1) Metallothioneins: structure/function relationship: evolution and biotechnological applications.
Metallothioneins (MT) are small, cysteine-rich proteins, with high metal coordination capacity and increased reactivity with respect to free radicals. MT peptidesconstitute an extremely heterogeneous protein family, with no phylogenetic patterns defined or any physiological functions assigned. Primary and tertiary MT structure analysis, as well as that of MT structure/function relationships, will shed light onto the interaction between protein molecules and metal ions. Additionally, it will provide the bases to design and assay biotechnological schemes aimed both at bioremediation and biomedicine. MT characterization is performed at different levels through recombinant synthesis in the bacterial expression systems of MT forms belonging to several taxons. Biotechnological exploitation of MT features focuses on heterologous MT expression systems for two main purposes: first, heavy-metal removal from soil or water environments, and second, the design of new therapeutic agents for several physiological disorders in which MT appears to be involved.
Study at genomic and proteomic level of the organism global response towards metals, which includes different conditions, i.e. depletion and excess, regarding metal availability and intake. "Metals in Biology" research is gradually being focused on the integrative knowledge of all the elements (basically proteins) that are involved in this response, their interactions and their regulation. In our group, we study how S.cerevisiae acts in response to zinc overload, and the relationship between this response and other metabolic mechanisms and pathways.
Dr. Sílvia Atrian (Vice-rector of Innovation and Knowledge Transference)
Dr. Elena Jiménez
TFM students (Master in Biotechnology)
Paul A. Iturbe Espinoza
TFG students (Degree in Biotechnology)
Dr. Mercè Capdevila (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Dr. Juan Hidalgo (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Dr. José M. Domínguez Vera (Universidad de Granada)
Dr. Juana Pérez Torres (Universidad de Granada)
Dr Ester Artells (Université Aix-Marseille, France)
Dr. Laurence Fraissinet-Tachet (Université Lyon1, France)
Dr. Reinhard Dallinger (University of Innsbruck, Austria)
Dr. Dennis Thiele (Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University, USA)
Dr. Carlos Andreo (Universidad de Rosario-Conicet, Argentina)
Dr. Ayelen Pagani (Universidad de Rosario-Conicet, Argentina)