María Cecilia Rauch Briceño

Academic Training

  • Biochemist, Licenciado in Biochemistry, Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile, 1996
  • Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology, Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile, 2004
  • Postdoctorate in progress, Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile, 2005 to date.

Scientific Interests

Immunosuppressor drugs Cyclosporin A (CsA) and Tacrolymus (FK-506), are widely used in clinical practice, but we still do not know much about their therapeutic mechanism of action. The processes responsible for the undesirable neurological, hepatic and renal secondary effects that they produce are also largely unknown. It is thus evident that these compounds must affect important cellular processes, as well as the canonic mechanism for inhibition of cytokine transcription, which begins with binding of drugs to their cell receptors, known as cyclophilins.
Within the framework of my postdoctoral project in the Protein Secretion and Cell Biology laboratory (directed by Dr. Alejandro Claude), the aim is to establish that the immunosuppressor effect of these compounds on lymphocytes does not only occur through inhibition of IL-2 transcription, but also occurs by a modulation of the activity of ARF-GEF proteins, which would alter the cell secretion rate of proteins, including IL-2 and its membrane receptor. Elucidation of this mechanism may reveal interesting pharmacological alternatives in immunosuppressive therapy and for management of undesirable secondary effects. It may also lead to development of new immunosuppressor treatments, potentiating the effect of these drugs with the use of compounds such as brefeldin A, which inhibit GEF activity in these proteins. In this way, we hope to establish a sound basis for developing immunosuppressive therapies of lower cost, which are also less toxic.

Relevant Publications

- Otth, C., Torres, M, Ramírez, A., Fernández, J. C., Castro, M., Rauch, M. C., Brito, M., Yánez, A., Rodríguez-Gil, J.-E., Slebe J. C. and Concha, I.I.. “Novel identification of peripheral dopaminergic D2 receptor in rat male germ cells” J Cell Biochem 100, 141-150 (2007).

- Rauch, M.C., Ocampo, M.E., Bohle, J., Amthauer, R., Yánez, A., Rodríguez-Gil, J.E., Slebe, J.C., Reyes, J.G. and Concha, I.I. “Hexose transporters GLUT1 and GLUT3 are colocalized with hexokinase I in caveolae microdomains of rat spermatogenic cells” J Cell Physiol 207, 397-406 (2006).

- Brauchi, S., Rauch, M.C., Alfaro, I.E., Cea, C., Concha, I.I., Benos, D.J. and Reyes, J.G. (2005) “Kinetics, molecular basis and differentiation of L(+)-lactate transport in spermatogenic cells” Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 288: 523-534.

- Rauch, M.C., Brito, M., Zambrano, A., Espinoza, M., Pérez, M., Yáñez, A., Rivas, C.I., Slebe, J.C. and Concha, I.I. “Differential signaling for enhanced hexose uptake by IL-3 and IL-5 in male germ cells” Biochem J 381, 495-501. (2004).

- Zambrano, A., Noli, C., Rauch, M.C., Werner, E., Brito, M., Amthauer, R., Slebe, J.C., Vera, J.C and Concha, I.I. “Expression of GM-CSF receptors in, germinal cells and their role in signaling for increased hexose and vitamin C transport” J Cell Biochem 80, 625-634. (2001).

- Angulo, C., Rauch, M.C., Droppelmann, A., Reyes, A.M., Slebe, J.C., Delgado-López, F., Guaiquil, V.H., Vera, J.C., and Concha, I.I. "Hexose transporter expression and function in mammalian spermatozoa: Cellular localization and transport of hexoses and vitamin C" J Cell Biochem 71, 189-203. (1998).