Investigating the essential roles of Ubiquitin-like molecules and the Ubiquitin Proteasome System

Rosa Barrio


  • 1993: PhD in Sciences at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain.
  • 1988: BSc in Biology at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain.

Research Appointments

  • 2004: Group Leader at CIC bioGUNE, Bilbao, Spain.
  • 2003: Ramon y Cajal Fellow at the Center of Molecular Biology " Severo Ochoa", Madrid, Spain.
  • 1995: Postdoctoral Fellow at EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany.
  • 1993: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at IMBB, Heraklion, Greece.

Research Interests

We are interested on the role of the Small Ubiquitin-like Molecule (SUMO) during development, more specifically during the processes of steroidogenesis and tissue growth and fpatterning.

  • Using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system, we investigate the effect of SUMOylation on the synthesis of steroid hormones during metamorphosis.
  • We also investigate the effect of SUMOylation on the role of the transcription factors of the Spalt-like family (SALL), which are involved in growth and pattern formation in metazoans

SUMOylations SALL transcription factor localizes in subnuclear domains (arrows) in SUMOylation deficient D. melanogaster tissue.

Selected Publications

Kohlhase J*, Barrio R and Sutherland JD. SALL1 and the Townes-Brocks syndrome. Inborn Errors of Development, Oxford University Press USA, Chapter 25, in press.

Kohlhase J*, Barrio R and Sutherland JD. SALL4 and the Duane Radial-Ray/ Okihiro and Acro-renal-ocular syndromes. Inborn Errors of Development, Oxford University Press USA, Chapter 123, in press

Gradilla AC, Gonzalez E, Seijo I, Andrés G, Bischoff M, González-Mendez L, Sánchez V, Callejo A, Ibáñez C, Guerra M, Ortigao-Farias JR, Sutherland JD, Gonzalez M, Barrio R, Falcon-Perez JM, Guerrero I*. Exosomes as Hedgehog carriers in cytoneme-mediated transport and secretion. Nature Communications, 5:5649 (2014)

Cantera R* and Barrio R. Do the genes of the innate immune response contribute to neuroprotection in Drosophila? Journal of Innate Immunity, 7(1):3-10 (2014)

Rodriguez MS, Egaña I, Lopitz-Otsoa F, Aillet F, Dorronroso A, Lobato-Gil S, Ferrin I, Sutherland JD, Barrio R, Trigueros C and Lang V*. The RING ubiquitin E3 RNF114 interacts with A20 and modulates NF-κB activity and T cell activation. Cell Death & Disease, 5, e1399 (2014)

Cantera R*, Ferreiro MJ, Aransay AM and Barrio R.* Global gene expression shift during the transition from neural development to neuronal differentiation in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS One, 9(5):e97703 (2014)

Lang V, Pallara C, Zabala A, Lobato-Gil S, Lopitz-Otsoa F, Farras R, Hjerpe R, Torres-Ramos M, Zabaleta L, Blattner C, Hay RT, Barrio R, Carracedo A, Fernandez-Recio J, Rodriguez MS*, Aillet F. Tetramerization-defects of p53 result in aberrant ubiquitylation and transcriptional activity. Molecular Oncology, 8(5):1026-42 (2014)

Lee SY, Ramirez J, Franco M, Lectez B, Gonzalez M, Barrio R, Mayor U. Ube3a, the E3 ubiquitin ligase causing Angelman syndrome and linked to autism, regulates protein homeostasis through the proteasomal shuttle Rpn10. Cell Mol Life Sci. 71(14):2747-58. doi: 10.1007/s00018-013-1526-7 (2014)

Talamillo A, Herboso L, Pirone L, Pérez C, González M, Sánchez J, Mayor U, Lopitz-Otsoa F, Rodriguez M.S., Sutherland J.D. and Barrio R. Scavenger Receptors Mediate the Role of SUMO and Ftz-f1 in Drosophila Steroidogenesis. PLoS Genet 9(4): e1003473. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003473 (2013)

Ferreiro, M.J., Pérez, C., Rodríguez-Ezpeleta, N., Aransay, A.M., Barrio, R. and Cantera, R. ; Genome-wide analysis of a reversible neurodegenerative process in Drosophila reveals potential neuroprotective genes. BMC Genomics 13, 483 (2012)

de Navas, L. F., Reed, H., Akam, M., Barrio, R., Alonso, C. R. and Sánchez-Herrero, E.; Integration of RNA processing and expression level control modulates the function of the Drosophila Hox gene Ultrabithorax during adult development. Development 138, 107-116 (2011)

Herboso, L., Talamillo, A., Pérez, C. and Barrio, R.; Expression of the Scavenger Receptor Class B type I (SR-BI) family in Drosophila melanogaster. International Journal of Developmental Biology 55, 6 603-611 (2011)

Sánchez J, Talamillo A, Gonzalez M, Sánchez-Pulido L, Jimenez S, Pirone L, Sutherland JD, Barrio R. Drosophila Sal and Salr are transcriptional repressors. Biochemical Journal, 438: 437-445 (2011)

González M, Martín-Ruíz I, Jiménez S, Pirone L, Barrio R, Sutherland JD; Generation of stable Drosophila cell lines using multicistronic vectors. Scientific Reports 1, 75 (2011)

Talamillo, A., Martín D., Hjerpe, R., Sánchez, J. and Barrio, R.; SUMO and ubiquitin modifications during steroid hormones synthesis and function. Biochem Soc Trans 39, 54-9 (2010)

Sánchez, J., Talamillo, A., Lopitz-Otsoa, F., Pérez, C., Hjerpe, R., Sutherland, J. D., Herboso, L., Rodríguez, M. S. and Barrio, R. Sumoylation modulates the activity of spalt-like proteins during wing development in Drosophila. JBC 285, 33 25841-9 (2010)

de Celis, J. F. and Barrio, R.; Regulation and function of Spalt during animal development. International Journal of Developmental Biology 53(8-10), 1385-98 (2009)

Talamillo, A., Sánchez, J., Cantera, R., Pérez, C., Martín D., Caminero, E. and Barrio, R. Smt3 is required for Drosophila melanogaster metamorphosis. Development 135, 9 1659-68 (2008)

Talamillo A., Sánchez J., Barrio R.; Functional analysis of the sumoylation pathway in Drosophila. Biochem Soc Trans 36, 868-73 (2008)

Barrio R, López-Varea A, Casado M, de Celis JF; Characterization of dSnoN and its relationship to Decapentaplegic signalling in Drosophila. Dev. Biol. 306, 1 66-81 (2007)

Letizia, A., Barrio, R. and Campuzano, S.; Antagonistic and cooperative action of the EGFR and Dpp pathways in the territorial specification of the wing imaginal disc through regulation of Iro-C expression. Development 134 (7), 1337-46 (2007)

Barrio R, de Celis JF. Regulation of spalt expression in the Drosophila wing blade in response to the Decapentaplegic signaling pathway. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 101, 16 6021-6 (2004)

Rusten, T. E., Cantera, R., Urban, J., Technau, G., Kafatos, F. C. and Barrio, R. Spalt restricts EGFR mediated induction of chordotonal precursors in the embryonic PNS of Drosophila. Development 128: 711-722 (2001)

de Celis, J. F., Barrio, R. and Kafatos, F. C. A gene complex acting downstream of dpp in Drosophila wing morphogenesis. Nature 381: 421-424 (1996)




Lucia Pirone


Manuel Rodriguez

Ugo Mayor


In vivo requirements of the UBL modifier SUMO on SALL proteins function during steroidogenesis: D. melanogaster as a model system.