Dr Francisco Rivero Crespo

Reader in Biomedical Sciences

Dr Rivero is a molecular cell biologist who specialises in research into the cytoskeleton, covering functional and regulatory aspects, both in mammalian cells and lower eukaryotes.

MD from the University of Valladolid (1989). PhD at the Institute of Biochemistry, CSIC-Universidad Complutense, Madrid (1994). Postdoctoral research fellow in Germany at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried (1994-1997) and at the University of Cologne (1997-1998). Scientific assistant and Group leader at the Center for Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne (1998-2007). In 2007 h joined HYMS as a Senior Lecturer and was promoted to Reader in 2017. 

Dr Rivero is a molecular cell biologist who specialises in research into the cytoskeleton, covering basic functional and regulatory aspects, both in mammalian cells and lower eukaryotes. The cytoskeleton is a key player in almost all cellular processes, including motility, cytokinesis, cell-to-cell and cell-susbstrate interactions and intracellular transport. A variety of proteins are involved in the assembly and disassembly of the actin cytoskeleton. Previous work of Dr Rivero’s lab used the lower eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum, an excellent model organism for the study of fundamental questions of cell and developmental biology with direct applications for the understanding of pathologic conditions in humans. Using mainly mammalian cell models, Dr. Rivero’s lab is currently pursuing lines of research that explore aspects of the actin cytoskeleton and the signalling pathways that regulate its remodelling in blood platelets.


Research staff


Jawad S. Khalil - PhD student (Jawad.khalil@hyms.ac.uk)

Jawad completed his undergraduate degree in veterinary sciences in 2003 in Pakistan and his MSc degree in pharmacology at King’s College London in 2007. He joined the lab in October 2014. His research is focused on how myosin light chain phosphatase associates with PKA at molecular level. 


David Riley - PhD student (David.riley@hyms.ac.uk)

David finished his undergraduate degree in Genetics at the University of the West of England in 2011. He finished his MRes in Regenerative Medicine at the University of Bath in 2013. He finished working as a research technician at the University of Oxford in 2016 and joined the lab on a project to investigate the role of coronin in platelets.


Anisha Chacko - PhD student (Anisha.chacko@hyms.ac.uk)

Anisha completed her BSc degree from Liverpool John Moores University and her MSci degree at the University of Liverpool before joining the lab in October 2016. Her PhD research involves investigating the endocytic pathway in platelets and determining the uptake and internalisation of bacterial toxins.


Past students (HYMS)

Pooja Joshi (PhD awarded 2017)

Julia Lutz (PhD awarded 2013)





- L. Eichinger, F. Rivero, editors. Dictyostelium discoideum Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 346, Humana Press, Totowa, 2006.

-F. Rivero, editor. Rho GTPases: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 827. Humana Press, Totowa, 2011.

(Second edition in preparation)

 -L. Eichinger, F. Rivero, editors. Dictyostelium discoideum Protocols II. Methods in Molecular Biology. Humana Press, Totowa, 2013.



-S. Cai, F. Rivero. RHOBTB3 (Rho-related BTB domain containing 3). Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol., in press

-J.F. Krey, R.A. Dumont, E.S Krystofiak, S. Vijayakumar, D. Choi, F. Rivero, B. Kachar, S.M. Jones, P.G. Barr-Gillespie. Plastin-1 widens stereocilia by transforming actin filament packing from hexagonal to liquid. Journal of Cell Biology, 215:467-482 (2016).

-H. Xiong, F. Rivero. Rho signaling in Dictyostelium discoideum. International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology, 322:61-182 (2016).

 - W. Ji, F. Rivero. Atypical Rho GTPases of the RhoBTB subfamily: roles in vesicle trafficking and tumorigenesis. Cells, 5:28 (2016).

 -R. Taylor, A Bullen, S.L. Johnson, E-M. Grimm-Günter, F. Rivero, W. Marcotti, A. Forge, N. Daudet. Absence of plastin 1 causes abnormal maintenance of hair cell stereocilia and a progressive form of hearing loss in mice. Human Molecular Genetics, 24:37-49 (2015).

 -J. Lutz, E-M. S. Grimm-Gunter, P. Jooshi, F. Rivero. Expression analysis of mouse Rhobtb3 using a LacZ reporter and preliminary characterization of a knockout strain. Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 142:511-528 (2014).

-N. K. Pakes, D. Veltman, F. Rivero, J. Nasir, R. Insall, R. S. B. Williams. ZizB, a novel RacGEF, regulates development, cell motility and cytokinesis in Dictyostelium. J. Cell Sci, 125:2457-2465 (2012). 

-H. Sultana, G. Neelakanta, F. Rivero, R. Blau-Wasser, M. Schleicher, A.A. Noegel. Ectopic expression of cyclase associated protein CAP restores the streaming and aggregation defects of adenylyl cyclase ACA null cells in Dictyostelium discoideum. BMC Develop. Biol. 12:3 (2012).

-H Xiong, F. Rivero. Assaying Rho GTPase-dependent processes in Dictyostelium discoideum. Methods Mol. Biol., 827:381-392 (2012).

-C. Revenu, F Ubelmann, I Urbain, F El Marjou, D Loews, D Delacour, F. Rivero, D. Louvard, S Robine. A new role for the architecture of microvillar actin bundles in apical retention of membrane proteins. Mol. Biol. Cell 23:324-336 (2012)

-A. Heidel, H. Lawal, M. Felder, C. Schilde, N. Helps, B. Tunggal, F. Rivero, U. John, M. Schleicher, L. Eichinger, M. Platzer, A.A. Noegel, P. Schaap, G. Glöckner. Phylogeny-wide analysis of social amoeba genomes highlights ancient origins for complex intercellular communication. Genome Res., 21:1882-1891 (2011).

-R. Sucgang, A. Kuo, X. Tian, W. Salerno, A. Parikh, C.L. Feasley, E. Dalin, H. Tu, E. Huang, K. Barry, E. Lindquist, H. Shapiro, D. Bruce, J. Schmutz, P. Fey, P. Gaudet, C. Anjard, M.B. Mohan, S. Basu, Y. Bushmanova, H. van der Wel, M. Katoh, P.M. Coutinho, T. Saito, M. Elias, P. Schaap, R.R. Kay, B. Henrissat, L. Eichinger, F. Rivero, N.H. Putnam, C.M. West, W.F. Loomis, R. Chisholm, G. Shaulsky, J.E. Strassmann, D.C. Queller, A. Kuspa, I. Grigoriev..Comparative genomics of the social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum and Dictyostelium purpureum. Genome Biology, 12:R20 (2011)

-G. Vlahou, M. Eliaš,J-C. von Kleist-Retzow, R. J. Wiesner, F. Rivero. The Ras-related GTPase Miro is not required for mitochondrial transport in Dictyostelium discoideum. European Journal of Cell Biology, 90:342-355 (2011).

-S. Mondal, B. Burgute, D. Rieger, R. Müller, F. Rivero, J. Faix, M. Schleicher, A.A. Noegel. Regulation of the actin cytoskeleton by an interaction of IQGAP related protein GAPA with filamin and cortexillin I. PLoS ONE, 5:e15440 (2010).

-F Friedberg, F Rivero. Single and multiple CH (calponin homology) domain containing multidomain proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum: an inventory. Molecular Biology Reports, 37:2853-2862 (2010).

-G. Vlahou, O. Schmidt, B. Wagner, H. Uenlue, P. Dersch, F. Rivero, B. A. Weissenmayer. Yersinia outer protein YopE affects the actin cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium discoideum through targeting of multiple Rho family GTPases. BMC Microbiology, 9:138 (2009).

-E-M. S. Grimm-Günter,C. Revenu, S. Ramos, I. Hurbain, N. Smyth, E. Ferrary, D. Louvard, S. Robine, F. Rivero. Plastin 1 interacts with keratin 19 and is required for terminal web assembly in the intestinal epithelium. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 20:2549-2562 (2009).

-K. Schenková, F. Rivero. RHOBTB2 (Rho-related BTB domain containing 2). Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol. December 2008 .

URL : http://AtlasGeneticsOncology.org/Genes/RHOBTB2ID42109ch8p21.html

-K. Schenková, F. Rivero. RHOBTB1 (Rho-related BTB domain containing 1). Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology. December 2008.

URL : http://AtlasGeneticsOncology.org/Genes/RHOBTB1ID42981ch10q22.html

-Berthold, K. Schenková, S. Ramos, Y Miura, M. Furukawa, P. Aspenström, F. Rivero. Characterization of RhoBTB-dependent Cul3 ubiquitin ligase complexes – Evidence for an autoregulatory mechanism. Experimental Cell Research, 314:3453-3465 (2008).

-J. Berthold, K. Schenková, F. Rivero. Rho GTPases of the RhoBTB family and tumorigenesis. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 29, 285-404 (2008).

-F. Rivero. Endocytosis and the actin cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium discoideum. International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology 267, 343-397 (2008).

-H. Sultana, G. Neelakanta, L. Eichinger, F. Rivero, A.A Noegel. Microarray phenotyping places cyclase associated protein CAP at the crossroad of signaling pathways reorganizing the actin cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium. Experimental Cell Research, 315:127-140 (2008)

-H. Xiong, F. Rivero, U. Euteneuer, S. Mondal, S. Mana-Capelli, D. Larochelle, A. Vogel, B. Gassen, A. A. Noegel. Dictyostelium Sun-1 connects the centrosome to chromatin and ensures genome stability. Traffic 9, 708-724 (2008).

-S. Mondal, D. Bakthavatsalam, P. Steimle, B. Gassen, F. Rivero, A.A. Noegel. Linking Ras to myosin function: RasGEF Q, a Dictyostelium exchange factor for RasB, affects myosin II function. Journal of Cell Biology 181, 747-760 (2008).

-M. Menotta, A. Amicucci, G. Basili, E. Polidori, V. Stocchi, F. Rivero. Identification of a Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor in the filamentous fungus Tuber borchii: molecular and functional characterization. BMC Microbiology 8, 57 (2008).

-F. Rivero, F. Cvrčková. Origins and evolution of the actin cytoskeleton. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 607, 7-110 (2007).

-M. Menotta, A. Amicucci, G. Basili, F. Rivero, E. Polidori, D. Sisti, V. Stocchi. Molecular characterisation of the small GTPase CDC42 in the ectomycorrhizal fungus Tuber borchii Vittad. Protoplasma 231, 227-237 (2007).

-B. Deenadayalan, D. Brazill, R.H. Gomer, L. Eichinger, F. Rivero, A A. Noegel. A G protein coupled receptor with a lipid kinase is involved in cell density sensing. Current Biology 17, 892-897 (2007).

-D. Haubert, N. Gharib, F. Rivero, K. Wiegmann, M. Krönke, H. Kashkar. Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate restricted plasma membrane localization of FAN is required for TNF receptor-induced actin reorganization, filopodia formation and motility. The EMBO Journal, 26, 3308-3321 (2007).

-S. Mondal, D. Neelamegan, F. Rivero, A. A. Noegel. GxcDD, a putative RacGEF, is important for Dictyostelium development. BMC Cell Biology 8,23 (2007).

-L. Eichinger, F. Rivero, editors. Dictyostelium discoideum Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 346, Humana Press, Totowa, 2006. (Book)

-D. M. Theisen, C. Pongratz, K Wiegmann, F. Rivero, O. Krut, M. Krönke. Targeting of HIV-1 Tat traffic and function by transduction-competent single chain antibodies. Vaccine 24, 3127-3136 (2006).

-B. P. Somesh, C. Neffgen, M. Iijima, P. Devreotes, F. Rivero. Dictyostelium RacH regulates endocytic vesicular trafficking and is required for localization of vacuolin. Traffic 7, 1194-1212 (2006).

-F. Rivero, M. Maniak. Quantitative and microscopic methods for studying the endocytic pathway. Methods in Molecular Biology 346, 423-438 (2006).

-G. Vlahou, F. Rivero. Rho GTPase signaling in Dictyostelium discoideum: insights from the genome. European Journal of Cell Biology 85, 947-959 (2006).

-B. P. Somesh, G. Vlahou, M Iijima, R. Insall, P. Devreotes, F. Rivero. RacG regulates morphology, phagocytosis and chemotaxis in Dictyostelium through novel signaling pathways. Eukaryotic Cell 5, 1648-1663 (2006).

-J. W. Han, L. Leeper, F. Rivero, C. Y. Chung. Role of RacC for the regulation of WASP and PI3 kinase during chemotaxis of Dictyostelium. Journal of Biological Chemistry 281, 35224-35234 (2006).

-M.de la Roche, A. Mahasneh, S.-F. Lee, F. Rivero, G. P. Côté. Cellular distribution and functions of wild-type and constitutively activated Dictyostelium PakB. Molecular Biology of the Cell 16, 238-247 (2005).

-L. Eichinger, J. A. Pachebat, G. Glöckner, M.-A. Rajandream, R. Sucgang, M. Berriman, J. Song, R. Olsen, K. Szafranski, Q. Xu, B. Tunggal, S. Kummerfeld, M. Madera, B. A. Konfortov, F. Rivero, A. T. Bankier, R. Lehmann, N. Hamlin, R. Davies, P. Gaudet, P. Fey, K. Pilcher, G. Chen, D. Saunders, E. Sodergren, P. Davis, A. Kerhornou, X. Nie, N. Hall, C. Anjard, L. Hemphill, N. Bason, P. Farbrother, B. Desany, E. Just, T. Morio, R. Rost, C. Churcher, J. Cooper, S. Haydock, N. van Driessche, A. Cronin, I. Goodhead, D. Muzny, T. Mourie, A. Pain, M. Lu, D. Harper, R. Lindsay, H. Hauser, K. James, M. Quiles, M. B. Mohan, T. Saito, C. Buchrieser, A. Wardroper, M. Felder, M. Thangavelu, D. Johnson, A. Knights, H. Loulseged, K. Mungall, K. Oliver, C. Price, M.A. Quail, H. Urushihara, J. Hernandez, E. Rabbinowitsch, D. Steffen, M. Sanders, J. Ma, Y. Kohara, S. Sharp, M. Simmonds, S. Spiegler, A. Tivey, S. Sugano, B. White, D. Walker, J. Woodward, T. Winckler, Y. Tanaka, G. Shaulsky, M. Schleicher, G. Weinstock, A. Rosenthal, E.C. Cox, R. L. Chisholm, R. Gibbs, W. F. Loomis, M. Platzer, R. R. Kay, J. Williams, P. H. Dear, A. A. Noegel, B. Barrell, A. Kuspa. The genome of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Nature 435, 43-57, (2005).

-F. Rivero, L. Eichinger. The microfilament system of Dictyostelium discoideum. In: “Dictyostelium genomics”, edited by W. F. Loomis and A. Kuspa. Horizon Bioscience, Norfolk, 2005. (Book chapter)

-F. Rivero, T. Muramoto, A-K. Meyer, H. Urushihara, T.Q.P. Uyeda, C Kitayama. A comparative sequence analysis reveals a common GBD/FH3-FH1-FH2-DAD architecture in formins from Dictyostelium, fungi and metazoa. BMC Genomics 6, 28 (2005).

-H. Sultana, F. Rivero, R. Blau-Wasser, S. Schwager, A. Balbo, S. Bozzaro, M. Schleicher, A. A. Noegel. CAP is essential for the functioning of the endo-lysosomal system and provides a link to the actin cytoskeleton. Traffic 6, 930-946 (2005).

-C. Pikzack, R. Furukawa, J. Prassler, M. Fechheimer, F. Rivero. Role of calcium-dependent actin-bundling proteins: characterization of Dictyostelium mutants lacking fimbrin and the 34KDa protein. Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton 62, 210-231 (2005).

-J. Thiele, E. Varus, C. Wickenhauser, H. M. Kvasnicka,  J. Lorenzen, F. Gramley, K. A. Metz, F. Rivero, D. W. Beelen. Mixed chimerism of cardiomyocytes and vessels after allogeneic bone marrow and stem cell transplantation in comparison to cardiac allografts. Transplantation 77, 1902-1905 (2004).

-M. Oldak, H. Smola, M. Aumailley, F. Rivero, H. Pfister, S. Smola-Hess. The human papilomavirus 8 E2 protein suppresses b4-integrin expression in primary human keratinocytes. Journal of Virology 78, 10738-10746 (2004).

-F. Er, G. Michels, N. Gassanov, F. Rivero, U. C. Hoppe. Testosterone induces cytoprotection by activating ATP-sensitive K+ channels in the cardiac mitochondrial inner membrane. Circulation 110, 3100-3107 (2004).

-K. C. Park, F. Rivero, R. Meili, S. Lee, F. Apone, R. A. Firtel. Rac regulation of chemotaxis and morphogenesis in Dictyostelium. The EMBO Journal 23, 4177-4189 (2004).

-S. Lee, F. Rivero, K. C. Park, E. Huang, S. Funamoto, R. A. Firtel. Dictyostelium PAKc is required for proper chemotaxis. Molecular Biology of the Cell 15, 5456-5469 (2004).

-F. Cvrčková, F. Rivero, B. Bavlnka. Evolutionarily conserved modules in actin nucleation: lessons from Dictyostelium and plants. Protoplasma 224, 15-35 (2004).

-A. Gloss, F. Rivero, N. Khaire, R. Müller, W.F. Loomis, M. Schleicher, A.A. Noegel. Villidin, a novel WD-repeat and villin related protein from Dictyostelium is associated with membranes and the cytoskeleton. Molecular Biology of the Cell 14, 2716-2727 (2003).

-F. Rivero. mRNA processing in Dictyostelium: sequence requirements for termination and splicing. Protist 153, 169-76 (2002).

-F. Rivero, D. Illenberger, B.P. Somesh, H. Dislich, N. Adam, A-K. Meyer. Defects in cytokinesis, actin reorganization and the contractile vacuole in cells deficient in RhoGDI. The EMBO Journal, 17, 1068-1079 (2002).

-S. Ramos, F. Khademi, B.P. Somesh, F. Rivero. Genomic organization and expression profile of the small GTPases of the RhoBTB family in human and mouse. Gene, 298,147-157 (2002).

-E. Korenbaum, F. Rivero. Calponin homology domains at a glance. Journal of Cell Science 115, 3543-3545 (2002).

-F. Rivero, B.P. Somesh. Signal transduction pathways regulated by Rho GTPases in Dictyostelium. Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility 23, 737-749 (2002).

-F. Rivero, H. Dislich, G. Glöckner, A.A. Noegel. The Dictyostelium family of Rho-related proteins. Nucleic Acids Research 29, 1068-1079 (2001).

-E. Ponte, F. Rivero, M. Fechheimer, A. Noegel, S. Bozzaro. Severe developmental defects in Dictyostelium null mutants for actin-binding proteins. Mechanisms of Development 91, 153-161 (2000).


Selected oldies

F. Rivero, R. Furukawa, M. Fechheimer, A.A.Noegel. Three actin cross-linking proteins, the 34 kDa actin-bundling protein, a-actinin and ABP-120, have both unique and redundant roles in the growth and development of Dictyostelium. Journal of Cell Science 112, 2737-2751 (1999).

F. Rivero, R. Albrecht, H. Dislich, E. Bracco, L. Graciotti, S. Bozzaro, A.A. Noegel. RacF1, a novel member of the Rho protein family in Dictyostelium discoideum, associates transiently with cell contact areas, macropinosomes and phagosomes. Molecular Biology of the Cell 10, 1205-1219 (1999).

F. Rivero, A. Kuspa, R. Brokamp, M. Matzner, A.A. Noegel. Interaptin, an actin-binding protein of the a-actinin superfamily in Dictyostelium discoideum, is developmentally and cAMP regulated and associates with intracellular membrane compartments. Journal of Cell Biology 142, 735-750 (1998).

P.R. Fisher, A.A. Noegel, M. Fechheimer, F. Rivero, J. Prassler, G. Gerisch. Photosensory and thermosensory responses in Dictyostelium slugs are specifically impaired by absence of the F-actin cross-linking gelation factor (ABP-120). Current Biology 7, 889-892 (1997).

F. Rivero, B. Köppel, B. Peracino, S. Bozzaro, F. Siegert, C. Weijer, M. Schleicher, R. Albrecht, A.A. Noegel. The role of the cortical cytoskeleton: F-actin crosslinking proteins protect against osmotic stress, ensure cell size, cell shape and motility, and contribute to phagocytosis and development. Journal of Cell Science 109, 2679-2691 (1996).

F. Rivero, R. Furukawa, A.A. Noegel, M. Fechheimer. Dictyostelium discoideum cells lacking the 34,000-Dalton actin-binding protein can grow, locomote, and develop, but exhibit defects in regulation of cell structure and movement: a case of partial redundancy. Journal of Cell Biology 135, 965-980 (1996).

L. Goya, F. Rivero, M.A. Martín, R. Arahuetes, E.R. Hernández, A.M. Pascual-Leone. Effects of refeeding of undernourished and insulin treatment of diabetic neonatal rats on IGFs and IGFBPs. American Journal of Physiology 271, E223-E231 (1996).

F. Rivero, L. Goya, C. Aláez, A.M. Pascual-Leone. Effects of undernutrition and diabetes on serum and liver mRNA expression of insulin-like growth factors and their binding proteins during rat development. Journal of Endocrinology 145, 427-440 (1995).

F. Rivero, L. Goya, A.M. Pascual-Leone. Comparison of extraction methods for insulin-like growth factor binding proteins prior to measurement of insulin-like growth factor-I in undernourished neonatal and adult rat serum. Journal of Endocrinology 140, 257-263 (1994).

Member of the American Society for Cell Biology

Member of the British Society for Cell Biology

Associate editor for BMC Cell Biology.

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