Our interest is to study the protozoan Entamoeba histolytica. This parasite causes amoebic dysentery and amebic liver abscess, which are associated with significant morbidity and mortality throughout the world, especially in developing countries. In our laboratory we identify and characterize several molecules that participate in survival and/or in the pathogenic mechanism of this parasite, among these are: a) the adhesin and the protease that form the EhCPADH complex, which is involved in adhesion and invasion of the host tissues; (b) The EhRabB protein, a small GTPase that is involved in the phagocytosis of the target cells; and (c) ion channels and ionic pumps involved in cellular homeostasis. In addition, we are interested in studying the mechanisms involved in the regulation of gene expression in this microorganism, identifying and characterizing both transcriptional factors and enzymes involved in the epigenetic regulation.
On the other hand, we are also interested in studying odontogenic tumors, neoplasms which derive from the forming tissues of the dental organ and its remaining structures. The reasons of the molecular pathogenesis and the peculiar biological behavior of the different types of odontogenic tumors do not have been clearly elucidated, despite the high rate of recurrence and the possibility of metastasis. In the laboratory we carry out proteomics studies on two types of odontogenic tumors: ameloblastoma, from epithelial origin and odontogenic myxoma, from mesenchymal origin. In addition, cell cultures of these and other odontogenic lesions are being obtained to establish in vitro systems that allow a greater advance in the study of these pathologies.