose of Notch (c) when compared to wt (a). However, the absence of one dose of Notch (e) or the presence of an extra-dose of Notch dra-matically affect the proliferation induced by high levels of Dp53 (c).

 

 

 

   
   
   

 

Relevant Publications:

  • Fereres, S., Simón, R., Mohd-Sarip, A., Verrijzer, CP., Busturia, A (2014) dRYBP counteracts chromatin-de-pendent activation and repression of transcription. PLoS One Nov 21;9(11):e113255.
  • Aparicio, R, Simoes da Silva, C., Busturia A (2014) The microRNA mir-7 contributes to the control of Drosophila wing growth. Developmental Dynamics. Jan;244(1):21-30.
  • Simón, R., Aparicio, R., Houdsen, B., Bray, S., Busturia, A (2014) Drosophila p53 controls Notch expression and balances apoptosis and proliferation. Apoptosis19 (10) 1430-43.
  • Fereres,S., Simón, R,  Busturia, A (2013) A novel dRYBP-SCF complex functions to inhibit apoptosis in Drosophila. Apoptosis 18, (12) 1500 -1512.
  • Aparicio, R., Neyen,C., Lemaitre, B., Busturia, A. (2013) dRYBP contributes to the negative regulation of Drosophila IMD pathway. PLoS One Apr 15:8 (4): e62052.

 

Doctoral Theses:

  • Rocio Simón Sacristán (2013). PhD Thesis. Función de las proteínas Polycomb/trithorax y Dp53 en la regulación de la expression génica de Drosophila. PhD Thesis. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Directora: Ana Busturia
  • Sol Fereres Rapoport (2014). PhD Thesis. dRYBP transcription-dependent and transcription-independent functions in Drosophila melanogaster. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Directora: Ana Busturia

 

Development and Differentiation - Overview

Overview

The formation of an adult organism is the result of the progressive and spatio-temporally controlled specification of groups of cells, which simultaneously undergo cell divisions and movements under the tight control of networks of intra-cellular signalling pathways and transcription factors. Understanding these events is of fundamental importance to unravel the basis of many human diseases and normal aging and to design strategies for tissue repair or regeneration. Our department gathers research groups interested in uncovering the cellular and molecular basis of different aspects of embryonic development and its implications in human health by using a variety of model systems, including snail, Drosophila, teleost fishes, chicken and mouse.

Our department comprises a total of seven teen staff scientists and two emeritus professors, grouped in twelve research teams. There are also four tenure-track researchers with independent projects. Our department research activities are structured around four major and highly interactive lines: a) Genetic and epigenetic control of developmental gene expression; b) Morphogenesis and cell-to-cell communication; c) Organ formation and regeneration; d) Understanding pathological processes through development.

Our department maintains active and fruitful collaborations with other national and international centers. Research activities in our department are supported by common technological platforms and facilities. Besides contributing to the Center Seminar Series, our department organizes weekly meetings, where student and postdocs have the opportunity to discuss their recent results and a bi-monthly seminar series, "New Frontiers in Developmental Biology", designed as a forum to debate current trends in the field. Members of our department also help to coordinate a discussion group to foster the exchange of ideas and collaborations among scientists in the Madrid area interested in keeping up with new technologies and achievements related to the zebrafish as a model system.

Molecular Neurobiology - Tables

Overview

Our department’s main objective is to understand the molecular basis of neuronal function, both in physiological and pathological situations. To this end, we have gathered a multidisciplinary team that combines state-of-the art technologies of modern neuroscience research with genetically modified animals that mimic human mental diseases. Our department offers a comprehensive approach to these problems, from structure-function analysis of individual molecules, to cellular adaptations for neuronal growth and plasticity, to pathological alterations leading to neuronal degeneration and cognitive disorders.

Read more about the Dept. of Molecular Neuropathology...

Director of the Dept.: Carlos Dotti

Group Leader 

   Research
Carmen Aragón    Physiopathological aspects of glycine transporters in glycinergic neurotransmission: hyperekplexia and pain
Jesús Ávila
  Tau function and dysfunction in Alzheimer disease
María Jesús Bullido    Genetic bases of Alzheimer's Disease: Genomic study of pathogenic cell models.
Javier Díaz-Nido    Neuronal repair and molecular therapy in neurodegeneration: spinocerebellar ataxias
F. Javier Díez-Guerra    Molecular basis of neuronal plasticity
 Carlos Dotti    Neuronal differentiation and brain aging
José A. Esteban    Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, and contribution to cognitive function
Cecilio Giménez    Molecular basis of glutamatergic synapses
Maria Dolores Ledesma    Lipids in neuronal physiology and pathology
José J. Lucas    Molecular basis of Huntington's disease and other central nervous system disorders
Lourdes R. Desviat   Molecular bases of inherited metabolic diseases and research in molecular therapies
 Alberto Martínez-Serrano   Biology of human neural stem cells. Potential for cell and gene therapy in neurodegeneration
Jorgina Satrústegui    Calcium signalling in mitochondria and insulin/leptin signalling during ageing
Francisco Wandosell    Molecular mechanisms of neuronal differentiation and regeneration

 

 

                      Project Leaders 
Beatriz Cubelos
(Francisco Wandosell lab.)
Alejandra Gámez
(Lourdes R. Desviat lab.)
Félix Hernández
(Jesús Ávila lab.)
María Llorens-Martín
(Jesús Ávila lab.)
Beatriz López-Corcuera
(Carmen Aragón lab.)
Beatriz Pardo
(Jorgina Satrústegui lab.)
 Belén Pérez
(Lourdes R. Desviat lab.)
Eva Richard
(Lourdes R. Desviat lab.)
Pilar Rodríguez-Pombo
(Lourdes R. Desviat lab.)
Francisco Zafra
(Associated with Cecilio Giménez)

Overview

Our department’s main objective is to understand the molecular basis of neuronal function, both in physiological and pathological situations. To this end, we have gathered a multidisciplinary team that combines state-of-the art technologies of modern neuroscience research with genetically modified animals that mimic human mental diseases. Our department offers a comprehensive approach to these problems, from structure-function analysis of individual molecules, to cellular adaptations for neuronal growth and plasticity, to pathological alterations leading to neuronal degeneration and cognitive disorders. These research activities take full advantage of our center’s excellent technical capabilities, such as the confocal and multiphoton fluorescence imaging service or the top-of-the-line equipment for electrophysiological analysis.

Research in our department is organized around three main themes:

Neuronal differentiation, development and growth: we investigate how the tremendous morphological and functional specialization of neuronal cells is generated, from the differentiation of precursor cells to the maturation of synaptic connections.

Mechanisms of synaptic transmission and plasticity of neuronal function: all our cognitive functions are based on the ability of neurons to encode and process information via synaptic transmission. We study the precise molecular mechanisms that support synaptic function, and their modification in response to brain activity.

Neurodegenerative and age-related disorders: several neurodegenerative diseases are of particular interest to this department, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and spinocerebellar ataxia. The processes triggering neuronal death and possible therapeutic avenues to alleviate these conditions are the major focus of this research.

Naturally, there are multiple interactions and cross-fertilization between these themes. Thus, understanding the basic cell biology of neuronal precursor cells is helping us to determine their therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, we are learning how several cognitive disorders are due to alterations in basic mechanisms of synaptic communication between neurons. We pay particular attention to the interdisciplinary nature of our research, and foster exchange of ideas and experimental approaches among the different research groups.

 

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