Carolina Cardona Ramírez

LÍNEAS DE INVESTIGACIÓN:   Ciencias Médicas - Metabolismo del Nitrógeno - Biotecnología - Ciencias Ómicas - Errores Innatos del Metabolismo

FACULTAD:  Ciencias de la Salud



Doctora en Ciencias Bioquímicas por la Universidad de Málaga, Magíster en Química Avanzada, Preparación y Caracterización de Materiales, Licenciada en Biología y Química por la Universidad de Caldas. Amplia experiencia en estudios moleculares, celulares y proteómicos de isoenzimas glutaminasa en cerebro y cáncer. Sus líneas de investigación están orientadas a las ciencias médicas, biotecnología y ciencias ómicas. Sus investigaciones más recientes se enmarcan en el análisis de la expresión de la sulfatasa IDS mediante técnicas neuroquímicas, el aislamiento e identificación de su proteoma, y la validación  «in vivo» de interacciónes proteína-proteina mediante rastreo de doble híbrido en levaduras; proyectos desarrollados durante su estancia Postdoctoral en la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Actualmente, encabeza uno de los proyectos de investigación de la Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas y Ambientales, titulado «Estudio de los mecanismos moleculares de la acción antiproliferativa del Gibbilimbol B; mediante aproximaciones proteómicas y bioinformáticas».


Production and characterization of a human lysosomal recombinant iduronate‐2‐sulfatase produced in Pichia pastoris
Fecha de publicación: 06/04/2018

Hunter syndrome (Mucopolysaccharidosis II, MPS II) is an X‐linked lysosomal storage disease produced by the deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme iduronate‐2‐sulfatase (IDS). Currently, MPS II patients are mainly treated with enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) using recombinant enzymes produced in mammalian cells. As an alternative, several studies have shown the production of active and therapeutic forms of lysosomal proteins in microorganisms. In this paper, we report the production and characterization of a recombinant IDS produced in the yeast Pichia pastoris (prIDS). We evaluated the effect of culture conditions and gene sequence optimization on prIDS production. The results showed that the highest production of prIDS was obtained at oxygen‐limited conditions using a codon‐optimized IDS cDNA. The purified enzyme showed a final activity of 12.45 nmol mg−1 H−1 and an apparent molecular mass of about 90 kDa. The highest stability was achieved at pH 6.0, and prIDS also showed high stability in human serum. Noteworthy, the enzyme was taken up by culture cells in a dose‐dependent manner through mannose receptors, which allowed the delivery of the enzyme to the lysosome. In summary, these results show the potential of Pichia pastoris as a host to produce an IDS intended for a MPS II ERT.

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Nuclear Translocation of Glutaminase GLS2 in Human Cancer Cells Associates with Proliferation Arrest and Differentiation
Fecha de publicación: 08/02/2020

Glutaminase (GA) catalyzes the first step in mitochondrial glutaminolysis playing a key role in cancer metabolic reprogramming. Humans express two types of GA isoforms: GLS and GLS2. GLS isozymes have been consistently related to cell proliferation, but the role of GLS2 in cancer remains poorly understood. GLS2 is repressed in many tumor cells and a better understanding of its function in tumorigenesis may further the development of new therapeutic approaches. We analyzed GLS2 expression in HCC, GBM and neuroblastoma cells, as well as in monkey COS-7 cells. We studied GLS2 expression after induction of differentiation with phorbol ester (PMA) and transduction with the full- length cDNA of GLS2. In parallel, we investigated cell cycle progression and levels of p53, p21 and c-Myc proteins. Using the baculovirus system, human GLS2 protein was overexpressed, purified and analyzed for posttranslational modifications employing a proteomics LC-MS/MS platform. We have demonstrated a dual targeting of GLS2 in human cancer cells. Immunocytochemistry and subcellular fractionation gave consistent results demonstrating nuclear and mitochondrial locations, with the latter being predominant. Nuclear targeting was confirmed in cancer cells overexpressing c-Myc- and GFP-tagged GLS2 proteins. We assessed the subnuclear location finding a widespread distribution of GLS2 in the nucleoplasm without clear overlapping with specific nuclear substructures. GLS2 expression and nuclear accrual notably increased by treatment of SH-SY5Y cells with PMA and it correlated with cell cycle arrest at G2/M, upregulation of tumor suppressor p53 and p21 protein. A similar response was obtained by overexpression of GLS2 in T98G glioma cells, including downregulation of oncogene c-Myc. Furthermore, human GLS2 was identified as being hypusinated by MS analysis, a posttranslational modification which may be relevant for its nuclear targeting and/or function. Our studies provide evidence for a tumor suppressor role of GLS2 in certain types of cancer. The data imply that GLS2 can be regarded as a highly mobile and multilocalizing protein translocated to both mitochondria and nuclei. Upregulation of GLS2 in cancer cells induced an antiproliferative response with cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase.

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Mammalian glutaminase isozymes in brain
Fecha de publicación: 16/07/2013

Glutamine/glutamate homeostasis must be exquisitely regulated in mammalian brain and glutaminase (GA, E.C. is one of the main enzymes involved. The products of GA reaction, glutamate and ammonia, are essential metabolites for energy and biosynthetic purposes but they are also hazardous compounds at concentrations beyond their normal physiological thresholds. The classical pattern of GA expression in mammals has been recently challenged by the discovery of novel transcript variants and protein isoforms. Furthermore, the interactome of brain GA is also starting to be uncovered adding a new level of regulatory complexity. GA may traffic in brain and unexpected locations, like cytosol and nucleus, have been found for GA isoforms. Finally, the expression of GA in glial cells has been reported and its potential implications in ammonia homeostasis are discussed.

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Improvement in the production of the human recombinant enzyme N-acetylgalactosamine-6-sulfatase (rhGALNS) in Escherichia coli using synthetic biology approaches
Fecha de publicación: 09/07/2017

Previously, we demonstrated production of an active recombinant human N-acetylgalactosamine-6-sulfatase (rhGALNS) enzyme in Escherichia coli as a potential therapeutic alternative for mucopolysaccharidosis IVA. However, most of the rhGALNS produced was present as protein aggregates. Here, several methods were investigated to improve production and activity of rhGALNS. These methods involved the use of physiologically-regulated promoters and alternatives to improve protein folding including global stress responses (osmotic shock), overexpression of native chaperones, and enhancement of cytoplasmic disulfide bond formation. Increase of rhGALNS activity was obtained when a promoter regulated under σ s was implemented. Additionally, improvements were observed when osmotic shock was applied. Noteworthy, overexpression of chaperones did not have any effect on rhGALNS activity, suggesting that the effect of osmotic shock was probably due to a general stress response and not to the action of an individual chaperone. Finally, it was observed that high concentrations of sucrose in conjunction with the physiological-regulated promoter proU mod significantly increased the rhGALNS production and activity. Together, these results describe advances in the current knowledge on the production of human recombinant enzymes in a prokaryotic system such as E. coli, and could have a significant impact on the development of enzyme replacement therapies for lysosomal storage diseases.

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Identification of the iduronate-2-sulfatase proteome in wild-type mouse brain
Fecha de publicación: 01/05/2019

Iduronate-2-sulfatase (IDS) is a lysosomal enzyme involved in the metabolism of the glycosaminoglycans heparan (HS) and dermatan (DS) sulfate. Mutations on IDS gene produce mucopolysaccharidosis II (MPS II), characterized by the lysosomal accumulation of HS and DS, leading to severe damage of the central nervous system (CNS) and other tissues. In this study, we used a neurochemistry and proteomic approaches to identify the brain distribution of IDS and its interacting proteins on wild-type mouse brain. IDS immunoreactivity showed a robust staining throughout the entire brain, suggesting an intracellular reactivity in nerve cells and astrocytes. By using affinity purification and mass spectrometry we identified 187 putative IDS partners-proteins, mainly hydrolases, cytoskeletal proteins, transporters, transferases, oxidoreductases, nucleic acid binding proteins, membrane traffic proteins, chaperons and enzyme modulators, among others. The interactions with some of these proteins were predicted by using bioinformatics tools and confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation analysis and Blue Native PAGE. In addition, we identified cytosolic IDS-complexes containing proteins from predicted highly connected nodes (hubs), with molecular functions including catalytic activity, redox balance, binding, transport, receptor activity and structural molecule activity. The proteins identified in this study would provide new insights about IDS physiological role into the CNS and its potential role in the brain-specific protein networks.

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