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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Exosome optimisation for therapeutic use. The role of tetraspan in-rich micro domains in the biogenesis and function of exosomes

Lead Researcher:
María Yáñez Mó

Research Centre:
Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa. CSIC-UAM.


María Yáñez MóRecent interest in exosomes derives from their characterisation as intercellular communication initiators able to mediate the horizontal and systemic transfer of genetic and protein material. In spite of its great potential in therapy and as non-invasive biomarkers of disease, there is little information about the molecular mechanisms that determine their biogenesis, binding and capture by target cells, or their function. The tetraspanins, which form microdomains that bind to the plasmatic membrane, are the most abundant proteins on the surface of exosomes. This project has the aim of using the large battery of tools against tetraspanins and their associated molecules created in our laboratory to study their functional role in the biogenesis and function of exosomes. With all of this we aim to gain deeper knowledge of exosome functions. This information is crucial to optimise therapies based on these exocytic vesicles, given that they will reveal new molecular targets that will allow us to either block their secretion, to reduce their metastatic and angiogenic capacities, or to increase their stability or immunoregulatory capacity.

María Yáñez Mó

She undertook her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Dr. Sanchez-Madrid in La Princesa Hospital, opening up a line of research into multimolecular complexes of bound tetraspanins. Following two visits to the laboratories of Dr. Nelson (Stanford) and Dr. Trendelemburg (Heidelberg), she combined development of the Unidad de Videmicroscopía del Hospital de La Princesa with her research work in a multidepartment work published by the The New Engl J Med, which gave rise to a patent.

As a Miguel Servet researcher, firstly in the Hospital de La Princesa and subsequently in the CNIC, she commenced her current lines of research: 1) tetraspanin intracellular connections, 2) the functional association of tetraspanins with proteases. In 2009 she joined the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Princesa as head of the Grupo Emergente, and she is now director of the Unidades Técnicas de Apoyo. In 2014 she gained a Ramón y Cajal contract in the UAM.

Dr. Yáñez-Mó is a founder member and secretary of the Grupo Español de Investigación e Innovación en Vesículas Extracelulares (GEIVEX) and is a member of the Management Committee of the BM1202-European COST Network on Microvesicles and Exosomes in Health and Disease.

She has now published 59 articles and has an h index of 32.

*All intellectual property rights belong to the author. Reproduction of all or part of the work without permission from the author is prohibited.
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