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María J. Macías

María J. Macías

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica

Life & Medical Sciences

Since 2002 at the IRB Barcelona working in the Mechanisms of Disease Programme as GL of the Structural Characterization of Macromolecular Assemblies group.

Past positions: 1998- 2002, Staff Scientist at the EMBL (Structural Biology) Heidelberg, Germany 1993-1998 Post Doctoral position at the EMBL (Structural Biology) Heidelberg, Germany in the group of Prof. Dr. H. Oschkinat 1993-PhD Degree: PhD in Organic Chemistry, Salamanca University (Spain), supervised by Prof. M. Grande

Research Fields: Structural Biology, NMR, X-ray crystallography, Computational Biology, Signaling

Current Research:  Structural determination of protein complexes involved in splicing, transcription and signaling. Protein folding and stability. Analysis of tumor mutations using artificial intelligence.

Research interests

Our research aims at 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. Our work has been focused on the family of transcription factors Smads, where we have discovered a mechanism that labels these key components of the TGFb pathway first for activation and then for degradation. Using NMR and X-ray crystallography we are currently characterizing the interactions of Smads 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. We also aim to determine the probability of relapse and metastasis of gynecological cancer patients combining information from data obtained from biopsis and genomic data deposited in databases.

Selected publications

– Ruiz, Lidia; Kaczmarska, Zuzanna; Gomes, Tiago; Aragon, Eric; Torner, Carles; Freier, Regina; Baginski, Blazej; Martin-Malpartida, Pau; Garrido, Natalia de Martin; Marquez, Jose. A.; Cordeiro, Tiago N.; Pluta, Radoslaw; Macias, Maria J. 2021, ‘Unveiling the dimer/monomer propensities of Smad MH1-DNA complexes’, Computational And Structural Biotechnology Journal, 19, 632 – 646.

– Rol, Alvaro; Todorovski, Toni; Martin-Malpartida, Pau; Escola, Anna; Gonzalez-Rey, Elena; Aragon, Eric; Verdaguer, Xavier; Valles-Miret, Mariona; Farrera-Sinfreu, Josep; Puig, Eduard; Fernandez-Carneado, Jimena; Ponsati, Berta; Delgado, Mario; Riera, Antoni; Macias, Maria J. 2021, ‘Structure-based design of a Cortistatin analogue with immunomodulatory activity in models of inflammatory bowel disease’, Nature Communications, 12, 1, 1869.

– Freier, Regina; Aragon, Eric; Pluta, Radoslaw; Martin-Malpartida, Pau; Ruiz, Lidia; Condeminas, Miriam; Gonzalez, Cayetano; Macias, Maria J. 2021, ‘Structures of the germline-specific Deadhead and thioredoxin T proteins from Drosophila melanogaster reveal unique features among thioredoxins’, Iucrj, 8, 2, 281 – 294.

– Gomes, Tiago; Martin-Malpartida, Pau; Ruiz, Lidia; Aragon, Eric; Cordeiro, Tiago N.; Macias, Maria J. 2021, ‘Conformational landscape of multidomain SMAD proteins’, Computational And Structural Biotechnology Journal, 19, 5210 – 5224.

ICREA Memoir 2021