Recent Publications

Researchers at Fundación Ciencia & Vida have recently published the following scientific articles and book chapters:


Mario Rosemblatt (Cellular and Molecular Immunology Lab):

  • Bono MR, Tejon G, Flores-Santibañez F, Fernandez D, Rosemblatt M, Sauma D. Retinoic acid as a modulator of T cell immunity. Nutrients 8(6), 349. doi:10.3390/nu8060349 (2016).
    In this Review we summarized the role of Retinoic Acid, a derivative of Vitamin A, in the fine-tuning of the immune system and the balance between immunity and tolerance.
  • Fernández D, Flores-Santibáñez F, Neira J, Osorio-Barrios F, Tejón G, Nuñez S, Hidalgo Y, Fuenzalida MJ, Meza D, Ureta G, Lladser A, Pacheco R, Acuña-Castillo C, Guixé V, Quintana FJ, Bono MR, Rosemblatt M, Sauma D. Purinergic signaling as a regulator of Th17 cell plasticity. PLoS One 11(6), e0157889. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157889 (2016).
    In alliance with Drs. Lladser and Pacheco’s research teams we demonstrated that depleting lymphocytes of ATP (their main energy source) influences the resolution of intestinal inflammation.

Nicole Tischler (Molecular Virology Lab):

  • Albornoz A, Hoffmann AB, Lozach PY, Tischler ND. Early Bunyavirus-host cell interactions. Viruses 8(5), pii: E143. doi: 10.3390/v8050143 (2016).
    In this review we highlight cellular and viral factors that mediate the entry pathway of bunyaviruses into diverse host cells.
  • Barriga GP, Villalón-Letelier F, Márquez CL, Bignon EA, Acuña R, Ross BH, Monasterio O, Mardones GA, Vidal SE, Tischler ND. Inhibition of the hantavirus fusion process by predicted domain III and stem peptides from glycoprotein Gc. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10(7), e0004799. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004799 (2016).
    Here we identify peptides that block hantavirus entry into cells and describe the molecular mechanism of inhibition. 

Tomás Perez-Acle (Computational Biology Lab):

  • Escalona Y, Garate JA, Araya-Secchi R, Huynh T, Zhou R, Perez-Acle T. Exploring the membrane potential of simple dual-membrane systems as models for gap-junction channels. Biophys J 110 (12), 2678-2688. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2016.05.005 (2016).
    In this article we provide insights at the atomic scale on the effects of charge distributions over ionic transport, constituting a step forward into a better understanding of gap-junction channels.

David Holmes (Bioinformatics and Genome Biology Lab):

  • Ullrich SR, González C, Poehlein A, Tischler JS, Daniel R, Schlömann M, Holmes DS, Mühling M. Gene loss and horizontal gene transfer contributed to the genome evolution of the extreme acidophile “Ferrovum”. Front Microbiol 7, 797. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00797 (2016).
    In collaboration with Dr. Ullrich (Technical University, Freiberg, Germany), advances were made regarding the phylogeny and evolution of an important group of microorganisms involved in biomining and acid mine drainage.
  • Ullrich SR, Poehlein A, Tischler JS, González C, Ossandon FJ, Daniel R, Holmes DS, Schlömann M, Mühling M. Genome analysis of the biotechnologically relevant acidophilic iron oxidising strain JA12 indicates phylogenetic and metabolic diversity within the novel genus “Ferrovum”. PLoS One 11 (1), doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146832 (2016).
    In collaboration with Dr. Ullrich (Technical University, Freiberg, Germany), we advanced our understanding the genetics and physiology of an important biomining microorganism.
  • Cárdenas JP, Quatrini R, Holmes DS. Progress in Acidophile Genomics. In: Acidophiles: Life in Extremely Acidic Environments. Chapter 11 (pp 179–198). Eds Quatrini R and Johnson DB. Caister Academic Press. UK (2016).
    In this review, we summarize the information available from a compilation of all the genomes of extreme acidophiles.

Alejandra Loyola (Epigenetics and Chromatin Lab):

  • Alarcon V, Hernández S, Rubio L, Alvarez F, Flores Y, Varas-GodoyM, De Ferrari GV, Kann M, Villanueva RA, Loyola A. The enzymes LSD1 and Set1A cooperate with the viral protein HBx to establish an active hepatitis B viral chromatin state. Sci Rep 6, 25901. doi: 10.1038/srep25901 (2016)
    In this article we shed light on the mechanisms that regulate the hepatitis B viral replication mediated by the viral chromatin structure.

Rodrigo Pacheco (Neuroimmunology Lab):

  • Oliva H, Pacheco R, Martinez-Navio JM, Rodríguez-García M, Naranjo-Gómez M, Climent N, Prado C, Gil C, Plana M, García F, Miró JM, Franco R, Borras FE, Navaratnam N, Gatell JM, Gallart T. Increased expression with differential subcellular location of cytidine deaminase APOBEC3G in human CD4+ T-cell activation and dendritic cell maturation. Immunol Cell Biol. doi: 10.1038/icb.2016.28 (2016).
    In a collaboration with Dr. Gallart’s research team we found that the cytidine deaminase APOBEC3G, which constitute a major restriction factor against HIV-1, is differentially distributed in subcellular compartments and forming complexes with other proteins in CD4+ T-cells and dendritic cells, a fact that would explain the different susceptibility of these type of cells to HIV-1 infection.
  • Moraga-Amaro R, González H, Ugalde V, Donoso-Ramos JP, Quintana-Donoso D, Lara M, Morales B, Rojas P, Pacheco R, Stehberg J. Dopamine receptor D5 deficiency results in a selective reduction of hippocampal NMDA receptor subunit NR2B expression and impaired memory. Neuropharmacology 103, 222-235. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.12.018 (2016).
    In a collaboration with Drs. Stehberg and Roja’s research teams we demonstrate with behavioural, electrophysiological and biochemical approaches that lack of dopamine receptor D5 results in a deregulated stoichiometry of glutamate receptors in the hippocampus and consequently in impaired spatial memory.

Raquel Quatrini (Microbial Ecophysiology Lab):

  • Nuñez H, Covarrubias PC, Moya-Beltrán A, Issotta F, Atavales J, Acuña LG, Johnson DB, Quatrini R. Detection, identification and typing of Acidithiobacillus species and strains: a review. Res Microbiol S0923-2508(16)30046-8. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2016.05.006 (2016).
    In this review we provide an overview of techniques used in molecular detection, identification and typing of Acidithiobacillus spp. and discuss each method in the context of their contribution to the general and specific understanding of the role of the acidithiobacilli in microbial ecology and industrial biotechnology.
  • Issotta F, Galleguillos P, Moya-Beltrán A, Davis-Belmar CS, Rautenbach G, Covarrubias PC, Acosta-Grinok M, Ossandon FJ, Contador Y, Holmes DS, Marín-Eliantonio S, Quatrini R, Demergasso C. Draft genome sequence of chloride-tolerant Leptospirillum ferriphilum Sp-Cl from industrial bioleaching operations in northern Chile. Stand Genomic Sci 11:19. doi: 10.1186/s40793-016-0142-1 (2016).
    In this paper we describe the basic microbiological features and genomic properties of the biotechnologically relevant strain Leptospirillum ferriphilum Sp-Cl aiming to provide further understanding of the mechanisms used by acidophilic bacteria to endure high osmotic stress and high chloride levels.
  • Johnson DB, Quatrini R. Acidophile Microbiology in Space and Time. In: Acidophiles: Life in Extremely Acidic Environments. Chapter 1 (pp 3-16). Eds Quatrini R and Johnson DB. Caister Academic Press. UK (2016).
    This chapter introduces the subject of acidophile microbiology, tracing its origins to the current status quo, and provides the reader of this textbook with general information which provides a backdrop to the more specific topics described in subsequent chapters.
  • Quatrini R, Ossandon FJ, Rawlings DE. The Flexible Genome of Acidophilic Prokaryotes. In: Acidophiles: Life in Extremely Acidic Environments. Chapter 12 (pp 199-220). Eds Quatrini R and Johnson DB. Caister Academic Press. UK (2016).
    In this chapter, current knowledge gathered on mobile genetic elements that favour horizontal gene transfer in extreme acidic econiches and the strategies used by acidophiles to contain their dispersal, are explored. Also, major lacunae in our understanding of the mobilome of acidophilic prokaryotes and topics for further investigations are identified.

Álvaro Lladser (Gene Immunotherapy Lab):

  • Ligtenberg MA, Witt K, Galvez-Cancino P, Sette A, Lundqvist A, Lladser A, Kiessling R. Cripto-1 vaccination elicits protective immunity against metastatic melanoma. Oncoimmunology 5(5):e1128613. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2015.1128613 (2016)
    In this work, we described that vaccination against cripto-1, a tumor-associated antigen up-regulated in “cancer-stem cells”, represents a novel strategy to target metastatic melanoma in mouse models.
  • Ligtenberg MA, Mougiakakos D, Mukhopadhyay M, Witt K, Lladser A, Chmielewski M, Riet T, Abken H, Kiessling R. Coexpressed catalase protects chimeric antigen receptor-redirected T cells as well as bystander cells from oxidative stress-induced loss of antitumor activity. J Immunol 196(2),759-766. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1401710 (2016)
    In this study, we demonstrated that by co-expressing tumor-specific chimeric antigen receptors along with catalase, we can both redirect specificity of human T cells against tumors and protect T cells and bystander cells from tumor-induced oxidative stress-mediated suppression.