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Cellular communication laboratory

Dr.  Ayelén González Montoro

Dr. Ayelén González Montoro

Contact details

Cells can carry out many biochemical processes simultaneously by separating them into specialized organelles. These compartments need to communicate efficiently with each other for the cell to function and respond to the environment in a coordinated manner. A major player in this logistics is the network of contacts formed between organelles. We aim to understand how these contacts are formed, how they function and their role in the physiology of the organelles and of the organism.

Research topics

  • Architecture and molecular function of membrane contact sites
  • Signaling pathways regulating membrane contact site formation
  • Organization and dynamics of proteins within contact sites
  • Integration of organelle function into cell metabolism
  • Molecular mechanisms of lipid homeostasis

Model systemes

  • Baker yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Purified proteins in vitro
  • Isolated organelles


  • Yeast genetics
  • Live fluorescence microscopy
  • Protein purification, interaction analysis and activity assays.
  • Mass spectrometry (lipidomics and proteomics)
  • High throughput genetic screening

Selected publications

González Montoro A, Vargas Duarte P, Auffarth K, Walter S, Fröhlich F, Ungermann C (2021) Subunit exchange among endolysosomal tethering complexes is linked to contact site formation at the vacuole. Molecular biology of the cell. MBoC 32:22,  doi: 10.1091/mbc.E21-05-0227 pdf

González Montoro A, Auffarth K, Hönscher C, Bohnert M, Becker T, Warscheid B, Reggiori F, van der Laan M, Fröhlich F, Ungermann C (2018) Vps39 interacts with Tom40 to establish one of two functionally distinct vacuole–mitochondria contact sites. Developmental Cell 45:5, doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.05.011. pdf

González Montoro A, Bigliani G, Valdez Taubas J. The shape of the transmembrane domain is a novel endocytosis signal for single-spanning membrane proteins (2017). J Cell Sci, 130(22):3829-3838. doi: 10.1242/jcs.202937 pdf