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Laboratory 2

Our laboratory is using in vitro and in vivo models of infection to understand the role of signaling pathways such as NF-kB and p38 MAP kinase in the development of pro inflammatory responses mediated by macrophages, as well as the phagocytic uptake of infectious microorganisms by these cells. We are interested in the primary response to infectious agents triggered by their interaction with pattern recognition molecules (Toll-like receptors, Lectins...), the effect of those interactions on the activation of invariant NKT and CD4 T cells, as well as the feedback mechanisms between both arms of the immune system.

Ikerbasque Research Professor

Juan Anguita Castillo
  • Email: janguita@cicbiogune.es
  • Phone: 944.061.311 (EXT. 211)
  • Address: Parque Tecnolgico de Vizcaya
    Ed. 801A Derio (Vizcaya)
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Laboratory members

Itziar Martín Ruíz


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Nicolas Navasa

Postdoctoral Researcher

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Julen Tomás Cortaza

PhD Student

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Estíbaliz Atondo


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Plan Nacional 2013-2015. Regulation of the macrophage response to infectious agents mediated by the cochaperone, MCJ

Macrophages are phagocytic cells that intervene critically as first-line defenders against infectious microorganisms. These cells are also responsible for certain pathologies, such as artherosclerosis. Increasing evidence points to a major role played by the metabolic status of these cells on their function. The cochaperone, MCJ (DNAJC15) is expressed by these cells and controls the activity of the respiratory chain, efectively modulating the ability of macrophages to respond to infectious agents. This project aims to understand the mechanisms of control of macrophage function as well as how the expression, and hence, the activity of this protein is regulated in these important cell type.

Gobierno Vasco 2013-2016. Induction of anergy by the tick salivary antigen, Salp15, and its therapeutic use in transplants.

The tick salivary protein, Salp15 is the best characterized antigen produced by this arthropod. Ticks are able to transmit several medically important diseases, which are endemic in parts of Europe, including Lyme borreliosis and anaplasmosis. Salp15 is an immunosuppressor that specifically acts on naive CD4 T cells, through its interaction with the domains D1D2 of CD4, which prevents the activation of these cells. We propose to address whether the interaction of Salp15 with CD4 T cells results in long-term unresponsiveness that could be beneficial for the treatment of pathologies in which these cells are a major player, such as rejection during transplantation.

ANTIDotE: Anti Tick Vaccines to Prevent Tick-Borne Diseases in Europe

Ticks transmit various types of bacteria, viruses and parasites with their bites and can cause diseases, among which tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), babesiosis and Lyme disease. There is still no vaccine for some of these diseases. In order to find a solution to this problem, a European initiative was started up recently, in which the Basque Center for Cooperative Research in Biosciences CIC bioGUNE is taking part. The project aims to identify compounds in ticks' saliva that may be used as active ingredients to develop a vaccine for multiple tick-borne diseases. Universities, companies and research centres from different European countries are taking part in this project, called ANTIDotE. It will last five years and has a budget of three million euros funded by the EU through the Seventh Framework Programme.

Project weblink


Kung, F., J. Anguita, and U. Pal; Borrelia burgdorferi and tick proteins supporting pathogen persistence in the vector. Future Microbiology 8, 41 - 56 (2013)