Topology and DNA breaks Group

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Staff Scientists

  • Carlos Gómez
  • Israel Salguero

Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Andrés Manuel Herrero

Graduate Students

  • Ernesto López
  • María del Mar Martínez


  • Marta Muñoz

DNA topoisomerases have a dual relationship with the genome. They are essential to solving the topological problems inherent to all DNA transactions, but their intrinsic mechanism of action can result in the formation of DNA breaks, either accidentally during normal cellular metabolism or upon chemotherapy treatment with the so-called topoisomerase poisons. Imbalances in DNA topoisomerase activity can therefore compromise cell survival and genome integrity, entailing serious consequences for human health, such as developmental and degenerative problems and, very importantly, neoplastic transformation processes and their subsequent response to treatment.

We are interested in understanding: (i) how DNA topoisomerase activity is regulated to integrate different aspects of genome dynamics; (ii) how an imbalance in these processes can lead to the appearance of pathological DNA breaks; and (iii) how cells specifically respond to these lesions to maintain genome stability.