Carlos Perez Arques

Heitman – Lab Members

Carlos Perez Arques headshotPostdoctoral Fellow
312 CARL Building
Durham, NC 27710
Phone: 919.684.3036
Fax: 919.684.2790

Research Interest
I graduated from the University of Murcia in Spain, embarked on a project that combined informatics -my favorite hobby since I was a child- and my research experience in genetics and microbiology acquired as an undergraduate. My work involved analyzing new generation sequencing data to explain RNAi-based gene regulation of essential biological processes in ancient fungi; especially, how the RNAi machinery of the early-diverging fungus Mucor circinelloides contributes to promoting virulence and host invasion. I discovered that the different RNAi components in this fungus work in distinct RNAi pathways, achieving a fine-tuned silencing balance to regulate fungal pathogenesis and genome integrity. During these studies, I was introduced to centromere biology and was fascinated by it. I took part in revealing the first early-diverging fungal centromeres and was amazed by their unusual mosaic architecture that resembles point and regional centromeres.

Recent reports tell us that fungal pathogens can exploit their RNAi machinery to gain transient antifungal drug resistance. These resistances are unstable and sustained by RNAi as long as the antifungal stress is present, which makes them extremely difficult to detect. As a postdoctoral associate, I plan to put all my experience in RNAi, genome biology, and virulence to focus on RNAi-based antifungal drug resistance. I aim to understand how these RNAi-based resistances arise, which are the major RNAi components involved in generating them, and if there are other epigenetic marks associated with them.

Personal Interest
In my spare time, I love building themed LEGO sets, the bigger the better, from my favorite movie sagas. I am a big science fiction and fantasy fan, but I also like classic films -particularly film noir and western- and old jidaigeki and chanbara movies. Also, I like to play games, either video or board games, and going out once in a while. Especially, if there is food involved.

Publication list

Pérez-Arques, C.*, Navarro-Mendoza, M.I.*, Murcia, L., Navarro, E., Garre, V., Nicolás, F.E. (2020). A non-canonical RNAi pathway controls virulence and genome stability in Mucorales. PLoS Genetics 16, e1008611. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1008611

Nicolás, F E., Murcia, L., Navarro, E., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Pérez-Arques, C., Garre, V. (2020). Mucorales species and macrophages. Journal of Fungi 6, 94. doi:10.3390/jof6020094

Valle-Maldonado, M.I., Patiño-Medina, J.A., Pérez-Arques, C., Reyes-Mares, N.Y., Jácome-Galarza, I.E., Ortiz-Alvarado, R., Vellanki, S., Ramirez-Diaz, M.I., Lee, S.C., Garre, V., Meza-Carmen, V. (2020). The heterotrimeric G-protein beta subunit Gpb1 controls hyphal growth under low oxygen conditions through the protein kinase A pathway and is essential for virulence in the fungus Mucor circinelloides. Cellular Microbiology, e13236. doi:10.1111/cmi.13236

Lax, C., Pérez-Arques, C., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Cánovas-Márquez, J.T., Tahiri, G., Pérez-Ruiz, J.A., Osorio-Concepción, M., Murcia-Flores, L., Navarro, E., Garre, V., Nicolás, F.E. (2020). Genes, pathways, and mechanisms involved in the virulence of Mucorales. Genes 11, 317. doi:10.3390/genes11030317

Lebreton, A., Corre, E., Jany, J.L., Brillet-Guéguen, L., Pérez-Arques, C., Garre, V., Monsoor, M., Debuchy, R., Meur, C., Coton, E., Barbier, G., Meslet-Cladière, L. (2020). Comparative genomics applied to Mucor species with different lifestyles. BMC Genomics 21, 135. doi:10.1186/s12864-019-6256-2

Patiño-Medina, J.A., Reyes-Mares, N.Y., Valle-Maldonado, M.I., Jácome-Galarza, I.E., Pérez-Arques, C., Nuñez-Anita, R.E., Campos-García, J., Anaya-Martínez, V., Ortiz-Alvarado, R., Ramírez-Díaz, M.I., Lee, S.C., Garre, V., Meza-Carmen, V. (2019). Heterotrimeric G-alpha subunits Gpa11 and Gpa12 define a transduction pathway that control spore size and virulence in Mucor circinelloides. PLoS ONE 14, e0226682. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0226682

Navarro-Mendoza, M.I.*, Pérez-Arques, C.*, Panchal, S., Nicolás, F.E., Mondo, S.J., Ganguly, P., Pangilinan, J., Grigoriev, I. V., Heitman, J., Sanyal, K., Garre, V. (2019). Early diverging fungus Mucor circinelloides lacks centromeric histone CENP-A and displays a mosaic of point and regional centromeres. Current Biology 29, 1–12. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.024

Patiño-Medina, J.A., Valle-Maldonado, M.I., Maldonado-Herrera, G., Pérez-Arques, C., Jácome-Galarza, I.E., Díaz-Pérez, C., Díaz-Pérez, A.L., Araiza-Cervantes, C.A., Villagomez-Castro, J.C., Campos-García, J., Ramírez Díaz, M.I., Garre, V., Meza-Carmen, V. (2019). Role of Arf-like proteins (Arl1 and Arl2) of Mucor circinelloides in virulence and antifungal susceptibility. Fungal Genetics and Biology 129, 40–51. doi:10.1016/j.fgb.2019.04.011

Pérez-Arques, C.*, Navarro-Mendoza, M.I.*, Murcia, L., Lax, C., Martínez-García, P., Heitman, J., Nicolás, F.E., Garre, V. (2019). Mucor circinelloides thrives inside the phagosome through an Atf-mediated germination pathway. mBio 10, 1–15. doi:10.1128/mBio.02765-18

Nicolás, F.E., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Pérez-Arques, C., López-García, S., Navarro, E., Torres-Martínez, S., Garre, V. (2018). Molecular tools for carotenogenesis analysis in the mucoral Mucor circinelloides. In Microbial Carotenoids. Methods in Molecular Biology, C. Barreiro and J. L. Barredo, eds. (Humana Press, New York, NY). doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-8742-9_13

Patiño-Medina, J.A., Maldonado-Herrera, G., Pérez-Arques, C., Alejandre-Castañeda, V., Reyes-Mares, N.Y., Valle-Maldonado, M.I., Campos-García, J., Ortiz-Alvarado, R., Jácome-Galarza, I.E., Ramírez-Díaz, M.I., Garre, V., Meza-Carmen, V. (2018). Control of morphology and virulence by ADP-ribosylation factors (Arf) in Mucor circinelloides. Current Genetics 64, 853–869. doi:10.1007/s00294-017-0798-0

Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Pérez-Arques, C., Murcia, L., Martínez-García, P., Lax, C., Sanchis, M., Capilla, J., Nicolás, F.E., Garre, V. (2018). Components of a new gene family of ferroxidases involved in virulence are functionally specialized in fungal dimorphism. Scientific Reports 8, 7660. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26051-x

Vellanki, S., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Garcia, A., Murcia, L., Perez-Arques, C., Garre, V., Nicolas, F.E., Lee, S.C. (2018). Mucor circinelloides: Growth, maintenance, and genetic manipulation. Current Protocols in Microbiology 49, e53. doi:10.1002/cpmc.53

López-Fernández, L., Sanchis, M., Navarro-Rodríguez, P., Nicolás, F.E., Silva-Franco, F., Guarro, J., Garre, V., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Pérez-Arques, C., Capilla, J. (2018). Understanding Mucor circinelloides pathogenesis by comparative genomics and phenotypical studies. Virulence 9, 707–730. doi:10.1080/21505594.2018.1435249

Trieu, T.A., Navarro-Mendoza, M.I., Pérez-Arques, C., Sanchis, M., Capilla, J., Navarro-Rodriguez, P., Lopez-Fernandez, L., Torres-Martínez, S., Garre, V., Ruiz-Vázquez, R.M., Nicolás, F.E. (2017). RNAi-based functional genomics identifies new virulence determinants in mucormycosis. PLoS Pathogens 13, e1006150. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1006150

* equally contributing authors