Gene expression and signal transduction in photosynthetic organisms

Our group is interested in the regulation of carbon and nitrogen metabolism as well as in the adaptation of cyanobacteria to different environmental conditions. We use as a model organism the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. In relation to the regulation of nitrogen metabolism, we have studied in detail the post-translational regulation of Glutamine synthetase. We have elucidate this regulation, based on the interaction of the enzyme with two small proteins (IFs), and the structure of the enzyme and its region of interaction with the IFs has been determined by means of site-directed mutagenesis. We are currently focused on the study of new proteins that respond to nutritional nitrogen changes with a possible regulatory function. With respect to carbon metabolism, we are studying the regulation of the synthesis and degradation of glycogen as a reserve carbon compound. Moreover, in the optimization of photosynthetic CO2 fixation capacity, we have focused our attention on the regulation of enzymes such as FBPases. All this with a biotechnological vision centered on the production of compounds of interest such as biofuels through metabolic engineering. In relation to adaptation to environmental conditions, the response systems to the presence of metals have been analyzed, with special emphasis on arsenic and copper. Finally, in relation to redox metabolism and its influence on cyanobacteria, we have been interested in the function of thioredoxins. We are currently studying the essential role of the thioredoxin TrxA and the reduction system of these proteins by the use of conditional mutants.

group web

- Regulation of nitrogen metabolism

- Functional genomic of heavy metal resistance

- Carbon-nitrogen interaction and cellular redox state

- Regulation of glycogen biosynthesis

- Biotechnology of cyanobacteria for biodiesel production

Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Junta de Andalucia, PLAN E-Instituto Español de Oceanografía, AlgaEnergy

Selected Publications
Type: Publications in journals
Identification of the direct regulon of NtcA during early acclimation to nitrogen starvation in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803
Authors: Giner-Lamia, J., Robles-Rengel, R., Hernández-Prieto, M.A., Muro-Pastor, M.I., Florencio, F.J., Futschik, M.E.
Publication Year: 2017
Pages: 11800-11820
Journal: Nucleic Acids Res.
Volume: 45 (20)
Type: Publications in journals
Redox regulation of glycogen biosynthesis in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803: analysis of the AGP and glycogen synthases.
Authors: Díaz-Troya, S., López-Maury, L., Sánchez-Riego, A.M., Roldán, M., Florencio, F.J.
Publication Year: 2014
Pages: 87-100
Journal: Mol Plant.
Volume: 7 (1)