Luisa María Sierra Zapico

Dpto. Biología Funcional. Área de Genética
C/ Julián Clavería s/n. 33006 Oviedo
Email: lmsierra@uniovi.es

Lab web page


This group of Genotoxicity and DNA Repair is part of the research group from the University of Oviedo “Mass spectrometry and biomedical analysis, (EMAB)”, accredited by ANEP, that works developing methodologies to allow the determination of risk situations in chemotherapy response, detecting and quantifying alterations at the DNA sequence and at the chromatin structure, in different cellular conditions.

Research line 1. Development of a method that, at least in vitro, allows the early detection of cisplatin resistance, combining the determination of intracellular and DNA adducted drug with a DNA damage response analysis, and with the determination of apoptosis and cell cycle progression. This resistance detection is independent of the inductor mechanism.

Research line 2. Design of methodologies based on classic single and multiplex PCR combined with mass spectrometry, without DNA fragment size limitation, that might be used to study, in a fast and reliable way, both variations in gene/sequence copy numbers and in gene expression, of several genes simultaneously, as well as detecting and quantifying proteins used as biomarkers in tumour processes, when the PCR is combined with immunoassays.

Research line 3. Development of methodologies to check the possible influence of Krebs’s cycle metabolites, that alter DNA methylation and chromatin structure, as modulators of DNA damage responses, against different types of DNA damage.

Research line 4. Analysis of the influence of the hERG voltage-dependent K+ channel on the DNA damage response induced by the genotoxic chemical methyl methanesulfonate, determining that the channel influence, decreasing the induced DNA damage, depends on its canonical activity as K+ carrier.

Research line 5. Determination of the genotoxic activity of iron nanoparticles, ultra-small and non-magnetic, with ferrihydrite structure and coated by adipic and tartaric acids, just to check their possible use in Biomedicine.


Doctor in Biology (Ph.D.) by the University of Oviedo, was postdoctoral fellow at the Radiation Genetics and Chemical Mutagenesis Department, from the Leiden University in The Netherlands.

From 1992, she has a permanent position as Associate Professor of Genetics, at the University of Oviedo. She has always worked studying induction of DNA damage and their response, in terms of DNA repair and mutation induction. Lately, within the “Mass spectrometry and Biomedical Analysis” group from the University of Oviedo, she works developing possible markers of chemotherapy response.

In this time, she has been supervisor of Ph.D. Thesis, Research Seminars, etc. She has participated in research projects, regional/national/international from public calls. She is co-author of around 50 papers on international prestigious journals, several book chapters, more than hundred communications to national/international conferences, as well as co-editor of a book published by Springer Protocols. She is member of several scientific societies and Vice-president of SEMA.


  • Uriol, E., M. Sierra, M.A. Comendador, J. Fra, P. Martínez-Camplor, A.J. Lacave, L.M. Sierra (2013) Long-term biomonitoring of breast cancer patients under adjuvant chemotherapy: the Comet assay as a possible predictive factor. Mutagenesis 28(1): 39-48. Doi: 10.1093/mutage/ges050.
  • Gaivão, I., L.M. Sierra (2014) Drosophila Comet Assay: insights, uses and future perspectives. Frontiers in Genetics- Genomic Assay Technology. Vol. 5: 304. Doi: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00304.
  • Corte-Rodríguez, M., M. Espina, L.M. Sierra, E. Blanco, T. Ames, M. Montes-Bayón, A. Sanz-Medel (2015). Quantitative evaluation of cellular uptake, DNA incorporation and adduct formation in cisplatin sensitive and resistant cell lines: Comparison of different Pt-containing drugs. Biochem. Pharmacol. 98 (1): 69-77. Doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2015.08.112.
  • Espina, M., Corte-Rodríguez, M., Aguado, L., Montes-Bayón, M., Sierra, M.I., Martínez-Camblor, P., Blanco-González, E., Sierra, L.M. (2017). Cisplatin resistance in cell models: evaluation of metallomic and biological predictive biomarkers to address early therapy failure. Metallomics 9:564-574. Doi: 10.1039/c7mt00014f.
  • Fernández Asensio, A., T. Iglesias, A. Cotarelo, M. Espina, E. Blanco-González, L.M. Sierra, M. Montes-Bayón (2018).  Multiplex polymerase chain reaction in combination with gel electrophoresis-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry: A powerful tool for the determination of gene copy number variations and gene expression changes. Analytica Chimica Acta 1023: 64-73. Doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2018.03.047.
  • Fernández Asensio, A., L.M. Sierra, M. Montes-Bayón, E. Blanco-González (2019). Sensitive determination of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) by immuno-polymerase chain reaction with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry detection. Analytica Chimica Acta 1090:39-46. Doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2019.09.047.
  • Zambrano-Andazol, I., N. Vázquez, M. Chacón, R.M. Sánchez- Avila, M. Persinal, C. Blanco, Z. González, R. Menéndez, M. Sierra, A. Fernández-Vega, T. Sánchez, J. Merayo-Lloves, A. Meana (2020). Reduced Graphene Oxide Membranes in Ocular Regenerative Medicine. Materials Science & Engineering C-Mater Biol Appl 114: 111075. Doi: 10.1016/J.msec.2020.111075.
  • Fernández-Villabrille, S., E. Álvarez-González, F. Barros, P. De La Peña, L.M. Sierra (2021). Influence of Kv11.1 (hERG1) K+ channel expression on DNA damage induced by the genotoxic agent methyl methanesulfonate. Pflügers Archiv – Eur J Physiol 473:197–217. Doi: 10.1007/s00424-021-02517-2.
  • Fernández Asensio, A, E. Alvarez, A. Rodriguez, L.M. Sierra, E. Blanco-González (2021). Chromatographic methods coupled to mass spectrometry for the determination of oncometabolites in biological samples-A Review. Analytica Chimica Acta 1177: 338646. Doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2021.338646.
  • Fernández Asensio, A., M. Corte-Rodríguez, J. Bettmer, L.M. Sierra, M. Montes-Bayón, E. Blanco-González (2021). Targeting HER2 protein in individual cells using ICP-MS detection and its potential as prognostic and predictive breast cancer biomarker. Talanta 235: 122773. Doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2021.122773.


Name Possition E-mail Phone
Luisa María Sierra Zapico Group leader lmsierra@uniovi.es 985102723
Enol Álvarez González Predoctoral fellow UO239407@uniovi.es 985105265
Alonso Rodríguez Pescador PhD student UO278759@uniovi.es 985105264