Academic Profile

Date of joining NTU: November 2001
Associate Professor
BSc, MSc and PhD, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain)
Office: 04s-32
Telephone: 6316 2857

Professional Experience
Postdoctoral. University of Essx, UK
Postdoctoral. University of Cambridge,UK
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Assoc Prof Jaume Torres
Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences

Our work is focused on structural and functional aspects of membrane proteins, leading to understanding of their function and to development of drugs that will modify their activity.

One type of protein we explore is the aquaporins, the 'water channels' of the cell. Aquaporins selectively transport water and this makes them very useful for biotechnological applications such as water purification. In a medical context, aquaporins are found in most human cells and are involved in a vast array of pathological conditions, but no drugs are available for inhibition or activation. Therefore discovery of aquaporin inhibitors is one of our main interests.

Another system we study are small membrane proteins from enveloped viruses, which tend to oligomerize and form channels of different selectivities. Some examples are M2 from influenza A virus, p7 from hepatitis C virus, SH from respiratory syncytial virus and coronavirus envelope proteins. No structural data exists for the full length version of these proteins despite their small size (typically less than 100 amino acids). Further, their flexibility likely contributes to their multiple reported functions.
  • Biophysical characterization of membrane proteins

  • Cooperative modulation of E. coli aquaporin water channel by cardiolipin: a new paradigm for allosteric control of multi-subunit membrane proteins.

  • Feasibility Study to Fabricate Biomimetic Hollow Fiber Membranes Incorporating Human Aquaporins, Bacterial Porins and Viral Ion Channels for Biotechnological Applications

  • Functional and structural characterization of an exemplar potassium ion channel from Mycobacterium tuberculosis

  • Mechano-regulation of actin remodeling by during plant immune signaling

  • Scale-Up The Fabrication Of High Performance Aquaporin (AQP)-Based Biomimetic Flat-Sheet Membranes For Seawater Desalination

  • Scale-Up The Fabrication Of High Performance Aquaporin (AQP)-Based Biomimetic Hollow Fiber Membranes For Water Reuse And Desalination
  • Li, Y., Surya, W., Claudine, S., and Torres, J. (2014). Structure of a Conserved Golgi Complex-targeting Signal in Coronavirus Envelope Proteins. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(18), 12535-12549.

  • Nieto-Torres, J.L., DeDiego, M.L., Verdiá-Báguena, C., Jimenez-Guardeño, J.M., Regla-Nava, J.A., Fernandez-Delgado, R., Castaño-Rodriguez, C., Alcaraz, A., Torres, J. Aguilella, V., Enjuanes, L. (2014). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus envelope protein ion channel activity promotes virus fitness and pathogenesis. PLoS Pathogens, , (in press).

  • Gan, S.W., Surya, W., Vararattanavech, A., and Torres, J. (2014). Two different conformations in hepatitis C virus p7 protein account for proton transport and dye release. PLoS ONE, 9(1), e78494. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078494.

  • Gan, S.W., Tan, E., Lin, X., Yu, D., Wang, J., Tan, G., Vararattanavech, A., Yeo, C.Y., Soon, C.H., Soong, T.W., Pervushin, K., and Torres, J. (2012). The small hydrophobic protein of the human respiratory syncytial virus forms pentameric ion channels. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287, 24671-24689.

  • Pervushin, K., Tan, E., Parthasarathy, K., Lin, X., Jiang, F.L., Yu,, D., Vararatannavech, A., Soong, T.W., Liu, D.X., and Torres, J. (2009). Structure and inhibition of the SARS Coronavirus Envelope Protein Ion Channel. PLoS Pathogens, 5(7), e1000511.