García-Sáez group - membrane biophysics

Lab members

Senior Scientist: Dr. Uris Lianne Ros Quincoces

Research Areas

  • Cell Biology and Membrane Biophysics, Cell death

Fields of Interest

  • I am interested in understanding the fundamental principles that govern protein function and regulation with a focus on the cellular networks that are connected to cell death, inflammation and immunity. My work integrates molecular and cell biology, structural analysis, biochemistry, biophysics, and quantitative light microscopy. The overarching goal is to disclose essential steps for the regulation and execution of these pathways as new potential targets in the clinics.

CV Synopsis

  • Since 2019 Senior Scientist at CECAD and the Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany
  • 2015-2019 Post-doc at Membrane Biophysics lab, IFIB, Tübingen, Germany
  • 2012-2015 Associate professor, Faculty of Biology, Havana University, Cuba
  • 2007-2012 PhD, Biological Sciences, Havana University, Cuba.
  • 2005-2007 Master in Science, Biochemistry, Havana, Cuba.
  • 1999-2004 Biochemistry Degree, Havana University, Cuba.


Fellowships and Awards

2015 - 2018 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Georg Forster) postdoctoral fellowship
2014 - Max Plank society postdoctoral Short-term fellowship
2014 - IUBMB, Wood-Whelan Research Short-term Fellowship
2013 EMBO Short-term Fellowship
2013 DAAD (Germany) Short-term Fellowship
2010 ELAP (Canada) Short-term Fellowship
2009 - 2014 International Foundation for Science (IFS) (2 projects of 2 years each)
2010 - 2011 UNU-Biolac Short-term Fellowship
2007 Network of Latin-American and Caribbean Macrouniversities scholarship Short-term Fellowship


Publication List

  1. Danial, J.S.H., Quintana, Y., Ros, U., Shalaby, R., Margheritis, E.G., Chumpen Ramirez, S., Ungermann, C., Garcia-Saez, A.J. and Cosentino, K. (2022). Systematic Assessment of the Accuracy of Subunit Counting in Biomolecular Complexes Using Automated Single-Molecule Brightness Analysis. J Phys Chem Lett.
  2. Cosentino, K., Hermann, E., von Kügelgen, N., Unsay, J.D., Ros, U. and García-Sáez AJ. (2021). Force Mapping Study of Actinoporin Effect in Membranes Presenting Phase Domains. Toxins (Basel).
  3. Alvarez, C., Soto, C., Cabezas S., Alvarado-Mesén, J., Laborde, R., Pazos, F., Ros, U., Hernández, A.M. and Lanio, M.E. (2021). Panorama of the Intracellular Molecular Concert Orchestrated by Actinoporins, Pore-Forming Toxins from Sea Anemones. Toxins (Basel). (review).
  4. Wang, X., Ros, U., Agrawal, D., Keller, E.C., Slotta-Huspenina, J., Dill, V., Shen, B., Shi, R., Herold, T., Belka, C., Mishra, R., Bassermann, F., Garcia-Saez, A.J. and Jost, PJ. (2021). MLKL promotes cellular differentiation in myeloid leukemia by facilitating the release of G-CSF. Cell Death Differ.
  5. Ros, U., Pedrera, L. and Garcia-Saez, A.J. (2021). Techniques for studying membrane pores. Curr Opin Struct Biol. (review).
  6. Pedrera, L., Espiritu, R.A., Ros, U., Weber, J., Schmitt, A., Stroh, J., Hailfinger, S., von Karstedt, S. and García-Sáez, AJ. (2021). Ferroptotic pores induce calcium fluxes and ESCRT-III activation to modulate cell death kinetics. Cell Death Differ.
  7. Mesa-Galloso, H., Pedrera, L. and Ros, U+. (2021). Pore-forming proteins: From defense factors to endogenous executors of cell death. Chem Phys Lipids. (review).
  8. Flores-Romero, H.*, Ros, U.* and García-Sáez, A.J. (2020). Pore formation in regulated cell death EMBO J. (review).
  9. Ros, U., Pedrera, L, Garcia-Saez, AJ. (2020). Partners in Crime: The Interplay of Proteins and Membranes in Regulated Necrosis. Int J Mol Sci. (review).
  10. Flores-Romero, H., Ros, U. and García-Sáez, A.J. (2020). A lipid perspective on regulated cell death. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. (review).
  11. Mesa-Galloso, H., Valiente, P.A., Valdés-Tresanco, M.E., Epand, R.F., Lanio, M.E., Epand, R.M., Alvarez, C., Tieleman, D.P.+ and Ros, U+. (2019). Membrane remodeling by the lytic fragment of sticholysin II: implications for the toroidal pore model. Biophys J.
  12. Ros, U., Carretero, G.P.B., Paulino, J., Crusca, E. Jr., Pazos, F., Cill,i E.M., Lanio, M.E., Schreier, S. and Alvarez, C. (2019). Self-association and folding in membrane determine the mode of action of peptides from the lytic segment of sticholysins. Biochimie.
  13. Dimou, E., Cosentino, K.*, Platonova, E.*, Ros, U.*, Sadeghi, M.*, Kashyap, P., Katsinelos, T., Wegehingel, S., Noé, F., García-Sáez, A.J., Ewers, H. and Nickel, W. (2018). Single event visualization of unconventional secretion of FGF2. J Cell Biol.
  14. Soto, C., Bergado, G., Blanco, R., Griñán, T., Rodríguez, H., Ros, U., Pazos, F., Lanio, M.E., Hernández, A.M. and Álvarez, C. (2018). Sticholysin II-mediated cytotoxicity involves the activation of regulated intracellular responses that anticipate cell death. Biochimie.
  15. Lima de Oliveira, A., Maffud Cilli, E., Ros, U., Crusca, E. Jr., Lanio, M.E., Alvarez, C., Schreier, S., Aguiar, Pertinhez, T. and Spisni, A. (2018). Insights on the structure-activity relationship of peptides derived from Sticholysin II. Biopolymers.
  16. Alvarez, C., Ros, U., Valle, A., Pedrera, L., Soto, C., Hervis, Y.P., Cabezas, S., Valiente, P.A., Pazos, F. and Lanio, M.E. (2017). Biophysical and biochemical strategies to understand membrane binding and pore formation by sticholysins, pore-forming proteins from a sea anemone. Biophys Rev. (review).
  17. Soto, C., del Valle, A., Valiente, P.A., Ros, U., Lanio, M.E and Alvarez, C. (2017). Differential binding and activity of the pore-forming toxin sticholysin II in model membranes containing diverse ceramide-derived lipids. Biochimie.
  18. Ros, U.+, Peña-Blanco, A., Hänggi, K., Kunzendorf, U., Krautwald, S., Wong, W.W-L. and García-Sáez, A.J.+ (2017). Necroptosis execution is mediated by plasma membrane nanopores independent of calcium. Cell Rep.
  19. Cabezas, S., Ho, S., Ros, U., Lanio, M.E., Alvarez, C. and van der Goot, FG. Damage of eukaryotic cells by the pore-forming toxin sticholysin II: Consequences of the potassium efflux. (2017). BBA- Biomembr.
  20. Mesa-Galloso, H., Delgado-Magnero, K.H., Cabezas, S., López-Castilla, A., Hernández-González, J.E., Pedrera, L., Alvarez, C., Tieleman, D.P., García-Saez, A.J., Lanio, M.E., Ros, U.+ and Valiente P.A+. (2017). Disrupting a key hydrophobic pair in the oligomerization interface of the actinoporins impairs their pore-forming activity. Protein Sci.
  21. Cosentino, K. *, Ros, U.* and García-Sáez A.J. (2016). Assembling the puzzle: Oligomerization of a-pore forming proteins in membranes. BBA-Biomembr. (review)
  22. Pedrera, L., Gomide, A., Sánchez, R., Ros., U., Wilke, N., Pazos, F., Lanio, M.E., Itri, R., Fanani, M. and Alvarez, C. (2015). The presence of sterols favors St I-membrane association and pore formation regardless of their ability to form laterally segregated domains. Langmuir.
  23. Ros, U., Rodríguez-Vera, W., Pedrera, L., Valiente, P.A., Cabezas-Falcón, S., Lanio, M.E., García-Saez, A.J. and Alvarez, C. (2015). Differences in activity of actinoporins are related with the hydrophobicity of their N-terminus. Biochimie.
  24. Ros, U. and García-Sáez A. (2015). More than a pore: the interplay of pore-forming proteins and lipid membranes. J. Membr. Biol. (review)
  25. Subburaj, Y., Ros, U., Hermann, E., Tong, R. and García-Sáez, A.J. (2015). Toxicity of an a-pore-forming toxin depends on the assembly mechanism on the target membrane as revealed by single molecule imaging. J Biol Chem.
  26. Pedrera, L., Fanani, M.L., Ros, U., Lanio, M.E., Maggio, B. and Alvarez, C. (2014). Sticholysin I membrane interaction: an interplay between the presence of sphingomyelin and membrane fluidity. BBA- Biomembr.
  27. Ros, U., Edwards, M.A, Epand, R.F., Lanio, M.E., Schreier, S., Yip, C.M., Alvarez, C. and Epand, R.M. (2013). The sticholysin family of pore-forming toxins induce the mixing of lipids in membrane domains. BBA- Biomembr.
  28. Ros, U., Souto, A.L., de Oliveira, F.L, Crusca, E.J., Pazos, F., Cilli, E.M., Lanio, M.E., Schreier, S. and Alvarez, C. (2013). Functional and topological studies with Trp-containing analogs of the peptide StII1-30 derived from the N-terminus of the pore forming toxin sticholysin II: contribution to understand its orientation in membrane. Biopolymers (Peptide Science).
  29. Ros, U., Pedrera, L., Diaz, D., de Karam, J.C., Sundbrack, T.P, Valiente, P.A., Martínez, D., Cilli, E.M., Pazos, F., Itri, R., Lanio, M.E., Schreier, S. and Alvarez, C. (2011). The membranotropic activity of N-terminal peptides from the pore-forming proteins sticholysin I and II is modulated by hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions as well as lipid composition. J. Biosci.
  30. Cilli, E.M., Pigossi, F.T., Crusca, E.Jr, Ros U., Martinez, D., Lanio, M.E., Alvarez, C. and Schreier, S. (2007). Correlations between differences in amino terminal sequences and different hemolytic activity of sticholysins. Toxicon.
  31. Lanio, M.E., Alvarez, C., Ochoa, C., Ros, U., Pazos, F., Martínez, D., Tejuca, M., Eugenio, L.M., Casallanovo, F., Schreier, S. and Lissi, E. (2007). Enhanced activity and conformational changes of sticholysins I and II resulting from their interaction with cationic micelles. Toxicon.
  32. Casallanovo, F., de Oliveira F.J., de Souza, F.C., Ros, U., Martinez, Y., Pentón, D., Tejuca, M., Martínez, D., Pazos, F., Pertinhez, T.A., Spisni, A., Cilli, E.M., Lanio, M.E., Alvarez, C. and Schreier, S. (2006). Model peptides mimic the structure and function of the N-terminus of the pore-forming toxin sticholysin II. Biopolymers (Peptide Science).
Book chapters
  1. Espiritu R.A., Pedrera, L. and Ros, U. (2019). Tuning the way to die: implications of membrane perturbations in necroptosis. Advances in Biomembranes and Lipid Self-Assembly.

*Same contribution.
+Co-corresponding authors.

Service to scientific community

Scientific Reports, Biophysical Journal, Toxins, Molecules, Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics, Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, JoVe, International Journal of Nanomedicine.

Guest Editor:
Toxins and JoVe

Patent applications

  1. Modulation of mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein signaling (PA-EP-Prio_0408 and WO_0408).