June Ereño Orbea
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June Ereño Orbea
ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Ikerbasque Research Associate
Ikerbasque Research Associate
Chemical Glycobiology Lab
Address: Bizkaia Science and Technology Park, building 800, Derio (Bizkaia)

June Ereño-Orbea obtained her BSc in Biochemistry and a MSc in Molecular Biology & Biomedicine from the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and continued her scientific pursuits by completing her PhD in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine from the same institution.

In 2015, Dr. Ereño-Orbea joined the laboratory of Dr. Julien at SickKids Hospital (Canada). In her postdoctoral research she characterized the structure of CD22 (Siglec-2), a key inhibitory co-receptor of B cells and a significant immunotherapeutic target. This research illuminated the interactions between CD22 and sialic acid glycans and provided insights into its spatial organization within B cells. The findings contributed to advancements in antibody-based therapies, specifically CAR-T cells for B-cell lymphoma treatment. Additionally, Dr. Ereño collaborated on HIV vaccine design with The Scripps Research Institute (USA).

In 2019, Dr. Ereño-Orbea joined CIC bioGUNE and completed a successful 5-year tenure-track period as an Ikerbasque Research Fellow (2019-2023). In 2024, she got promoted to Ikerbasque Research Associate and Associated Principal Investigator to lead her independent research. Her research is focused on unraveling molecular mechanisms of antibodies and lectins, particularly exploring Siglec glycoimmune checkpoint receptors for next-generation therapies in diseases like cancer. Using integrative molecular and structural biology and biophysical techniques, she unravels the complexities of antibody-Siglec and glycan-Siglec interactions, laying the foundation for purpose-fit therapeutic molecules through protein engineering and chemical biology. Simultaneously, she delves into the generation and characterization of antibodies targeting tumor associated glycans, contributing to advancements in cancer immunotherapy.

Awards & recognitions
Ikerbasque Research Associate awarded by the Basque Foundation for Science (2024). “Consolidación Investigadora” by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (2024). R3 certificate by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (2023). BBVA Leonardo Grant for scientists and creators (2023). Ikerbasque Research Fellow awarded by the Basque Foundation for Science (2019). Juan de la Cierva Incorporación Program awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (2019). Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellow from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (2016). AUSE PhD Award from the Spanish Association of Synchrotron Users (2017). Restracomp Award for Postdoctoral Research from The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada (2016). Jose Tormo Prize awarded by the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM) (2014). Predoctoral Mobility Grants awarded by the Basque Regional Government for a research stay at the University of Colorado, US (2013). Research Staff Training Predoctoral Program awarded by the Basque Regional Government (2011).

Collaborations
Collaborations are integral to her research, extending across Europe, North America, and Japan. Notable partnerships include esteemed institutions like the University Nova Lisbon (F. Marcelo, P. Videira), University of Berlin (M. Schubert), Radboud University (T. Boltje), Scripps, University of Alberta (M. Macauley), the Scripps Research Institute (J. Paulson), and Tokyo Medical and Dental University (T. Tsubata). Additionally, collaborations with Basque entities such as CIC biomaGUNE, Biofisika, Biolan, and Zelula Biopharma S.L. have enriched and expanded the impact of her investigations.

Latest Publications

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The Chemical Glycobiology Lab is actively engaged in extensive multidisciplinary studies on diverse glycan-lectin systems related to health and disease. This collaborative research involves Senior (Jimenez-Barbero, Ardá, Ereño-Orbea, Unione) and Emerging Scientists (Gimeno), along with Specialists, Technicians, Postdoctoral associates, and Doctoral candidates.

Using a combination of diverse and synergic methodologies, including chemical synthesis, protein biochemistry and molecular biology, biophysics (ITC, BLI), molecular modelling, and structural biology (X-Ray crystallography and CryoEM), with special emphasis on NMR spectroscopy, the Chemical Glycobiology lab investigates the interactions of glycans related to immune responses, from cancer to bacterial and viral infections.

Indeed, glycans, prevalent on mammalian cells and in the extracellular matrix, collectively form the glycocalyx, impacting physical properties, regulating protein function, and acting as ligands for lectins. Dysregulation of glycosyltransferases results in tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens (TACAs), unique to tumor cells. While TACAs are recognized therapeutic targets, their low immunogenicity presents a challenge for T-cell-dependent immune responses crucial in cancer therapy. TACAs play a crucial role in modulating immune responses within the tumor microenvironment through interactions with lectins. Similar interactions are observed in bacterial and viral-mediated infectious events.

From the application side, the focus is on structure-based drug and vaccine design, collaborating with research groups and pharmaceutical companies worldwide, investigating lectin-glycan and antibody-glycan molecular recognition processes. Additionally, from the basic perspective, we explore the conformational properties of glycans, specially the glycosyl oxocarbenium cations, key intermediates in synthesis and cleavage, and examine the presentation and dynamic properties of glycans designed for specific geometrical shapes.

In parallel, the laboratory continuously develops cutting-edge NMR-based techniques. Special emphasis is placed on the use of stable isotopes (13C, 19F) to push the boundaries of NMR applications. These advancements are vital for understanding the pivotal roles of glycans in their interactions with receptors, influencing biological responses associated with health or disease.

Specific areas and research lines include:

  • • Interactions of glycans with galectins and C-type lectins, overseen by Dr. Ana Ardá.
  • • Recognition of sialic acids by Siglecs and their role as glyco-immune checkpoints, led by Dr. June Ereño-Orbea.
  • • Attachment of glycans to influenza virus proteins and other pathogens, investigating their impact on infections, directed by Dr. Luca Unione.
  • • Analysis of proteoglycans and the functional landscape of glycosylation in cancer, spearheaded by Dr. Ana Gimeno.
Latest Publications

Unraveling Molecular Recognition of Glycan Ligands by Siglec-9 via NMR Spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamics Modeling

Atxabal, U; Nycholat, C; Pröpster, JM; Fernández, A; Oyenarte, I; Lenza, MP; Franconetti, A; Soares, CO; Coelho, H; Marcelo, F; Schubert, M; Paulson, JC; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Ereño-Orbea, J;

ACS CHEMICAL BIOLOGY

2024-02-16

Evolution of human H3N2 influenza virus receptor specificity has substantially expanded the receptor-binding domain site

Thompson, AJ; Wu, NC; Canales, A; Kikuchi, C; Zhu, XY; de Toro, BF; Cañada, FJ; Worth, C; Wang, SY; Mcbride, R; Peng, WJ; Nycholat, CM; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Wilson, IA; Paulson, JC;

CELL HOST & MICROBE

2024-02-14

Strategy for the Enzymatic Acylation of the Apple Flavonoid Phloretin Based on Prior α-Glucosylation

Gonzalez-Alfonso, JL; Alonso, C; Poveda, A; Ubiparip, Z; Ballesteros, AO; Desmet, T; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Coderch, L; Plou, FJ;

JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY

2024-02-13

The impact of glycosylation on the structure, function, and interactions of CD14.

Quintana, Jon Imanol; Delgado, Sandra; Rabano, Miriam; Azkargorta, Mikel; Florencio-Zabaleta, Mirane; Unione, Luca; Vivanco, Maria dM; Elortza, Felix; Jimenez-Barbero, Jesus; Arda, Ana;

Glycobiology

2024-01-16

Krylov, Vadim B; Gomez-Redondo, Marcos; Solovev, Arsenii S; Yashunsky, Dmitry V; Brown, Alistair J P; Stappers, Mark H T; Gow, Neil A R; Arda, Ana; Jimenez-Barbero, Jesus; Nifantiev, Nikolay ...

Cell surface (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

2023-12-15

Targeting the Spike: Repurposing Mithramycin and Dihydroergotamine to Block SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Stagnoli, S; Macari, G; Corsi, P; Capone, B; Vidaurrazaga, A; Ereño-Orbea, J; Ardá, A; Polticelli, F; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Abrescia, NGA; Coluzza, I;

ACS OMEGA

2023-11-13

Synthesis of a glycan hairpin

Fittolani, G; Tyrikos-Ergas, T; Poveda, A; Yu, Y; Yadav, N; Seeberger, PH; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Delbianco, M;

NATURE CHEMISTRY

2023-07-03

Total Synthesis and Structural Studies of Zwitterionic Bacteroides fragilis Polysaccharide A1 Fragments

Wang, Z; Poveda, A; Zhang, QJ; Unione, L; Overkleeft, HS; van der Marel, GA; Jesús, JB; Codée, JDC;

JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY

2023-06-13

Structural insights into Siglec-15 reveal glycosylation dependency for its interaction with T cells through integrin CD11b

Lenza, MP; Egia-Mendikute, L; Antoñana-Vildosola, A; Soares, CO; Coelho, H; Corzana, F; Bosch, A; Manisha, P; Quintana, JI; Oyenarte, I; Unione, L; Moure, MJ; Azkargorta, M; Atxabal, U; Sobczak, ...

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS

2023-06-13

KR-12 Derivatives Endow Nanocellulose with Antibacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Role of Conjugation Chemistry

Blasi-Romero, A; Angström, M; Franconetti, A; Muhammad, T; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Göransson, U; Palo-Nieto, C; Ferraz, N;

ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES

2023-05-11

Blood pH Analysis in Combination with Molecular Medical Tools in Relation to COVID-19 Symptoms

Siebert, HC; Eckert, T; Bhunia, A; Klatte, N; Mohri, M; Siebert, S; Kozarova, A; Hudson, JW; Zhang, RY; Zhang, N; Li, L; Gousias, K; Kanakis, D; Yan, MD; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Kozár, T; Nifantiev, ...

BIOMEDICINES

2023-05-11

Molecular Recognition of Glycan-Bearing Glycomacromolecules Presented at Membrane Surfaces by Lectins: An NMR View

Lete, MG; Hoffmann, M; Schomann, N; Martínez-Castillo, A; Peccati, F; Konietzny, PB; Delgado, S; Snyder, NL; Jiménez-Oses, G; Abrescia, NGA; Ardá, A; Hartmann, L; Jiménez-Barbero, J;

ACS OMEGA

2023-05-03

SARS-CoV-2 Spike N-Terminal Domain Engages 9-O-Acetylated?2-8-Linked Sialic Acids

Tomris, I; Unione, L; Nguyen, L; Zaree, P; Bouwman, KM; Liu, L; Li, ZS; Fok, JA; Carrasco, MR; van der Woude, R; Kimpel, ALM; Linthorst, MW; Kilavuzoglu, SE; Verpalen, ECJM; Caniels, TG; Sanders, ...

ACS CHEMICAL BIOLOGY

2023-04-27

Highly Diastereoselective Multicomponent Synthesis of Spirocyclopropyl Oxindoles Enabled by Rare-Earth Metal Salts

Tallarida, MA; Olivito, F; Navo, CD; Algieri, V; Jiritano, A; Costanzo, P; Poveda, A; Moure, MJ; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Maiuolo, L; Jiménez-Osés, G; De Nino, A;

ORGANIC LETTERS

2023-04-26

Development of synthetic, self-adjuvanting, and self-assembling anticancer vaccines based on a minimal saponin adjuvant and the tumor-associated MUC1 antigen

Pifferi, C; Aguinagalde, L; Ruiz-de-Angulo, A; Sacristán, N; Baschirotto, PT; Poveda, A; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Anguita, J; Fernández-Tejada, A;

CHEMICAL SCIENCE

2023-03-01

Biomimetic Tweezers for N-Glycans: Selective Recognition of the Core GlcNAc2 Disaccharide of the Sialylglycopeptide SGP

Milanesi, F; Unione, L; Ardá, A; Nativi, C; Jiménez-Barbero, J; Roelens, S; Francesconi, O;

CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL

2023-02-24

New Glucosamine-Based TLR4 Agonists: Design, Synthesis, Mechanism of Action, and In Vivo Activity as Vaccine Adjuvants

Romerio, A; Gotri, N; Franco, AR; Artusa, V; Shaik, MM; Pasco, ST; Atxabal, U; Matamoros-Recio, A; Mínguez-Toral, M; Zalamea, JD; Franconetti, A; Abrescia, NGA; Jimenez-Barbero, J; Anguita, ...

JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY

2023-02-23

Revealing the Specificity of Human H1 Influenza A Viruses to Complex N-Glycans

Canales, A; Sastre, J; Orduña, JM; Spruit, CM; Pérez-Castells, J; Domínguez, G; Bouwman, KM; van der Woude, R; Cañada, FJ; Nycholat, CM; Paulson, JC; Boons, GJ; Jiménez-Barbero, J; de Vries, ...

JACS AU

2023-02-17

Exploring multivalent carbohydrate-protein interactions by NMR

Quintana, JI; Atxabal, U; Unione, L; Ardá, A; Jiménez-Barbero, J;

CHEMICAL SOCIETY REVIEWS

2023-02-08

Structures of the Inhibitory Receptor Siglec-8 in Complex with a High-Affinity Sialoside Analogue and a Therapeutic Antibody

Lenza, MP; Atxabal, U; Nycholat, C; Oyenarte, I; Franconetti, A; Quintana, JI; Delgado, S; Núñez-Franco, R; Marroquin, CTG; Coelho, H; Unione, L; Jiménez-Oses, G; Marcelo, F; Schubert, M; Paulson, ...

JACS AU

2022-12-23