Cellomics Unit

Madrid, Spain

Cellomics Unit

Madrid, Spain
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Horvath P.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Horvath P.,University of Helsinki | Aulner N.,European Cell Based Assays Interest Group | Bickle M.,Institute Pasteur Paris | And 11 more authors.
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery | Year: 2016

The common and persistent failures to translate promising preclinical drug candidates into clinical success highlight the limited effectiveness of disease models currently used in drug discovery. An apparent reluctance to explore and adopt alternative cell-and tissue-based model systems, coupled with a detachment from clinical practice during assay validation, contributes to ineffective translational research. To help address these issues and stimulate debate, here we propose a set of principles to facilitate the definition and development of disease-relevant assays, and we discuss new opportunities for exploiting the latest advances in cell-based assay technologies in drug discovery, including induced pluripotent stem cells, three-dimensional (3D) co-culture and organ-on-A-chip systems, complemented by advances in single-cell imaging and gene editing technologies. Funding to support precompetitive, multidisciplinary collaborations to develop novel preclinical models and cell-based screening technologies could have a key role in improving their clinical relevance, and ultimately increase clinical success rates. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

Martinez-Munoz L.,CSIC - National Center for Biotechnology | Barroso R.,CSIC - National Center for Biotechnology | Dyrhaug S.Y.,CSIC - National Center for Biotechnology | Navarro G.,University of Barcelona | And 10 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

CCR5 and CXCR4, the respective cell surface coreceptors of R5 and X4 HIV-1 strains, both form heterodimers with CD4, the principal HIV-1 receptor. Using several resonance energy transfer techniques, we determined that CD4, CXCR4, and CCR5 formed heterotrimers, and that CCR5 coexpression altered the conformation of both CXCR4/CXCR4 homodimers and CD4/CXCR4 heterodimers. As a result, binding of the HIV-1 envelope protein gp120IIIB to the CD4/CXCR4/CCR5 heterooligomer was negligible, and the gp120-induced cytoskeletal rearrangements necessary for HIV-1 entry were prevented. CCR5 reduced HIV-1 envelope-induced CD4/CXCR4-mediated cell-cell fusion. In nucleofected Jurkat CD4 cells and primary human CD4+ T cells, CCR5 expression led to a reduction in X4 HIV-1 infectivity. These findings can help to understand why X4 HIV-1 strains infection affect T-cell types differently during AIDS development and indicate that receptor oligomerization might be a target for previously unidentified therapeutic approaches for AIDS intervention.

Perez-Garcia A.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Ligos J.M.,Cellomics Unit | Galjart N.,Erasmus Medical Center
Nature Communications | Year: 2017

In germinal centres (GC) mature B cells undergo intense proliferation and immunoglobulin gene modification before they differentiate into memory B cells or long-lived plasma cells (PC). GC B-cell-to-PC transition involves a major transcriptional switch that promotes a halt in cell proliferation and the production of secreted immunoglobulins. Here we show that the CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is required for the GC reaction in vivo, whereas in vitro the requirement for CTCF is not universal and instead depends on the pathways used for B-cell activation. CTCF maintains the GC transcriptional programme, allows a high proliferation rate, and represses the expression of Blimp-1, the master regulator of PC differentiation. Restoration of Blimp-1 levels partially rescues the proliferation defect of CTCF-deficient B cells. Thus, our data reveal an essential function of CTCF in maintaining the GC transcriptional programme and preventing premature PC differentiation.

Azegrouz H.,Cellomics Unit | Karemore G.,Cellomics Unit | Torres A.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Alaiz C.M.,Autonomous University of Madrid | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Biomolecular Screening | Year: 2013

High-content screening (HCS) allows the exploration of complex cellular phenotypes by automated microscopy and is increasingly being adopted for small interfering RNA genomic screening and phenotypic drug discovery. We introduce a series of cell-based evaluation metrics that have been implemented and validated in a mono-parametric HCS for regulators of the membrane trafficking protein caveolin 1 (CAV1) and have also proved useful for the development of a multiparametric phenotypic HCS for regulators of cytoskeletal reorganization. Imaging metrics evaluate imaging quality such as staining and focus, whereas cell biology metrics are fuzzy logic-based evaluators describing complex biological parameters such as sparseness, confluency, and spreading. The evaluation metrics were implemented in a data-mining pipeline, which first filters out cells that do not pass a quality criterion based on imaging metrics and then uses cell biology metrics to stratify cell samples to allow further analysis of homogeneous cell populations. Use of these metrics significantly improved the robustness of the monoparametric assay tested, as revealed by an increase in Z′ factor, Kolmogorov-Smirnov distance, and strict standard mean difference. Cell biology evaluation metrics were also implemented in a novel supervised learning classification method that combines them with phenotypic features in a statistical model that exceeded conventional classification methods, thus improving multiparametric phenotypic assay sensitivity. © 2013 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

Bravo-Cordero J.J.,Confocal Microscopy Unit | Bravo-Cordero J.J.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Cordani M.,Cellomics Unit | Diez B.,Cellomics Unit | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2016

Rab8 is a small Ras-related GTPase that regulates polarized membrane transport to the plasma membrane. Here, we developed a high-content analysis (HCA) tool to dissect Rab8-mediated actin and focal adhesion reorganization that revealed that Rab8 activation significantly induced Rac1 and Tiam1 to mediate cortical actin polymerization and RhoA-dependent stress fibre disassembly. Rab8 activation increased Rac1 activity, whereas its depletion activated RhoA, which led to reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. Rab8 was also associated with focal adhesions, promoting their disassembly in a microtubule-dependent manner. This Rab8 effect involved calpain, MT1-MMP (also known as MMP14) and Rho GTPases. Moreover, we demonstrate the role of Rab8 in the cell migration process. Indeed, Rab8 is required for EGF-induced cell polarization and chemotaxis, as well as for the directional persistency of intrinsic cell motility. These data reveal that Rab8 drives cell motility by mechanisms both dependent and independent of Rho GTPases, thereby regulating the establishment of cell polarity, turnover of focal adhesions and actin cytoskeleton rearrangements, thus determining the directionality of cell migration. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

Hidalgo I.,Stem Cell Aging Group | Herrera-Merchan A.,Stem Cell Aging Group | Ligos J.M.,Cellomics Unit | Nunez J.,Bioinformatics Unit | And 3 more authors.
Cell Stem Cell | Year: 2012

Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are key epigenetic regulators of hematopietic stem cell (HSC) fate. The PcG members Ezh2 and Ezh1 are important determinants of embryonic stem cell identity, and the transcript levels of these histone methyltransferases are inversely correlated during development. However, the role of Ezh1 in somatic stem cells is largely unknown. Here we show that Ezh1 maintains repopulating HSCs in a slow-cycling, undifferentiated state, protecting them from senescence. Ezh1 ablation induces significant loss of adult HSCs, with concomitant impairment of their self-renewal capacity due to a potent senescence response. Epigenomic and gene expression changes induced by Ezh1 deletion in senesced HSCs demonstrated that Ezh1-mediated PRC2 activity catalyzes monomethylation and dimethylation of H3K27. Deletion of Cdkn2a on the Ezh1 null background rescued HSC proliferation and survival. Our results suggest that Ezh1 is an important histone methyltransferase for HSC maintenance. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Sanchez-Alvarez M.,Institute of Cancer Research | Sanchez-Alvarez M.,Cellomics Unit | Zhang Q.,Babraham Institute | Finger F.,Institute of Cancer Research | And 3 more authors.
Open Biology | Year: 2015

We show that phospholipid anabolism does not occur uniformly during the metazoan cell cycle. Transition to S-phase is required for optimal mobilization of lipid precursors, synthesis of specific phospholipid species and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis. Average changes observed in whole-cell phospholipid composition, and total ER lipid content, upon stimulation of cell growth can be explained by the cell cycle distribution of the population. TORC1 promotes phospholipid anabolism by slowing S/G2 progression. The cell cycle stage-specific nature of lipid biogenesis is dependent on p53. We propose that coupling lipid metabolism to cell cycle progression is a means by which cells have evolved to coordinate proliferation with cell and organelle growth. © 2015 Author.

Leiva M.,CSIC - National Center for Metallurgical Research | Quintana J.A.,CSIC - National Center for Metallurgical Research | Ligos J.M.,Cellomics Unit | Hidalgo A.,CSIC - National Center for Metallurgical Research | Hidalgo A.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Nature Communications | Year: 2016

The life-long maintenance of haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) critically relies on environmental signals produced by cells that constitute the haematopoietic niche. Here we report a cell-intrinsic mechanism whereby haematopoietic cells limit proliferation within the bone marrow, and show that this pathway is repressed by E-selectin ligand 1 (ESL-1). Mice deficient in ESL-1 display aberrant HSPC quiescence, expansion of the immature pool and reduction in niche size. Remarkably, the traits were transplantable and dominant when mutant and wild-type precursors coexisted in the same environment, but were independent of E-selectin, the vascular receptor for ESL-1. Instead, quiescence is generated by unrestrained production of the cytokine TGFβ by mutant HSPC, and in vivo or in vitro blockade of the cytokine completely restores the homeostatic properties of the haematopoietic niche. These findings reveal that haematopoietic cells, including the more primitive compartment, can actively shape their own environment.

Arranz L.,Stem Cell Aging Group | Antonio H.-M.,Stem Cell Aging Group | Ligos J.M.,Cellomics Unit | De Molina A.,Animal Unit | And 2 more authors.
Cell Cycle | Year: 2012

Preservation of hematopoietic hierarchy requires a constant and reciprocal interplay between chromatin-specific epigenetic regulators and lineage-modifying transcription factors. The Polycomb member Bmi1 is a key factor in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) maintenance, but its specific physiological role in subsequent hematopoietic lineagespecific commitments is unclear. Here, we generated conditional Bmi1 knockout (Bmi1-KO) mice. Selective ablation of Bmi1 in the hematopoietic system induced extensive upregulation of Ikaros, and concomitant Ikaros-dependent lymphoid-lineage transcriptional priming, which is marked by their loss of H2A ubiquitination and increased H3K4 trimethylation in Bmi1-KO long-term HSCs (LT-HSCs). Removal of Ikaros in Bmi1-null LT-HSCs significantly diminished the hematopoietic defects seen in conditional Bmi1-KO mice. These alterations resulted in recovering the Bmi1-KO exhausted quiescent stem-cell pool, whereas the block in Bmi1-KO lymphoid-progenitor differentiation was rescued, allowing the development of mature lymphoid cells. Together, our results indicate that Ikaros is a critical Bmi1 target in vivo that promotes premature lineage specification of HSCs. © 2012 Landes Bioscience.

Echarri A.,CSIC - Biological Research Center | Muriel O.,CSIC - Biological Research Center | Pavon D.M.,CSIC - Biological Research Center | Azegrouz H.,Cellomics Unit | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2012

The biology of caveolin-1 (Cav1)/caveolae is intimately linked to actin dynamics and adhesion receptors. Caveolar domains are organized in hierarchical levels of complexity from curved or flattened caveolae to large, higher-order caveolar rosettes. We report that stress fibers controlled by Abl kinases and mDia1 determine the level of caveolar domain organization, which conditions the subsequent inward trafficking of caveolar domains induced upon loss of cell adhesion from the extracellular matrix. Abl-deficient cells have fewer stress fibers, a smaller pool of stress-fiber co-aligned Cav1 and increased clustering of Cav1/caveolae at the cell surface. Defective caveolar linkage to stress fibers prevents the formation of big caveolar rosettes upon loss of cell adhesion, correlating with a lack of inward trafficking. Live imaging of stress fibers and Cav1 showed that the actin-linked Cav1 pool loses its spatial organization in the absence of actin polymerization and is dragged and clustered by depolymerizing filaments. We identified mDia1 as the actin polymerization regulator downstream of Abl kinases that controls the stress-fiber-linked Cav1 pool. mDia1 knockdown results in Cav1/ caveolae clustering and defective inward trafficking upon loss of cell adhesion. By contrast, cell elongation imposed by the excess of stress fibers induced by active mDia1 flattens caveolae. Furthermore, active mDia1 rescues the actin co-aligned Cav1 pool and Cav1 inward trafficking upon loss of adhesion in Abl-deficient cells. Thus, caveolar domain organization and trafficking are tightly coupled to adhesive and stress fiber regulatory pathways. © 2012.

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