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In its 85-year story, the mission of our institute has been to carry out excellence research in fundamental and applied physical chemistry, contributing to the scientific training of several generations of researchers at the highest level. Our vision is to be an international reference in multidisciplinary research focused on the resolution of the present challenges of our society in the fields of health, biotechnology, new materials, and environment.


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June 2018
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Orrego-et-alA new method for connecting the dynamics and function of proteins immobilized on agarose beads is demonstrated. The mobility of proteins was quantified in any location of agarose beads, at different depths (0-100 microns; 500-600 nm spatial resolution), from fluorescence anisotropy optical sections of the beads. Protein fluorescence anisotropy informs about restriction of the global rotation of the immobilized proteins onto a solid surface. A general protein mobility scale was defined, which is independent of instrumental settings and fluorescent probes. Protein mobility is very sensitive to the chemistry of immobilization, as well as to the hydrogel porous microstructure resulting from the immobilization reactions. In this way better immobilization processes may be designed, leading to more stable heterogeneous biocatalysts with interest for the biodiesel and food industries.

Orrego AH, García C, Mancheño JM, Guisán JM, Lillo MP, López-Gallego F
"Two-Photon Fluorescence Anisotropy Imaging to Elucidate the Dynamics and the Stability of Immobilized Proteins" J Phys Chem B (2016) 120, 485-491.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.5b12385


web-enCrystallography tells us about the nature of crystals and how they show us the shape and dimensions of molecules, hormones, nucleic acids, enzymes, proteins..., what their properties are and how they work in a chemical reaction, in a test tube, or inside of a living being. The Department of Crystallography and Structural Biology offers an internationally recognized website for learning Crystallography:
Written in two languages (Spanish and English), this website was announced by the International Union of Crystallography ( and selected by this institution as one of the most interesting sites for learning crystallography ( It was also offered as such in the commemorative web for 2014 International Year of Crystallography (, and suggested as the educational website to learn about crystals, diffraction and crystal structure determination in the brochure ( prepared for the Crystal-Growing competition for UNESCO Associated Schools. It is also offered as one of the best learning online tools by several US universities (see for example:, As it can be seen through any of its independent visitor counters it collects over 1,500 different visitors a day, distributed by all countries, but especially US, Europe, India and Latin America.


Last December 2015 died in Madrid Prof. R. Moreno, a leading specialist on historic scientific instruments, who carefully classified the documentation and restored many historic instruments exposed in our Institute and other CSIC's centers.


ozono tropicalTropospheric ozone is an important greenhouse gas. Ozone has exerted an increase in the global radiative forcing of climate almost equal to that of methane over the period between 1750 and 2011. The largest contribution to the climatic influence of ozone is due to its increase in the tropical troposphere. A recent international study, with participation of scientists from the Dept. of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate of this Institute, shows that ozone concentration in the mid-troposphere (8-10 km) over the western Pacific is three times larger than in the tropics. From the analysis of satellite data, aircraft observations and climate modeling reported here it was concluded that fires in tropical Africa and Southeast Asia are the dominant source of high ozone over the western Pacific. High ozone and low water structures in the tropical western Pacific are commonly attributed to transport from the stratosphere or mid-latitudes. However, these observations suggest a larger role for biomass burning in the radiative forcing of climate in the remote tropical western Pacific than is commonly appreciated.

D. C. Anderson, J. M. Nicely, R. J. Salawitch, T. P. Canty, R. R. Dickerson, T. F. Hanisco, G. M. Wolfe, E. C. Apel, E. Atlas, T. Bannan, S. Bauguitte, N. J. Blake, J. F. Bresch, T. L. Campos, L. J. Carpenter, M. D. Cohen, M. Evans, R. P. Fernandez, B. H. Kahn, D. E. Kinnison, S. R. Hall, N. R. Harris, R. S. Hornbrook, J.-F. Lamarque, M. Le Breton, J. D. Lee, C. Percival, L. Pfister, R. R. Pierce, D. D. Riemer, A. Saiz-Lopez, B. J. Stunder, A. M. Thompson, K. Ullmann, A. Vaughan and A. J. Weinheimer. A pervasive role for biomass burning in tropical high ozone/low water structures. Nature Communications (2015).



figura-nota-PNASDrought and salinity are the major threats to crop productivity at a worldwide scale. A fundamental portion of the plant response to these environmental stresses occurs at the cell membrane, where the molecular machinery to preserve cell turgor and the appropriate balance of intracellular ions is found. The C2-domain ABA-related (CAR) family of proteins contributes to these processes by delivering the regulatory proteins controlling this machinery from other cell compartments to the cell membrane. Our analysis provides an explanation on how CAR proteins specifically reach a particular membrane place to develop their function and trigger the plant defense mechanism against stress.

Maira Diaz, Maria Jose Sanchez-Barrena, Juana Maria Gonzalez-Rubio, Lesia Rodriguez, Daniel Fernandez, Regina Antoni, Cristina Yunta, Borja Belda-Palazon, Miguel Gonzalez-Guzman, Marta Peirats-Llobet, Margarita Menendez, Jasminka Boskovic, Jose A. Marquez, Pedro L. Rodriguez and Armando Albert. "Calcium-dependent oligomerization of CAR proteins at cell membrane modulates ABA signaling", PNAS (2015).
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1512779113.



Angélica Partida Hanon, PhD student from the department of Biological Physical Chemistry has been awarded with one of the two Universia Foundation scholarships intended for the completion of the PhD thesis.

Universia Foundation ( is a private entity of Santander group which promotes the access to higher education and qualified employment for people with disabilities in Spain. 2015’s call included two scholarships intended to carry doctoral studies, which are allocated based on the merits of the applicant and the host research group. One of them have been granted to Angelica Partida Hanon, graduated in Biological Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid, who joined the group of Structure, Dynamics and Protein Interactions by NMR in September of 2014, for her doctoral studies on the applications of NMR to determine the structural basis of the antigen-antibody recognition in two model systems: immunogenic peptides derived from the gp41 glycoprotein of HIV-1 virus and the allergenic protein “Ani s 1” of Anisakis simplex



Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococus), a superbug bacteria, is a leading cause of bacterial sepsis and the most frequent ethiologic-agent in the community adquired pneumoniae and non-epidemic bacterial meningitis. LytB, a member of the family of pneumococcal choline-binding protein, is responsible for the physical separation of daugther cells after division and participates in nasopharinx colonization and invasion, biofilm formation and evasion from the host immunity. Because of this, LytB is considered a putative vaccine/drug target. Here, IQFR and CIB investigators, in collaboration with scientists from the Universities of Newcastle (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) and Notre Dame (Indiana, USA), have shown that LytB is a glucosaminidase and the basis for its high substrate specificity are unveiled. The catalytic mechanism and model of binding to the bacterial peptidoglycan together with determinants of its polar localization on pneumococcal cells is also advanced. Reported data provide a better understanding of the complex physiological role played by LytB in the bacterium and the host-pathogen interaction.


Rico-Lastres P, Díez-Martínez R, Iglesias-Bexiga M, Bustamante N, Aldridge C, Hesek D, Lee M, Mobashery S, Gray J, Vollmer W, García P, Menéndez M. 2015. “Substrate recognition and catalysis by LytB, a pneumococcal peptidoglycan hydrolase involved in virulence”. Sci Rep. 5:16198. doi: 10.1038/srep16198.


Within the "Julio Palacios Project", Professor Francisco González de Posada will give a colloquium on "The problem of time: Newton's and Einstein's concepts", next Monday, November 23rd, at 12:00h at the Institute of Physical Chemistry "Rocasolano" (CSIC). The colloquium is directed to public in general, students, professors, academicians and researchers.

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