Structural Characterization of Macromolecular Assemblies
Our research interest is focused on deciphering the mechanisms that correlate cell signaling with gene expression using high resolution structural biology. We also aim at discovering how these mechanisms are regulated, and their consequent implications in human diseases from the structural point of view. During the last decade, our work has been focused on the family of transcription factors Smads, and in their interaction with other cofactors and with DNA. Most projects related to TGF beta signalling and Smad functions, proteins and cofactors are carried out in collaboration with the group of Dr. J. Massagué (Sloan Kettering NY, USA).
During the next years, our work will be focused on basic and applied biomedical research.
- Using NMR and X-ray crystallography we are currently characterizing the interactions of Smad proteins and cofactors with DNA promoters, to provide a first understanding of how these molecular machines work and to pave the basis for the design of small molecular inhibitors specifically targeted towards tumor-derived Smad forms.
- Together with the Gynecologic Oncology Unit, Hospital Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, and with its research institute we plan to develop a diagnostic tool to determine the probability of relapse and metastasis of Endometrial Cancer (EC) patients, using information obtained from biopsies, data deposited in public data bases and artificial intelligence.