NFAT proteins and immune cells
The Research Group on NFAT Proteins and Immune Cells is led by Dr. Cristina López Rodríguez and Dr. José Aramburu. Their interests are centered on studiying the role of NFAT transcription factors in the regulation of gene expression in immune cells and the influence of stress adaptation responses in immune cell functions. They have focused their recent work on NFAT5, a distinct Rel-like protein with hybrid features between NF-κB and the calcineurin-regulated NFATc, to whose characterization our group has contributed significantly. We have generated NFAT5-deficient mouse models to elucidate specific roles for NFAT5 in the immune system, identified pathways connecting cell growth-regulatory mechanisms with stress adaptation responses, and uncovered an unsuspected role for NFAT5 in anti-pathogen defenses. On the other hand, they also focus their work on understanding how immune cells interpret specific stress signals in different growth and differentiation contexts to modify their functional capabilities in an organism.