Electron Microscopy and Three Dimensional Reconstruction of Macromolecules Group
CIB (Biological Research Centre), CSIC.
Calle Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040 Madrid.
Principal Investigator: Oscar Llorca Blanco
Project Staff: Andrés López Perrote, Hugo Muñoz Hernández, Martín Alcorlo Pagés, Raquel Castaño Cobo, Roberto Melero Del Río, Eva María Torreira Ontiveros, Hugo Yébenes Revuelto.
The Electron Microscopy and Three Dimensional Reconstruction of Macromolecules Group at the Biological Research Centre (CIB-CSIC) in Madrid comprises 7 pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scientists leaded by Oscar Llorca (http://www.cib.csic.es/en/grupo.php?idgrupo=47). The group is interested in improving our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating cellular processes of relevance for human health and controlled by “macromolecular machines”. These are assembled by a complex and transient interplay of multiple proteins. For our studies, we combine biochemical and functional studies with electron microscopy and image processing techniques to visualise individual molecules and determine their structure.
Currently, our group concentrates its efforts in two core projects:
(A) Characterization of large macromolecular complexes involved in DNA and RNA transactions (DNA repair, DNA replication, chromatin remodelling and mRNA degradation). These processes are related to cancer and several genetic syndromes.
(B) Definition of the molecular and structural mechanisms that regulate the complement system and their role in disease.
Complement is part of the innate immunity and a first responder for pathogens. Mutations and polymorphisms in complement genes associate with several human genetic diseases. We are characterising the structure of macromolecular complexes involved in complement regulation. These studies are providing a better understanding of the molecular basis of human diseases linked to complement deregulation, but also they are contributing to design novel reagents, which could be potentially useful as therapeutic agents.