Structural Biology of Genomic Macromolecular Complexes

Group leader
Guillermo Abascal-Palacios
+34 946 01 8045

Biofisika Institute (CSIC-UPV/EHU)
Science Park of the UPV/EHU
Barrio Sarriena s/n. 48940 Leioa, Bizkaia (Spain)

Research goal

Our group is interested in studying the molecular architecture of large multi-subunit complexes involved in DNA/RNA-associated functions, with a special emphasis on the interplay between retrotransposons and host elements. Traditionally considered "junk" regions of the genome, mobile elements have recently been recognized as key players in the development and progression of several diseases, including neurological disorders and cancer. In our laboratory, we aim to address the relevance of these elements at a molecular level through biophysical, biochemical, and structural biology tools. We use a combination of state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), X-crystallography, and functional studies, among others, to understand the molecular determinants of retrotransposon activity and their underlying role as markers of several human pathologies.

Group members
Ramón y Cajal Fellow / Ikerbasque Research Fellow

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Daiß JL, Pilsl M, Straub K, Bleckmann A, Höcherl M, Heiss FB, Abascal-Palacios G, Ramsay EP, Tlučková K, Mars JC, Fürtges T, Bruckmann A, Rudack T, Bernecky C, Lamour V, Panov K, Vannini A, Moss T, Engel C.

The human RNA polymerase I structure reveals an HMG-like docking domain specific to metazoans
Life Sci Alliance. 2022 Sep 1;5(11):e202201568
doi: 10.26508/lsa.202201568

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Abascal-Palacios G, Jochem L, Pla-Prats C, Beuron F and Vannini A.

Structural basis of Ty3 retrotransposon integration at RNA Polymerase III-transcribed genes.
Nature Communications (2021), 12(6992).
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27338-w

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Ramsay EP, Abascal-Palacios G, Daib J, King H, Gouge J, Pilsl M, Beuron F, Morris E, Gunkel P, Engel C and Vannini A.

Structure of human RNA Polymerase III.
Nature Communications (2020), 11(6409).
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-20262-5

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Abascal-Palacios G, Ramsay EP, Beuron F, Morris E, and Vannini A.

Structural basis of RNA Polymerase III transcription initiation.
Nature (2018), 553(7688)
DOI: 10.1038/nature25441

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Lin YH, Lucas M, Evans TR, Abascal-Palacios G, Doms AG, Beauchene NA, Rojas AL, Hierro A, Machner MP.

RavN is a member of a previously unrecognized group of Legionella pneumophila E3 ubiquitin ligases.
PLOS Pathogens (2018), 14(2).
DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006897

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Gouge J, Guthertz N, Kramm K, Dergai O, Abascal-Palacios G, Satia K, Cousin P, Hernandez N, Grohmann D, and Vannini A.

Molecular mechanisms of Bdp1 in TFIIIB assembly and RNA polymerase III transcription initiation.
Nature Communications (2017), 8(130).
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00126-1