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Carmena A.,Institute Neurociencias
Small GTPases | Year: 2012

Members of the Ras superfamily of small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) function as key nodes within signaling networks in a remarkable range of cellular processes, including cell proliferation, differentiation, growth, cell-cell adhesion and apoptosis. We recently described a novel role for the Ras-like small GTPases Rap1 and Ral in regulating cortical polarity and spindle orientation during asymmetric neuroblast division in Drosophila. The participation of these proteins in promoting cell polarization seems to be a common theme throughout evolution.

Introduction: Alcoholic men and women have differential characteristics. It has been discussed whether alcoholic women have specific and additional difficulties that require extra study. However, these differences may imply an advantage for some aspects of treatment. Material and method: data from eleven published studies of alcoholic patients are reanalyzed from a gender perspective. Objective: to gain better knowledge of gender differences and their therapeutic implications. Results: women present more suicidal attempts than men, but these attempts are less lethal and have less intentionality. Personality structure is similar in the two sexes, but women have better prognosis, even if they present psychiatric disorders. A notable characteristic of women's prognosis is their better adherence to group therapies. Women diagnosed with severe alcohol dependence who need inpatient treatment for detoxification are usually younger and have higher rates of benzodiazepine abuse and personality disorders than men, but are also more collaborative, and benefit more from therapy. Female benzodiazepine abusers show lower rates of neurocognitive impairment than men. Alcoholic women with severe organic conditions that require inpatient treatment usually have a medical record with more unsuccessful treatment attempts for alcohol dependence than men, and their prognosis is equally unfavourable. Conclusion: alcoholic women may have psychological mechanisms that facilitate higher abstinence rates and lower mortality rates than men. Future research for improving knowledge of such mechanisms, which are related to emotional factors such as guilt, depression and anxiety, and traditionally considered as problematic, may indicate that they actually increase motivation to change.

Reis S.D.S.,City College of New York | Reis S.D.S.,Federal University of Ceara | Hu Y.,City College of New York | Babino A.,FCEN UBA | And 6 more authors.
Nature Physics | Year: 2014

Networks in nature do not act in isolation, but instead exchange information and depend on one another to function properly. Theory has shown that connecting random networks may very easily result in abrupt failures. This finding reveals an intriguing paradox: if natural systems organize in interconnected networks, how can they be so stable? Here we provide a solution to this conundrum, showing that the stability of a system of networks relies on the relation between the internal structure of a network and its pattern of connections to other networks. Specifically, we demonstrate that if interconnections are provided by network hubs, and the connections between networks are moderately convergent, the system of networks is stable and robust to failure. We test this theoretical prediction on two independent experiments of functional brain networks (in task and resting states), which show that brain networks are connected with a topology that maximizes stability according to the theory.

Nieto M.A.,Institute Neurociencias | Cano A.,Uam Institute Investigaciones Biomedicas Alberto Sols Csic Uam
Seminars in Cancer Biology | Year: 2012

The epithelial to mesenchymal transition or EMT has become one of the most exciting fields in cancer research. Nevertheless, its relevance in tumor biology and the metastatic process still faces some controversy. Clarification may arise when considering the EMT as a reversible and often incomplete process, essentially a manifestation of strong epithelial plasticity. Transient cellular states are generated to fulfill specific requirements in each and all the steps of the metastatic process, from primary tumor cell detachment to dissemination and colonization. Opposing multiple cellular programs that promote or prevent EMT, thereby destabilizing or reinforcing epithelial integrity, play a central role in the inherent cellular dynamics of cancer progression. These cell biology programs not only drive cells towards the epithelial or the mesenchymal state but also impinge into multiple cellular and global responses including proliferation, stemness, chemo and immunotherapy resistance, inflammation and immunity, all relevant for the development of the metastatic disease. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Dominguez M.,Institute Neurociencias
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2014

The inappropriate Notch signalling can influence virtually all aspect of cancer, including tumour-cell growth, survival, apoptosis, angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis, although it does not do this alone. Hence, elucidating the partners of Notch that are active in cancer is now the focus of much intense research activity. The genetic toolkits available, coupled to the small size and short life of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, makes this an inexpensive and effective animal model, suited to large-scale cancer gene discovery studies. The fly eye is not only a non-vital organ but its stereotyped size and disposition also means it is easy to screen for mutations that cause tumours and metastases and provides ample opportunities to test cancer theories and to unravel unanticipated nexus between Notch and other cancer genes, or to discover unforeseen Notch's partners in cancer. These studies suggest that Notch's oncogenic capacity is brought about not simply by increasing signal strength but through partnerships, whereby oncogenes gain more by cooperating than acting individually, as in a ring 'organized crime'. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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