Tetraspanins are a family of four transmembrane proteins that ensemble microdomains at the plasma membrane and membranes in the endosomal compartments. Our and others´ data suggest that they play an important role in EV cargo selection and have been widely used as EV markers. We have, on the one hand, used our tetraspanin-based tools for the development of different EV-related techniques, and on the other, studied their role in EV formation. These studies led us to describe a new role for tetraspanins as regulators of non-canonical mitophagy and, therefore, cell metabolic fitness.
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Dr. Maria Yáñez earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid (UAM). As a postdoctoral researcher, she was in charge of setting up the first confocal facility able to perform time-lapse microscopy in living cells in Spain. Since 2014, she is an associate professor in the department of molecular biology at the UAM. Her main research interest focuses on the biology and functionality of tetraspanins, important proteins involved in intracellular connections and in extracellular vesicles, and exosome’s biogenesis. Her scientific production accounts for more than 50 publications, and she is one of the most cited Spanish female scientists, as recently reported by the Spanish National Research Council. In 2011, she was a founder member of the International Society for Extracellular vesicles (ISEV) and, a year later, she was part of the founding committee of the Spanish Group of Research in Extracellular vesicles (GEIVEX).
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