Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC

Granada, Spain

Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC

Granada, Spain
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Montes M.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC | Becerra S.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC | Sanchez-Alvarez M.,The Institute of Cancer Research | Sune C.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC
Gene | Year: 2012

The tightly regulated process of precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) alternative splicing is a key mechanism to increase the number and complexity of proteins encoded by the genome. Evidence gathered in recent years has established that transcription and splicing are physically and functionally coupled and that this coupling may be an essential aspect of the regulation of splicing and alternative splicing. Recent advances in our understanding of transcription and of splicing regulation have uncovered the multiple interactions between components from both types of machinery. These interactions help to explain the functional coupling of RNAPII transcription and pre-mRNA alternative splicing for efficient and regulated gene expression at the molecular level. Recent technological advances, in addition to novel cell and molecular biology approaches, have led to the development of new tools for addressing mechanistic questions to achieve an integrated and global understanding of the functional coupling of RNAPII transcription and pre-mRNA alternative splicing. Here, we review major milestones and insights into RNA polymerase II transcription and pre-mRNA alternative splicing as well as new concepts and challenges that have arisen from multiple genome-wide approaches and analyses at the single-cell resolution. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Diaz-Toledano R.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC | Diaz-Toledano R.,Research Center Biologica En Red Of Enfermedades Hepaticas gestivas | Gomez J.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC | Gomez J.,Research Center Biologica En Red Of Enfermedades Hepaticas gestivas
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2015

The purpose of this work was to ascertain whether liver mRNA species share common structural features with hepatitis C virus (HCV) mRNA that allow them to support the RNase-P (pre-tRNA/processing enzyme) cleavage reaction in vitro. The presence of RNase-P competitive elements in the liver mRNA population was determined by means of biochemical techniques, and a set of sensitive mRNA species were identified through microarray screening. Cleavage specificity and substrate length requirement of around 200 nts, were determined for three mRNA species. One of these cleavage sites was found in interferon-alpha 5 (IFNA5) mRNA between specific base positions and with the characteristic RNase-P chemistry of cleavage. It was mapped within a cloverleaf-like structure revealed by a comparative structural analysis based on several direct enzymes and chemical probing methods of three RNA fragments of increasing size, and subsequently contrasted against site-directed mutants. The core region was coincident with the reported signal for the cytoplasmic accumulation region (CAR) in IFNAs. Striking similarities with the tRNA-like element of the antagonist HCV mRNA were found. In general, this study provides a new way of looking at a variety of viral tRNA-like motifs as this type of structural mimicry might be related to specific host mRNA species rather than, or in addition to, tRNA itself. © 2015 The Author(s).

Arias J.L.,University of Granada | Unciti-Broceta J.D.,University of Granada | Unciti-Broceta J.D.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC | Maceira J.,University of Granada | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Controlled Release | Year: 2014

Targeted delivery of therapeutics is an alternative approach for the selective treatment of infectious diseases. The surface of African trypanosomes, the causative agents of African trypanosomiasis, is covered by a surface coat consisting of a single variant surface glycoprotein, termed VSG. This coat is recycled by endocytosis at a very high speed, making the trypanosome surface an excellent target for the delivery of trypanocidal drugs. Here, we report the design of a drug nanocarrier based on poly ethylen glycol (PEG) covalently attached (PEGylated) to poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide acid) (PLGA) to generate PEGylated PLGA nanoparticles. This nanocarrier was coupled to a single domain heavy chain antibody fragment (nanobody) that specifically recognizes the surface of the protozoan pathogen Trypanosoma brucei. Nanoparticles were loaded with pentamidine, the first-line drug for T. b. gambiense acute infection. An in vitro effectiveness assay showed a 7-fold decrease in the half-inhibitory concentration (IC50) of the formulation relative to free drug. Furthermore, in vivo therapy using a murine model of African trypanosomiasis demonstrated that the formulation cured all infected mice at a 10-fold lower dose than the minimal full curative dose of free pentamidine and 60% of mice at a 100-fold lower dose. This nanocarrier has been designed with components approved for use in humans and loaded with a drug that is currently in use to treat the disease. Moreover, this flexible nanobody-based system can be adapted to load any compound, opening a range of new potential therapies with application to other diseases. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Reyes-Darias J.A.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC | Sanchez-Luque F.J.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC | Berzal-Herranz A.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC
Virus Research | Year: 2012

The HIV-1 genome consists of two identical RNA molecules non-covalently linked by their 5' unstranslatable regions (5' UTR). The high level of sequence and structural conservation of this region correlates with its important functional involvement in the viral cycle, making it an attractive target for antiviral treatments based on antisense technology. Ten unmodified DNA antisense oligonucleotides (ODNs) targeted against different conserved structural elements within the 5' UTR were assayed for their capacity to interfere with HIV-1 RNA dimerisation, inhibit gene expression, and prevent virus production in cell cultures. The results show that, in addition to the well-characterised dimerisation initiation site (DIS), targeting of the AUG-containing structural element may reflect its direct role in HIV-1 genomic RNA dimerisation in vitro. Similarly, blocking the 3' end sequences of the stem-loop domain containing the primer biding site interferes with RNA dimerisation. Targeting the apical portion of the TAR element, however, appears to promote dimerisation. ODNs targeted against the conserved polyadenylation signal [Poly(A)], the primer binding site (PBS), the major splicing donor (SD) or the major packaging signal (Psi), and AUG-containing structural elements led to a highly efficient inhibition of HIV-1 gene expression and virus production in cell culture. Together, these results support the idea that ODNs possess great potential as molecular tools for the functional characterisation of viral RNA structural domains. Moreover, the targeting of these domains leads to the potent inhibition of viral replication, underscoring the potential of conserved structural RNA elements as antiviral targets. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Becerra S.,CSIC - Biological Research Center | Montes M.,CSIC - Biological Research Center | Montes M.,Copenhagen University | Hernandez-Munain C.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC | Sune C.,CSIC - Biological Research Center
RNA | Year: 2015

The first stable complex formed during the assembly of spliceosomes onto pre-mRNA substrates in mammals includes U1 snRNP, which recognizes the 5' splice site, and the splicing factors SF1 and U2AF, which bind the branch point sequence, polypyrimidine tract, and 3' splice site. The 5' and 3' splice site complexes are thought to be joined together by protein- protein interactions mediated by factors that ensure the fidelity of the initial splice site recognition. In this study, we identified and characterized PRPF40B, a putative mammalian ortholog of the U1 snRNP-associated yeast splicing factor Prp40. PRPF40B is highly enriched in speckles with a behavior similar to splicing factors. We demonstrated that PRPF40B interacts directly with SF1 and associates with U2AF65. Accordingly, PRPF40B colocalizes with these splicing factors in the cell nucleus. Splicing assays with reporter minigenes revealed that PRPF40B modulates alternative splice site selection. In the case of Fas regulation of alternative splicing, weak 5' and 3' splice sites and exonic sequences are required for PRPF40B function. Placing our data in a functional context, we also show that PRPF40B depletion increased Fas/CD95 receptor number and cell apoptosis, which suggests the ability of PRPF40B to alter the alternative splicing of key apoptotic genes to regulate cell survival. © 2015 Becerra et al.

Hernandez-Munain C.,Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC
Transcription | Year: 2015

Tcra/Tcrd includes 2 genes with distinct developmental programs controlled by 2 distant enhancers, Eα and Eδ. These enhancers work as a developmental switch during thymocyte development and they are essential for generation of αβ and γδ T-lymphocytes. Tcra and Tcrd transit from an unrearranged configuration to a rearranged configuration during T-cell development. Eα and Eδ are responsible for transcription of their respective unrearranged genes in thymocytes but are dispensable for such functions in the context of the rearranged genes in mature T-cells. Interestingly, Eα activates transcription of the rearranged Tcrd in γδ T-lymphocytes but it is inactive in αβ T-lymphocytes. © 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

PubMed | Autonomous University of Madrid and Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC
Type: | Journal: Molecular and biochemical parasitology | Year: 2016

The genomes of most eukaryotic organisms contain a large number of transposable elements that are able to move from one genomic site to another either by transferring of DNA mobile elements (transposons) or transpose via reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate (retroposons). An exception to this rule is found in protists of the subgenus Leishmania, in which active retroposons degenerated after a flourishing era, leaving only retroposon remains; these have been classified into two families: SIDER1 and SIDER2. In this work, we have re-examined the elements belonging to the family SIDER2 present in the genome of Leishmania major with the aim of providing a nomenclature that will facilitate a future reference to particular elements. According to sequence conservation, the 1100 SIDER2 elements have been grouped into subfamilies, and the inferred taxonomic relationships have also been incorporated into the nomenclature. Additionally, we are providing detailed data regarding the genomic distribution of these elements and their association with specific transcripts, based on the recently established transcriptome for L. major. Thus, the presented data can help to study and better understand the roles played by these degenerated retroposons in both regulation of gene expression and genome plasticity.

PubMed | Autonomous University of Madrid and Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC
Type: | Journal: Data in brief | Year: 2017

This paper contains data related to the research article entitled Genomic cartography and proposal of nomenclature for the repeated, interspersed elements of the

PubMed | University of the Basque Country and Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC
Type: | Journal: Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces | Year: 2016

Gene silencing mediated by RNAi has gained increasing interest as an alternative for the treatment of infectious diseases such as refractory hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In this work we have designed and evaluated a non-viral vector based on solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) bearing hyaluronic acid, protamine and a short hairpin RNA (shRNA74) targeted to the Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES) of the HCV. The vector was able to inhibit the expression of the HCV IRES in Huh-7 cells, with the inhibition level dependent on the shRNA74 to SLN ratio and on the shRNA74 dose added to the culture cells. The nanocarrier was also able to inhibit the replication in human hepatoma cells supporting a subgenomic HCV replicon (Huh-7 NS3-3). The vector was quickly and efficiently internalized by the cells, and endocytosis was the most productive uptake mechanism for silencing. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis and to a lesser extent caveolae/lipid raft-mediated endocytosis were identified as endocytic mechanisms involved in the cell uptake. Internalization via the CD44 receptor was also involved, although this entry route seems to be less productive for silencing than endocytosis. The vector did not induce either hemolysis or agglutination of red cells in vitro, which was indicative of good biocompatibility. In summary, we have shown for the first time the ability of a non-viral SLN-based vector to silence a HCV replicon.

PubMed | French National Center for Scientific Research and Institute Parasitologia y Biomedicina Lopez Neyra IPBLN CSIC
Type: Journal Article | Journal: RNA (New York, N.Y.) | Year: 2016

Coupling between transcription and RNA processing is key for gene regulation. Using live-cell photobleaching techniques, we investigated the factor TCERG1, which coordinates transcriptional elongation with splicing. We demonstrate that TCERG1 is highly mobile in the nucleoplasm and that this mobility is slightly decreased when it is associated with speckles. Dichloro-1--D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB) but not -amanitin treatment reduced the mobility of TCERG1, which suggests interaction with paused transcription elongation complexes. We found that TCERG1 mobility is rapid at the transcription site (TS) of a reporter that splices post-transcriptionally and that TCERG1 is recruited to the active TS independent of the CTD of RNAPII, thus excluding phosphorylated CTD as a requirement for recruiting this factor to the TS. Importantly, the mobility of TCERG1 is reduced when the reporter splices cotranscriptionally, which suggests that TCERG1 forms new macromolecular complexes when splicing occurs cotranscriptionally. In this condition, spliceostatin A has no effect, indicating that TCERG1 rapidly binds and dissociates from stalled spliceosomal complexes and that the mobility properties of TCERG1 do not depend on events occurring after the initial spliceosome formation. Taken together, these data suggest that TCERG1 binds independently to elongation and splicing complexes, thus performing their coupling by transient interactions rather than by stable association with one or the other complexes. This finding has conceptual implications for understanding the coupling between transcription and RNA processing.

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