creating a
healthier future
Sandra Sousa
Group leader

Sandra Sousa is a microbiologist with deep interest in Host-pathogen interactions. She obtained a PhD in the laboratory of Pascale Cossart (Institut Pasteur, Paris) studying the bacterial mechanisms triggering key host signaling pathways to facilitate bacterial invasion of mammalian cells. S. Sousa has been focusing her research on the understanding of mechanisms of host usurpation by relevant human pathogens. She has extensive expertise in host cytoskeleton remodeling induced in response to bacterial infection and to bacterial plasma membrane damaging factors, such as secreted pore-forming toxins. S. Sousa leads the group of Cell Biology of Bacterial Infections at i3S since June 2019. S. Sousa published more than 40 articles in high impact peer-reviewed journals (1900 citations, h-index 20), completed the supervision of 4 PhD thesis and 8 MSc dissertations, and secured funds to her research. Her current research focus on intracellular responses to plasma membrane damage caused by pore-forming toxins, which are secreted by relevant human pathogens and play key roles in infection. In particular, she concentrates on plasma membrane and actomyosin remodeling, ER disruption and calcium signaling upon damage induced by different pore-forming toxins.

Selected Publications

Alves S., Pereira J.M., Mayer R.L., Gonçalves A.D.A., Impens F., Cabanes D., Sousa S.,
Cells Responding to Closely Related Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysins Release Extracellular Vesicles with a Common Proteomic Content Including Membrane Repair Proteins. Toxins15(1):, 2023. [Journal: Article] [IF: 4,2 (*)]
DOI: 10.3390/toxins15010004 SCOPUS: 85146784684.


Brito C., Pereira J.M., Mesquita F.S., Cabanes D., Sousa S.,
Src-Dependent NM2A Tyrosine Phosphorylation Regulates Actomyosin Remodeling. Cells12(14):, 2023. [Journal: Article] [IF: 6,0 (*)]
DOI: 10.3390/cells12141871 SCOPUS: 85166001196.


Pereira J.M., Xu S., Leong J.M., Sousa S.,
The Yin and Yang of Pneumolysin During Pneumococcal Infection. Frontiers in Immunology13:, 2022. [Journal: Review] [CI: 4] [IF: 7,3]
DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.878244 SCOPUS: 85129775459.


Brito C., Cabanes D., Sarmento Mesquita F., Sousa S.,
Mechanisms protecting host cells against bacterial pore-forming toxins. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences76(7):1319-1339, 2019. [Journal: Review] [CI: 85] [IF: 6,5]
DOI: 10.1007/s00018-018-2992-8 SCOPUS: 85059153781.


Costa A.C., Carvalho F., Cabanes D., Sousa S.,
Stathmin recruits tubulin to Listeria monocytogenes-induced actin comets and promotes bacterial dissemination. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences76(5):961-975, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 4] [IF: 6,5]
DOI: 10.1007/s00018-018-2977-7 SCOPUS: 85057542589.


Pinheiro J., Lisboa J., Pombinho R., Carvalho F., Carreaux A., Brito C., Pöntinen A., Korkeala H., Dos Santos N.M.S., Morais-Cabral J.H., Sousa S., Cabanes D.,
MouR controls the expression of the Listeria monocytogenes Agr system and mediates virulence. Nucleic Acids Research46(18):9338-9352, 2018. [Journal: Article] [CI: 24] [IF: 11,1]
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gky624 SCOPUS: 85054896319.


Mesquita F.S., Brito C., Mazon Moya M.J., Pinheiro J.C., Mostowy S., Cabanes D., Sousa S.,
Endoplasmic reticulum chaperone Gp96 controls actomyosin dynamics and protects against pore-forming toxins. EMBO Reports18(2):303-318, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 16] [IF: 8,7]
DOI: 10.15252/embr.201642833 SCOPUS: 85007487818.


Almeida M.T., Mesquita F.S., Cruz R., Osório H., Custódio R., Brito C., Vingadassalom D., Martins M., Leong J.M., Holden D.W., Cabanes D., Sousa S.,
Src-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of non-muscle myosin heavy chain-IIA restricts Listeria monocytogenes cellular infection. Journal of Biological Chemistry290(13):8383-8395, 2015. [Journal: Article] [CI: 16] [IF: 4,3]
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M114.591313 SCOPUS: 84925760833.


Leitão E., Costa A.C., Brito C., Costa L., Pombinho R., Cabanes D., Sousa S.,
Listeria monocytogenes induces host DNA damage and delays the host cell cycle to promote infection. Cell Cycle13(6):928-940, 2014. [Journal: Article] [CI: 28] [IF: 4,6]
DOI: 10.4161/cc.27780 SCOPUS: 84897994129.


Martins M., Custodio R., Camejo A., Almeida M.T., Cabanes D., Sousa S.,
Listeria monocytogenes triggers the cell surface expression of Gp96 protein and interacts with its N terminus to support cellular infection. Journal of Biological Chemistry287(51):43083-43093, 2012. [Journal: Article] [CI: 24] [IF: 4,7]
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112.422568 SCOPUS: 84871163192.