Raúl Méndez

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona

Life & Medical Sciences

Raúl Méndez studied biology (biochemistry) in the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He obtained his PhD in 1993 for work carried out at the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa under the supervision of César de Haro. He did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Robert E. Rhoads at the Louisiana State University Medical Center (1994-1997) and then in the laboratory of Joel D. Richter (1997-2001) at the University of Massachusetts and in 2001 he joined the Centre de Regulació Genòmica of Barcelona as a group leader. In 2010 his group moved to the Institut de Recerca Biomèdica of Barcelona, where he is a senior scientist and ICREA Research Professor. Since the time of his PhD work, his research has focused on how mRNAs are translated into proteins and how this process is regulated during cell division and differentiation. EMBO member since 2012.

Research interests

The primary interest of our group is to understand the molecular mechanisms that dictate alternative 3' UTR formation and the temporal and spatial translational control of specific mRNAs during cell cycle progression and chromosome segregation, senescence and related pathologies. Cell cycle progression is programmed, at least in part, by stored silent mRNAs whose translation is specifically regulated by sequences located at their 3´-untranslated regions (3´-UTRs) and their binding proteins. Our work in the past years has focused on three main questions: 1, to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the translational control by cytoplasmic polyadenylation cis-acting elements and trans-acting factors. 2, to define how this translational control circuit regulates cell cycle progression by establishing a molecular circuit, stabilized by positive and negative feed-back loops. 3, to explore the contribution of these mechanisms in the reprogramming of gene expression in cancer.

Selected publications

- Parras A, Anta H, Santos-Galindo M, Swarup V, Elorza A, Nieto-González JL, Picó S Hernández IH, Díaz-Hernández JI, Belloc E, Rodolosse A, Parikshak NN, Peñagarikano O, Fernández-Chacón R, Irimia M, Navarro P, Geschwind DH, Méndez R* & Lucas JJ* 2018 (*co-corresponding authors), “Autism-like phenotype and risk gene mRNA deadenylation by CPEB4 mis-splicing”, Nature, 560(7719):441-446.

Selected research activities

- CNIO Distinguished Seminars Series “The CPEB family of RNA-binding proteins: Post-transcriptional (re)programing gene expression in homeostasis and disease”. February the 2nd 2018.

-  Cologne Spring Meeting 2018 “The CPEB-family of RNA-binding proteins, mechanisms of action and new functions in cell cycle and cancer”. 7-9 March 2018.

-  Hubrecht Institute UMC Utrech “The CPEB-family of RNA-binding proteins, mechanisms of action and new functions in cell cycle and cancer”. October 18th

-  Mini symposium “The epidemic of fatty liver diseases: risk factors, treatment and extrahepatic consequences”. keynote speaker. “Circadian- and UPR-dependent control of CPEB4 mediates a translational response to counteract hepatic steatosis under ER stress”. Jerusalem on November 21st, 2018.

- Karolinska Institutet (KI) “The CPEB-family of RNA-binding proteins, mechanisms of action and new functions in cell cycle and cancer”. 13 Dec 2018.