+30 24410 64782

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Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 15:00-17:00


Theodoros Goulas

Associate professor

Structural and Functional Biochemistry, Molecular Biology


Scientific research fields

Integrative structural and functional biochemistry of host-microbiome interactions.
Microbial cell factories in functional food biotechnology.
Genetic engineering of enzymes for biotechnological applications.

Brief CV

My research interests were mostly focused on microbes, common residents of the gastrointestinal tract (Bifidobacterium bifidum and Escherichia coli), the oral cavity (Porphyromonas gingivalis and Tannerella forsythia) or opportunistic pathogens (Bacteroides fragilis and Bacillus anthracis) all of them tightly related to the human health. All these microbes use a plethora of mechanisms to enter and establish in the human body, to escape from the host defence system, to modify the environment for their own benefit and to extract materials for growth and propagation. By using a combination of structural (X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy) biochemical, microbiological and molecular approaches several protein-based mechanisms were analysed in multi-perspective studies permitting to reveal their function and attribute a biological role. My work was focused mainly on metallopeptidases (e.g. fragilysin) and different types of peptidase inhibitors (e.g. α2-mactoglobulin and serpins) but also on other virulence factors or modifying enzymes (e.g. arginine deiminases and galactosidases) of microbial or human origin. Part of my research activity was also dedicated on proteins embedded to the cell membranes, both α-helical-bundles and β-barrels, including a peptidase from E. coli and an unknown protein from Helicobacter pylori. At the same time, part of my work has technological impact that is evident by 3 international Patents derived from my PhD thesis currently exploited by a biotechnological company for functional ingredients production. Some others led to the development of biotechnological tools such as a series of vectors for protein expression and purification (pCri System) and a novel peptidase as powerful complement to trypsin for proteomic analysis (Lysarginase).

Extended CV


  • Molecular Biology
  • Bioinformatics, Biochemistry
  • Molecular Diagnostics in Food Science

Selected publications

  • Structure, function and latency regulation of a bacterial enterotoxin potentially derived from a mammalian adamalysin/ADAM xenolog.Goulas T, Arolas JL, and Gomis-Rüth FX. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108: 1856-1861 (2011)
  • Lysarginase mirrors trypsin for protein C-terminal and methylation-site identification. Huesgen PF, Lange PF, Rogers L, Kleifeld O, Goulas T, Gomis-Rüth FX and Overall C. Nat Methods 12: 55-58; (2015)
  • Structural and functional insights into Escherichia coli alpha-2 macroglobulin endopeptidase snap-trap inhibition. Garcia-Ferrer I, Arêde P, Gómez-Blanco J, Luque D, Duquerroy S, Castón JR, **Goulas T and Gomis-Rüth FX. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 112: 8291-8295; (2015)(highlighted by the Spanish Biophysical Society as one of four Papers of the Month by SBE Members in July; Biofísica Magazine, issue #2, May-August 2015; selected by the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as The Article of the Month, January 2016)
  • Structure and mechanism of a bacterial host-protein citrullinating virulence factor, Porphyromonas gingivalis peptidylarginine deiminase. Goulas T, Mizgalska D, Garcia-Ferrer I, Kantyka T, Guevara T, Szmigielski B, Sroka A, Millán C, Usón I, Veillard F, Potempa B, Mydel P, Solà M, Potempa J & Gomis-Rüth FX. Sci Rep 5: 11969 (2015)
  • Multiple architectures and mechanisms of latency in metallopeptidase zymogens. Arolas J, ***Goulas T, Cuppari A and Gomis-Rüth FX. Chem Review 118: 5581-5597 (2018)
*Corresponding author
**Co-corresponding author
***Shared first authorship