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Research Group

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Regulation of Gene Expression and Applications

Area: Biotechnology
Coordinator: M.ª Esperanza Cerdán Villanueva

EXPRELA is a research group with a long trajectory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This basic knowledge has also been applied to the development of biological tools for the expression of proteins of interest using microorganisms as cell factories. The diverse capacities developed by the group's members allow multidisciplinary approaches to solve research challenges with industrial and biomedical applications.

Currently, basic research topics of interest to the group are related to the control of gene expression through various mechanisms: transcription factors, lncRNAs, and interactomes, developing projects in this line oriented to biomedicine.

EXPRELA’s basic research lines also focus on the purification, production and modification of proteins. The group studies the structure and function of proteins with biotechnological, biomedical or nutritional applications. Obtaining new stable enzymes with high catalytic capacity in industrial conditions, and the production of enzymes for prebiotics’ preparation stand out from their expertise.

  • Line 1: Regulation of gene expression and cancer
    The main challenge in the treatment of ovarian cancer is focused on getting an initial diagnosis before the disease reaches a worse prognosis stage. HMGB proteins, related to oxidative stress, are implicated in several types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, where the expression of HMGB1/2 is increased. They are also proteins capable of binding to RNA stabilizing it. We investigated The group researches into lncRNA-HMGB interactions that can be detected in early stages of the disease, as well as deepening knowledge of the sequences involved in the interaction between both types of molecules, looking for possible therapeutic targets. In this project, EXPRELA collaborates with INIBIC through the Oncology Service of CHUAC, counting on the oncologist María Quindós Varela.

  • Line 2: Protein expression and modification systems with industrial, health and nutritional applications
    The group is currently developing a biotechnological process to convert wheat straw into products with high added value derived from the hemicellulosic fraction with interesting applications in the food industry such as prebiotics, encapsulating agents and thickeners. For this purpose, EXPRELA intends to apply a suitable combination of a thermophilic xylanase and beta-xylosidase in order to modulate the hydrolysis of straw to the targeted production of xylooligosaccharides (XOS) with different degree of polymerization depending on the type of application required. This project is carried out in collaboration with the group of Professor María Luisa Rúa from the University of Vigo.

Knowledge Transfer

The group has collaborated with several companies in the food sector such as Queizuar S.L., químico, as Galchimia or biotechnological, as Proteos-Biotech, among others.

This research group takes part in several PhD Programmes: "Advanced Biotechnology" and "Cellular and Molecular Biology".

EXPRELA en Facebook



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M.ª Esperanza Cerdán Villanueva
88101 2141

Catedrática de Universidad
Área de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular - Departamento de Biología Celular y Molecular


Thamer A-Fattah Salameh Al-Qatarneh ORCID iD
PhD Student
88101 5549
PhD Student 88101 5549
Aída Inés Barreiro Alonso ORCID iD PDI 88101 2136
Manuel Becerra Fernández ORCID iD PDI 88101 2057
María Isabel González Siso ORCID iD PDI 88101 2056
Mónica Lamas Maceiras ORCID iD PDI 88101 2148
Lidia Lorenzo Catoira
PhD Student
88101 5549
PhD Student 88101 5549
Almudena Saavedra Bouza
PhD Student
88101 5549
PhD Student 88101 5549
Martín Salamini Montemurri ORCID iD
PhD Student
88101 5549
PhD Student 88101 5549
Ángel Vizoso Vázquez ORCID iD PDI 88101 2136
Mª Eugenia de Castro de Antonio
88101 5549
Becario/a 88101 5549

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