Institute Fisiologia

Ursulo Galván, Mexico

Institute Fisiologia

Ursulo Galván, Mexico
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Sigaut L.,FCEN UBA | Ponce M.L.,FCEN UBA | Colman-Lerner A.,Institute Fisiologia | Dawson S.P.,FCEN UBA
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2010

In many cell-signaling pathways information is transmitted via the diffusion of messenger molecules. In most cases, messengers react with other substances and diffuse at the same time. Effective diffusion coefficients may be introduced to characterize the net transport rate that results from the combined effect of these two processes. It was shown in that even in the simplest scenario in which one bimolecular reaction is involved, two different effective coefficients are relevant. One gives the rate at which small perturbations spread out with time while the other relates the mean square displacement of a single particle to the time elapsed. They coincide in the absence of reactions but may be very different in other cases. Optical techniques provide a relatively noninvasive means by which transport rates can be estimated. In the above mentioned paper it was discussed why, under certain conditions, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), a technique commonly used to estimate diffusion rates in cells, provides information on one of the two effective coefficients. In the present paper we show that, under the same conditions, another commonly used optical technique, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), gives information on the other one. This opens up the possibility of combining experiments to obtain information that goes beyond effective transport rates. In the present paper we discuss different ways to do so. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Marques S.,Institute Medicina Molecular | Marques S.,Institute Fisiologia | Marques S.,University of Gottingen | Lopes L.V.,Instituto Of Farmacologia E Neurociencias
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2011

Aging is the best-known risk factor for many disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). The effect of epigenetic modulation of gene expression on normal aging and in pathological conditions is still unclear, but it is likely it may explain some of the complexity that is characteristic of these processes. Caffeine is a widely consumed psychoactive drug, which is emerging as a protective agent against AD progression and in aging associated deficits. This occurs mainly through the blockade of adenosine A2A receptors, whose expression and function become aberrant throughout aging and in age-related pathologies. Here, we discuss the data supporting the effects of caffeine in AD, focusing on adenosine A2A receptors and epigenetic modulation of gene expression. In addition, we speculate on the potential of caffeine as an epigenetic modulator and the consequences it might have for preventive and therapeutic applications of caffeine in AD. © 2011 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Soto E.,Institute Fisiologia | Vega R.,Institute Fisiologia | Sesena E.,Institute Fisiologia
Journal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation | Year: 2013

This work reviews the neuropharmacology of the vestibular system, with an emphasis on the mechanism of action of drugs used in the treatment of vestibular disorders. Clinicians are confronted with a rapidly changing field in which advances in the knowledge of ionic channel function and synaptic transmission mechanisms have led to the development of new scientific models for the understanding of vestibular dysfunction and its management. In particular, there have been recent advances in our knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms of vestibular system function and of drug action. In this work, drugs acting on vestibular system have been grouped into two main categories according to their primary mechanisms of action: those with effects on neurotransmitters and neuromodulators dynamics and those that act on voltage-gated ion channels. Particular attention is given in this review to drugs that may provide additional insight into the pathophysiology of vestibular diseases. The critical analysis of the literature reveals that there is a significant lack of information defining the real utility of diverse drugs used in clinical practice. The development of basic studies addressing drug actions at the molecular, cellular and systems level, combined with reliable and well controlled clinical trials, would provide the scientific basis for new strategies for the treatment of vestibular disorders. © 2013-IOS Press and the authors.


Gonzalez B.,Institute Investigaciones Farmacologicas | Raineri M.,Institute Investigaciones Farmacologicas | Cadet J.L.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Garcia-Rill E.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Neuropharmacology | Year: 2014

Chronic use of methamphetamine (METH) leads to long-lasting cognitive dysfunction in humans and in animal models. Modafinil is a wake-promoting compound approved for the treatment of sleeping disorders. It is also prescribed off label to treat METH dependence. In the present study, we investigated whether modafinil could improve cognitive deficits induced by sub-chronic METH treatment in mice by measuring visual retention in a Novel Object Recognition (NOR) task. After sub-chronic METH treatment (1 mg/kg, once a day for 7 days), mice performed the NOR task, which consisted of habituation to the object recognition arena (5 min a day, 3 consecutive days), training session (2 equal objects, 10 min, day 4), and a retention session (1 novel object, 5 min, day 5). One hour before the training session, mice were given a single dose of modafinil (30 or 90 mg/kg). METH-treated mice showed impairments in visual memory retention, evidenced by equal preference of familiar and novel objects during the retention session. The lower dose of modafinil (30 mg/kg) had no effect on visual retention scores in METH-treated mice, while the higher dose (90 mg/kg) rescued visual memory retention to control values. We also measured extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of METH- and vehicle-treated mice that received modafinil 1 h before exposure to novel objects in the training session, compared to mice placed in the arena without objects. Elevated ERK phosphorylation was found in the mPFC of vehicle-treated mice, but not in METH-treated mice, exposed to objects. The lower dose of modafinil had no effect on ERK phosphorylation in METH-treated mice, while 90 mg/kg modafinil treatment restored the ERK phosphorylation induced by novelty in METH-treated mice to values comparable to controls. We found neither a novelty nor treatment effect on ERK phosphorylation in hippocampus or NAc of vehicle- and METH-treated mice receiving acute 90 mg/kg modafinil treatment. Our results showed a palliative role of modafinil against METH-induced visual cognitive impairments, possibly by normalizing ERK signaling pathways in mPFC. Modafinil may be a valuable pharmacological tool for the treatment of cognitive deficits observed in human METH abusers as well as in other neuropsychiatric conditions. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'CNS Stimulants'. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Tenreiro S.,Institute Medicina Molecular | Eckermann K.,University of Gottingen | Outeiro T.F.,Institute Medicina Molecular | Outeiro T.F.,Institute Fisiologia | Outeiro T.F.,University of Gottingen
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Protein misfolding and aggregation is a common hallmark in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and fronto-temporal dementia (FTD). In these disorders, the misfolding and aggregation of specific proteins occurs alongside neuronal degeneration in somewhat specific brain areas, depending on the disorder and the stage of the disease. However, we still do not fully understand the mechanisms governing protein aggregation, and whether this constitutes a protective or detrimental process. In PD, alpha-synuclein (aSyn) forms protein aggregates, known as Lewy bodies, and is phosphorylated at serine 129. Other residues have also been shown to be phosphorylated, but the significance of phosphorylation in the biology and pathophysiology of the protein is still controversial. In AD and in FTD, hyperphosphorylation of tau protein causes its misfolding and aggregation. Again, our understanding of the precise consequences of tau phosphorylation in the biology and pathophysiology of the protein is still limited. Through the use of a variety of model organisms and technical approaches, we are now gaining stronger insight into the effects of phosphorylation in the behavior of these proteins. In this review, we cover recent findings in the field and discuss how targeting phosphorylation events might be used for therapeutic intervention in these devastating diseases of the nervous system. © 2014 Tenreiro, Eckermann and Outeiro.


Naftelberg S.,Tel Aviv University | Schor I.E.,Institute Fisiologia | Ast G.,Tel Aviv University | Kornblihtt A.R.,Institute Fisiologia
Annual Review of Biochemistry | Year: 2015

Alternative precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing plays a pivotal role in the flow of genetic information from DNA to proteins by expanding the coding capacity of genomes. Regulation of alternative splicing is as important as regulation of transcription to determine cell- and tissue-specific features, normal cell functioning, and responses of eukaryotic cells to external cues. Its importance is confirmed by the evolutionary conservation and diversification of alternative splicing and the fact that its deregulation causes hereditary disease and cancer. This review discusses the multiple layers of cotranscriptional regulation of alternative splicing in which chromatin structure, DNA methylation, histone marks, and nucleosome positioning play a fundamental role in providing a dynamic scaffold for interactions between the splicing and transcription machineries. We focus on evidence for how the kinetics of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) elongation and the recruitment of splicing factors and adaptor proteins to chromatin components act in coordination to regulate alternative splicing. Copyright © 2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Risso G.,Institute Fisiologia | Pelisch F.,Institute Fisiologia | Quaglino A.,Institute Fisiologia | Pozzi B.,Institute Fisiologia | Srebrow A.,Institute Fisiologia
IUBMB Life | Year: 2012

Serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins are among the most studied splicing regulators. They constitute a family of evolutionarily conserved proteins that, apart from their initially identified and deeply studied role in splicing regulation, have been implicated in genome stability, chromatin binding, transcription elongation, mRNA stability, mRNA export and mRNA translation. Remarkably, this list of SR protein activities seems far from complete, as unexpected functions keep being unraveled. An intriguing aspect that awaits further investigation is how the multiple tasks of SR proteins are concertedly regulated within mammalian cells. In this article, we first discuss recent findings regarding the regulation of SR protein expression, activity and accessibility. We dive into recent studies describing SR protein auto-regulatory feedback loops involving different molecular mechanisms such asunproductive splicing, microRNA-mediated regulation and translational repression. In addition, we take into account another step of regulation of SR proteins, presenting new findings about a variety of post-translational modifications by proteomics approaches and how some of these modifications can regulate SR protein sub-cellular localization or stability. Towards the end, we focus in two recently revealed functions of SR proteins beyond mRNA biogenesis and metabolism, the regulation of micro-RNA processing and the regulation of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) conjugation. © 2012 IUBMB IUBMB Life, 64(10): 809-816, 2012 Copyright © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Alvarez Y.D.,Institute Fisiologia | Marengo F.D.,Institute Fisiologia
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2011

In neuroendocrine cells, such as adrenal chromaffin cells, the exocytosis of hormone-filled vesicles is triggered by a localized Ca2+ increase that develops after the activation of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. To reach the fusion competent state, vesicles have to go through a series of maturation steps that involve the detachment from cytoskeletal proteins, docking and priming. However, the fusion readiness of vesicles will also depend on their proximity to the calcium source. The immediately releasable pool is a small group of ready-to-fuse vesicles, whose fusion is tightly coupled to Ca2+ entry through channels. Recent work indicates that such coupling is not produced by a random distribution between vesicles and channels, but would be the result of a specific interaction of immediately releasable vesicles with particular Ca2+ channel subtypes. The immediately releasable pool is able to sustain, with high efficiency, the secretion triggered by the small and localized Ca2+ gradients produced by brief depolarizations at low frequencies, like action potentials at basal conditions in adrenal chromaffin cells. © 2010 International Society for Neurochemistry.


de Oliveira R.M.,Institute Medicina Molecular | Sarkander J.,Institute Medicina Molecular | Kazantsev A.G.,Harvard University | Outeiro T.F.,Institute Medicina Molecular | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Pharmacology | Year: 2012

Sirtuin proteins are conserved regulators of aging that have recently emerged as important modifiers of several diseases which commonly occur later in life such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. In mammals, there are seven sirtuins (SIRT1-7), which display diversity in subcellular localization and function. SIRT1 has received much of attention due to its possible impact on longevity, while important biological and therapeutic roles of other sirtuins have been underestimated and just recently recognized. Here we focus on SIRT2, a member of the sirtuin family, and discuss its role in cellular and tissue-specific functions. This review summarizes the main scientific advances on SIRT2 protein biology and explores its potential as a therapeutic target for treatment of age-related disorders. © 2012 de Oliveira, Sarkander, Kazantsev and Outeiro.


Repici M.,University of Leicester | Straatman K.R.,University of Leicester | Balduccio N.,University of Leicester | Enguita F.J.,Institute Medicina Molecular | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Medicine | Year: 2013

Mutations in the protein DJ-1 cause recessive forms of early onset familial Parkinson's disease (PD). To date, most of the causative mutations studied destabilize formation of DJ-1 homodimers, which appears to be closely linked to its normal function in oxidative stress and other cellular processes. Despite the importance of understanding the dimerization dynamics of this protein, this aspect of DJ-1 biology has not previously been directly studied in living cells. Here, we use bimolecular fluorescence complementation to study DJ-1 dimerization and find not only that DJ-1 forms homodimers in living cells but that most PD causative DJ-1 mutations disrupt this process, including the L166P, M26I, L10P, and P158â̂† mutations. Interestingly, the E64D mutant form of DJ-1 retains the ability to form homodimers. However, while wild-type DJ-1 dimers are stabilized under oxidative stress conditions, we find that the E64D mutation blocks this stabilization. Furthermore, our data show that the E64D mutation potentiates the formation of aggresomes containing DJ-1. We also observe that while the widely studied L166P mutation prevents DJ-1 from forming homodimers or heterodimers with wild-type protein, the mutant protein is able to partially disrupt formation of wild-type homodimers. In summary, by investigating DJ-1 dimerization in living cells, we have uncovered several novel properties of PD causative mutations in DJ-1, which may ultimately provide novel insight into PD pathogenesis and possible therapeutic options. © 2012 The Author(s).

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