Paola Fucini
Paola Fucini
Ikerbasque Research Professor
CryoEM of Biological Macromolecules Lab
Address: Bizkaia Science and Technology Park, building 800, Derio (Bizkaia)

Paola Fucini obtained her PhD degree in 1998, from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in München, for a thesis conducted at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, in Martinsried (Germany), under the supervision of Prof. Angelika Noegel and Tad Holak. With this first study she started her career in structural biology becoming interested in tackling the fascinating process of protein folding. During her postdoctoral studies, as a Research Associate in the group of Prof. Chris Dobson and Carol Robinson, first at the Oxford Center for Molecular Science (University of Oxford) in the period 1998-2001 and later in 2002, at the Chemical Laboratory at Cambridge University, UK, she developed an in vitro transcription/translation system for the preparation of nascent chain ribosomal complexes, suitable for Mass Spectrometry, NMR and Cryo-EM analysis. The system allowed pioneering studies on co-translational protein folding which she later pursued as an independent Group Leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, AG Ribosomen, in Dahlem, Berlin (2002-2007). There, after acquiring further expertise in ribosome X-ray crystallography, she started to developed three main research lines, namely (i) the mode of action of antibiotics and translational factors, (ii) the process of co-translational protein folding and sorting, (iii) ribosome biogenesis. These studies, consolidated as Professor in X-ray Crystallography for RNA and Protein complexes at the Cluster of Excellence for Macromolecular Complexes at the University of Frankfurt (2007-2012), are currently continued since 2013 as Research Professor in the ideal environment offered by the Centro de Investigación Cooperativa en Biociencias, CIC bioGUNE, en Derio, Bizkaia.

Latest Publications





The structural study of biological macromolecules is key to understand their functioning. By means of cryo-electron microscopy we can obtain 3D maps biological complexes under nearly physiological conditions, and the latest developments in the field allow for near-atomic resolution, providing detailed observation of molecules. The aim of the team is to describe the structure and the conformational changes associated with the biological function. We focus on motors involved in universal biological functions where interactions between protein and nucleic acids are essential. Structural studies of ribosomes during translation allow the understanding of the mechanisms which govern protein synthesis. In this process, interactions with translation factors and interference by several antibiotics are especially important. We also analyze the structure of flexible filamentous viruses, a group of plant pathogens, and large oligomeric enzymes such as pyruvate carboxylase.

Latest Publications

Structural Characterization of N-Linked Glycans in the Receptor Binding Domain of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein and their Interactions with Human Lectins

Lenza, MP;Oyenarte, I;Diercks, T;Quintana, JI;Gimeno, A;Coelho, H;Diniz, A;Peccati, F;Delgado, S;Bosch, A;Valle, M;Millet, O;Abrescia, NGA;Palazon, A;Marcelo, F;Jimenez-Oses, G;Jimenez-Barbero, ...



Photoacoustic effect applied on model membranes and living cells: direct observation with multiphoton excitation microscopy and long-term viability analysis

Galisteo-Gonzalez, F;Monasterio, BG;Gil, D;Valle, M;Goni, FM



Structure of Turnip mosaic virus and its viral-like particles

Cuesta, R;Yuste-Calvo, C;Gil-Carton, D;Sanchez, F;Ponz, F;Valle, M



Insights into real-time chemical processes in a calcium sensor protein-directed dynamic library

Canal-Martin, A;Sastre, J;Sanchez-Barrena, MJ;Canales, A;Baldominos, S;Pascual, N;Martinez-Gonzalez, L;Molero, D;Fernandez-Valle, ME;Saez, E;Blanco-Gabella, P;Gomez-Rubio, E;Martin-Santamaria, ...



Structural Homology Between Nucleoproteins of ssRNA Viruses

Valle, M (Valle, Mikel);

Sub-cellular biochemistry


Potyvirus virion structure shows conserved protein fold and RNA binding site in ssRNA viruses

Zamora, M(Zamora, Miguel);Mendez-Lopez, E(Mendez-Lopez, Eduardo);Agirrezabala, X(Agirrezabala, Xabier);Cuesta, R(Cuesta, Rebeca);Lavin, JL(Lavin, Jose L.);Sanchez-Pina, MA(Sanchez-Pina, M. Amelia);Aranda, ...

Science advances


Coating Graphene Oxide with Lipid Bilayers Greatly Decreases Its Hemolytic Properties

Monasterio, BG(Monasterio, Bingen G.);Alonso, B(Alonso, Beatriz);Sot, J(Sot, Jesus);Garcia-Arribas, AB(Garcia-Arribas, Aritz B.);Gil-Carton, D(Gil-Carton, David);Valle, M(Valle, Mikel);Zurutuza, ...

Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids


Does Ceramide Form Channels? The Ceramide-Induced Membrane Permeabilization Mechanism

Artetxe, I(Artetxe, Ibai);Ugarte-Uribe, B(Ugarte-Uribe, Begona);Gil, D(Gil, David);Valle, M(Valle, Mikel);Alonso, A(Alonso, Alicia);Garcia-Saez, AJ(Garcia-Seez, Ana J.);Goni, FM(Goni, Felix ...

Biophysical journal


Ribosome rearrangements at the onset of translational bypassing

Agirrezabala, X(Agirrezabala, Xabier);Samatova, E(Samatova, Ekaterina);Klimova, M(Klimova, Mariia);Zamora, M(Zamora, Miguel);Gil-Carton, D(Gil-Carton, David);Rodnina, MV(Rodnina, Marina V.);Valle, ...

Science advances


"Pyruvate Carboxylase, Structure and Function"

Valle, M(Valle, Mikel)

Sub-cellular biochemistry