Cell signaling in Chlamydomonas


Our group has been pioneer in the study of the target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathway and autophagy, a degradative process conserved in all eukaryotes required for the cellular adaptation to stress, in the model unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The main goal of our research is to understand how stress, in particular redox unbalance, regulates autophagy in photosynthetic eukaryotes using Chlamydomonas as model system. We have unraveled the molecular mechanisms underlying the redox regulation of some key components of the autophagic machinery in Chlamydomonas. Future research lines will investigate the complex regulation of autophagy by environmental stress and the role of the TOR signaling pathway in the control of this degradative process.


Stephane Lemaire (CNRS, Paris, France)
Jean-David Rochaix (University of Geneva)
Michael Schroda (TU Kaiserslautern, Germany)
Sabeeha Merchant (University of California, USA)
Cecilia Gotor/Luis Carlos Romero (IBVF, Sevilla)
Pilar Sánchez Testillano (CIB, CSIC, Madrid)

1) Redox control of autophagy

2) Control of autophagy by TOR

• Plan Nacional (BFU2015-68216-P), Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.
• Plan Nacional (BIO2015-74432-JIN), Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.
• Proyecto ComFuturo (OTR02178), Fundación General del CSIC
• H2020 Marie Curie (reSGulating), European Union
• H2020 Marie Curie (INSPirAUTOR), European Union
• Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB): Molecular mechanism of autophagy in algae and its application in algal fuels.

Selected Publications
Publications in journals
Autophagic flux is required for the synthesis of triacylglycerols and ribosomal protein turnover in Chlamydomonas
Couso, I., Pérez-Pérez, M.E., Martínez-Force, E., Kim, H.S., He, Y., Umen, J.G., Crespo, J.L.
J. Exp. Bot.
Publications in journals
Control of autophagy in Chlamydomonas is mediated through redox-dependent inactivation of the ATG4 protease
Pérez-Pérez, M.E., Lemaire, S.D., Crespo, J.L.
Plant Physiology