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+56 41 220 3791
Edificio Biología Molecular, 1er Piso. Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular

Maximiliano Francisco Figueroa Yévenes

Biochemist. Doctor in Biological Sciences, cellular and molecular biology area.


I started my career studying the structure-function relationship in proteins during my bachelor, using as a model phycobiliproteins. Then, during my PhD, I moved to a new model, the Ric-8 protein. The expertise obtained allowed me to perform a postdoctoral training in structural biology at GIGA-R, Liège, Belgium. Currently, I am still working in structural biology, using tools such as artificial protein design, protein engineering and protein structure determination through experimental (X-Ray) and theoretical methods (modeling).



  • Bioquímica para Química y Farmacia
  • Biofísica Estrutural (electivo)
  • Ingeniería de Proteínas (electivo de mensión para Bioingeniería)
  • Bioquímica para Biología y Biología Marina
  • Bioquímica II para Bioquímica
  • Biofísica para Bioquímica
  • Biología Molecular e Ingeniería Genética para Pedagogía
  • Introducción a la Experimentación para Bioingeniería
  • Bioinformática y Estructura de Macromoléculas (Magister en Bioquímica y Bioinformática)
  • Genética Bacteriana (Magister en Microbiología)
  • Doctorado en Biotecnología Molecular


Plegamiento proteico en proteínas artificiales: Octarrelinas como modelo

Estudios de estructura-función en Ric-8 y su efecto sobre proteína G


– Characterization of Octarellin VII, an artificial protein without sequence restriction with an expected TIM-barrel fold. 2019-2020 Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux Arts de Bélgique (Bélgica). Investigador principal

– Implementación de una estación de caracterización espectroscópica para biomoléculas, zona centro-sur. FONDEQUIP 2018-2020. Investigador principal

– Paralytic Shellfish toxins tolerance and bioaccumulation mechanisms in Mytilus chilensis: are the transferrin-like proteins the saxitoxin binding proteins?. 2017 – 2019 VRID-ENLACE. Co investigador

– Estudio del efecto de prolinas en la estructura y plegamiento de la proteína artificial Octarrelina V.1. 2017-2019 VRID-Iniciación. Investigador principal

– Influence of mass transport and surface growth processes on protein crystal perfection. 2012-2015 European Space Agency – Prodex BELSPO (Bélgica). Co investigador

– Structural characterization and functionalization of Octarellins, artificial proteins with (β/α)8 fold. 2010 – 2015 WBI y BELSPO (Bélgica). Investigador principal (postdoctorado)

Publicaciones y Patentes

1. “Functional analysis of the Mn2+ requirement in the catalysis of ureohydrolases arginase and agmatinase – a historical perspective”
Uribe E, Reyes MB, Martinez I, Mella K, Salas M, Tarifeno-Saldivia E, Lopez V, Garcia-Robles M, Martinez-Oyanedel J, Figueroa M, Carvajal N, Schenk G
Accepted in Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry

2. “The γ33 subunit of R-phycoerythrin from Gracilaria chilensis has a typical double linked phycourobilin similar to β subunit”
Vásquez-Suárez, A, Lobos-González F, CronshawA, Sepúlveda-Ugarte J, Figueroa M, Dagnino-Leone J, Bunster M, Martínez-Oyanedel J.
PLoS One 2018, 13(04):e0195656

3. Metabolic strategies for the degradation of the neuromodulator agmatine in mammals
Benítez J, García D, Romero N, González A, Martínez-Oyanedel J, Figueroa M, Salas M, López V, García-Robles M, Dodd PR, Schenk G, Carvajal N, Uribe E.
Metabolism 2018, 81:35-44

4. “Structural models of the different trimers present in the core of phycobilisome from Gracilaria chilensis based on crystal structures and sequences”
Dagninol-Leone J*, Figueroa M*, Mella C, Vorphal MA, Kerff F, Vásquez AJ, Bunster M, Martínez-Oyanedel J.
PLoS One 2017, 12(5): e0177540 *equal contribution

5. “Biophysical characterization data of the artificial protein Octarellin V.1 and bindng test with its crystallization helpers”
Figueroa M, Vandenameele J, Goormaghtigh E, Valerio-Lepiniec M, Minard P, Matagne A, Van de Weerdt C.
Data Brief 2016, 8:1221-1226

6. “The unexpected structure of the designed protein Octarellin V.1 forms a challenge for protein structure prediction tools”
Figueroa M, Sleutel M, Vandevenne M, Parvizi G, Attout S, Jacquin O, Fisher A, Damblon C, Goormaghtigh E, Valerio-Lepiniec M, Urvoas A, Durand D, Pardon E, Steyaert J, Minard P, Maes D, Meiler J, Matagne A, Martial JA, Van de Weerdt C.
J Struct Biol 2016 195(1):19-30. Elected as journal cover

7. “Octarellin VI: Using Rosetta to design a putative artificial (beta/alpha)8 protein”
Figueroa M, Oliveira N, Lejeune A, Kaufmann KW, Dorr BM, Matagne A, Martial JA, Meiler J, Van de Weerdt C
PLoS ONE 2013, 8(8): e71858.

8. “in silico model of an antenna of a phycobilisome and energy transfer rates determination by theoretical Förster approach”
Figueroa M, Martínez-Oyanedel, Matamala AR, Dagnino-Leone J, Mella C, Fritz R, Sepúlveda-Ugarte J, Bunster M
Protein Sci. 2012, 21(12):1921-1928

9. “The basic property of Lys385 is important for potentiation of the human α1 glycine receptor by ethanol”
Castro PA, Figueroa M, Yevenes GE, San Martin LS, Aguayo LG
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2012, 340(2):339-349

10. “Molecular requirements for ethanol differential allosteric modulation of glycine receptors based on selective Gβγ modulation”
Yevenes GE, Moraga-Cid G, Avila A, Guzman L, Figueroa M, Peoples RW, Aguayo LG
J Biol Chem. 2010, 285(24):18939-18947

11. “Blockade of ethanol-induced potentiation of glycine receptors by a peptide that interferes with Gβγ binding”
Guzman L, Moraga-Cid G, Avila A, Figueroa M, Yevenes G, Fuentealba J, Aguayo LG
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009, 331(3):933-939

12. “Biophysical studies support a predicted superhelical structure with armadillo repeats for Ric-8”
Figueroa M, Hinrichs MV, Babbitt P, Bunster M, Martínez-Oyanedel J, Olate J
Protein Sci. 2009, 18(6):1139-1145

13. «The structure of 2 Å resolution of Phycocyanin from Gracilaria chilensis and the energy transfer network in a PC-PC complex»
Contreras-Martel C, Matamala A, Bruna C, Poo-Caamaño G, Almonacid D, Figueroa M, Martínez-Oyanedel J, Bunster M.
Biophys Chem. 2007, 125(2-3):388-396

14. “A semi empirical approach to the intra-phycocyanin and inter-phycocyanin fluorescence resonance energy-transfer pathways in phycobilisomes”
Matamala AR, Almonacid DE, Figueroa MF, Martínez-Oyanedel J, Bunster MC.
J Comput Chem. 2007, 28(7):1200-1207

15. «In situ photoacoustic spectroscopy of phycobiliproteins in Gracilaria chilensis”
Saavedra R, Figueroa M, Wandersleben T, Pouchucq L, Morales JE, Bunster M, Cruz-Orea A.
J. Phys. IV France 2005, 125: 765-767


Laboratorio de Biofísica Molecular


Reconocimientos y/o Premios