Group Leader/s



Aspergillus nidulans is a genetic model for studying polarised cell growth and long-distance transport. Hyphal tip cells grow exclusively by apical extension, leading to tubular multinucleated cells where intracellular traffic is tailored to the large distances that exist between apical and distal regions of the cytosol, or between the different nuclei of the cell. We use a combination of formal Genetics with Molecular and Cellular Biology to understand intracellular traffic, including the mechanisms by which environmental signals are transduced to the different nuclei of the cell to ensure coordinated transcriptional responses. The research unit includes two groups, led by Dr. Eduardo A. Espeso and Dr. Miguel A. Peñalva (acting as coordinator), respectively. 




Hernández-Gonzalez, M., Bravo-Plaza, I., Pinar, M., de los Ríos, V., Arst, H. N., Jr., and Peñalva,  [2018].  Endocytic recycling via the TGN underlies the polarized hyphal mode of life. M. A. PLoS Genetics 14: e1007291.

Pinar, M., Arst, H. N., Jr., Pantazopoulou, A., Tagua, V. G., de los Ríos, V., Rodríguez-Salarichs, J., Díaz, J. F., and Peñalva, M. A.  [2015]. TRAPPII regulates exocytic Golgi exit by mediating nucleotide exchange on the Ypt31 orthologue RabE/RAB11. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 112: 4346-435



Intracellular Membrane Trafficking Group, PI: Miguel A. Peñalva

Funding body: DGICYT (Dirección General de Investigación Científica y Técnica), Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad

BIO2015-65090-R. Title: 'How does a fungal cell factory work: the different pathways of exocytosis in Aspergillus nidulans and their molecular switches'

Filamentous fungi display a remarkable capacity to secrete proteins, a capacity exploited for the production of industrial enzymes, which represents a major activity of the biotechnology sector in Europe. Yet detailed understanding of the organization and regulation of exocitosis in these organisms is wanting, including, for example, how does continuous growth by apical extension, highly demanding for exocitosis, compete with high-level secretion of enzymes. Our work on Aspergillus intracellular traffic has placed us in a privileged situation to address fundamental issues that may guide tailored improvements of productivity. 



Nucleo-cytoplasmic traffic in multinucleated cells Group, PI: Dr Eduardo A. Espeso

Funding body: DGICYT (Dirección General de Investigación Científica y Técnica), Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. FEDER.

BFU2015-66806-R (MINECO/FEDER). Title: 'Cation and alkaline pH tolerance as determinant of fungal virulence and the basis for searching antifungal targets'

Most biosynthetic and catalytic pathways are transcriptionally regulated. We study signals, receptors, signaling transduction and the mechanisms mediating the activation and cellular localisation of transcription factors. In eukaryotes, nuclear transport is a key regulatory step in the regulation of a transcription factor activity. Using as models diverse nuclear factors we try to understand the mechanisms involved in signaling and trafficking between cytoplasm and nucleus in a coenocytic (multi nuclear) organism. Specifically we focus on the zinc-finger transcription factors SltA and CrzA that mediate in the responses to cation and alkaline pH stresses. Studying these regulators allow us to investigate the calcium-calcineurin mediated signaling, proteolysis as a mechanism of posttranslational activation and the role of abiotic stress tolerance in fungal virulence.


Lab members 2017

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