I started my research career in 2003 during a master in Molecular Genetics at the Department of Biology of University of Minho. At the time I was interested in studying the mechanisms that leads to an orchestrated demising of the cell. So, during my Master, I studied yeast cell death and developed cytological techniques for the detection and ordering of the various events that occurs in a cell after activation of a cell death program. The development of these techniques allowed the study of the mechanisms underlying yeast apoptosis induced by hyperosmotic stress. Later, during my PhD also at the Department of Biology of University of Minho, and with the collaboration of Stéphen Manon of University of Bordeaux, I studied the involvement of different mammalian protein kinase C isoforms on the post-translational regulation of Bcl-2 family proteins.

Current research interests

My current research is focused on protein N-terminal acetylation. Protein N-terminal acetylation is a major modification of eukaryotic proteins with important regulatory functions. Its functional implications include regulation of protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions, membrane and ER targeting and protein degradation. Despite the apparent relevance of this modification in the regulation important cellular functions, there is no known mechanism for regulation of N-terminal acetylation. My main interest in Rui’s lab is to understand how this post-translational modification is regulated. This will be achieved by applying powerful genetic, biochemical and proteomic techniques.

I also intend to study regulation of N-terminal acetylation in the context of a developing multicellular organism. Studying regulation of N-terminal acetylation during development will likely contribute to a better understanding of carcinogenesis, as NATs expression, and probably N-terminal acetylation, is frequently misregulated in aggressive or advanced tumors.


  1. Rodrigues J, Silva RD, Noronha H, Pedras A, Gerôs H and Corte-Real M (2013) Structural and functional characterization of isolated yeast vacuoles by flow cytometry. Micobiology. In Press
  2. Silva RD, Saraiva L, Coutinho I, Goncalves J and Corte-Real M (2012) Yeast as a powerful model system for the study of apoptosis regulation by protein kinase C isoforms. Curr Pharm Des. 18:2492-2500.
  3. Silva RD, Manon S, Goncalves J, Saraiva L and Corte-Real M (2011b) The importance of humanized yeast to better understand the role of Bcl-2 family in apoptosis: finding of novel therapeutic opportunities. Curr Pharm Des. 17:246-255.
  4. Silva RD, Manon S, Goncalves J, Saraiva L and Corte-Real M (2011a) Modulation of Bax mitochondrial insertion and induced cell death in yeast by mammalian protein kinase Calpha. Exp Cell Res, 317:781-790.
  5. Vilela-Moura A, Schuller D, Mendes-Faia A, Silva RD, Chaves SR, Sousa MJ and Côrte-Real M (2011) The impact of acetate metabolism on yeast fermentative performance and wine quality: reduction of volatile acidity of grape musts and wines. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 89:271-80.
  6. Fontes N, Silva RD, Vignault C, Lecourieux F, Gerós H and Delrot S (2010) Purification and functional characterization of protoplasts and intact vacuoles from grape cells. BMC Res Notes 3:19.
  7. Pereira C, Silva RD, Saraiva L, Johansson B, Sousa MJ and Côrte-Real M (2008) Mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in yeast. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1783:1286-1302.
  8. Almeida T, Marques M, Mojzita D, Amorim MA, Silva RD, Almeida B, Rodrigues P, Ludovico P, Hohmann S, Moradas-Ferreira P, Côrte-Real M and Costa V (2008) Isc1p Plays a Key Role in Hydrogen Peroxide Resistance and Chronological Lifespan through Modulation of Iron Levels and Apoptosis. Mol Biol Cell. 19:865-876.
  9. Saraiva L, Silva RD, Pereira G, Goncalves J and Côrte-Real M (2006) Specific modulation of apoptosis and Bcl-xL phosphorylation in yeast by distinct mammalian protein kinase C isoforms. J Cell Sci 119:3171-3181.
  10. Silva RD, Sotoca R, Johansson B, Ludovico P, Sansonetty F, Silva MT, Peinado JM and Côrte-Real M (2005) Hyperosmotic stress induces metacaspase- and mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Microbiol 58:824-834.