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Ribosomes are responsible for translation of genetic information into proteins in all living organisms, and they are for example the target for about 50% of all known antibiotics in the case of the bacterial ribosome. Given its paramount importance, protein synthesis is a highly controlled process, especially at its initiation stage, and in fact dysregulation of translation initiation in humans is associated with cancer, hematological disorders and even neurodegeneration.

Our aim is to study how eukaryotic translation can be regulated at its initiation stage from a structural point of view by combining X-ray crystallography and cryoelectron microscopy (cryoEM).

One of the main objectives of our group is to help to clarify at molecular level what determines start codon recognition in translation initiation in eukaryotes and bacteria. Another important objective is to obtain the architecture of the most complex translation initiation factors, eIF2, eIF3 and eIF4F and the complexes formed by them, alone or together with other important targets for regulation, such as eIF2B, eIF5 and eIF1.

A detailed structural  knowledge of these processes can base strategies for targeting some complexes that could be candidates for development of possible anti-tumoral treatments, as well as for development of antibiotics and antivirals.


Jose Luis Llacer

Jose Luis Llacer

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Unión Europea