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Doñinos de Salamanca, Spain

Gonzalez-Nunez M.,University of Salamanca | Munoz-Felix J.M.,Biomedical Research Institute of Salamanca IBSAL | Lopez-Novoa J.M.,Institute Queen Sophie for Renal Research
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease | Year: 2013

Activin receptor-like kinase-1 or ALK-1 is a type I cell surface receptor for the transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) family of proteins. The role of ALK-1 in endothelial cells biology and in angiogenesis has been thoroughly studied by many authors. However, it has been recently suggested a possible role of ALK-1 in cardiovascular homeostasis.ALK-1 is not only expressed in endothelial cells but also in smooth muscle cells, myofibroblast, hepatic stellate cells, chondrocytes, monocytes, myoblasts, macrophages or fibroblasts, but its role in these cells have not been deeply analyzed. Due to the function of ALK-1 in these cells, this receptor plays a role in several cardiovascular diseases. Animals with ALK-1 haploinsufficiency and patients with mutations in Acvrl1 (the gene that codifies for ALK-1) develop type-2 Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia. Moreover, ALK-1 heterozygous mice develop pulmonary hypertension. Higher levels of ALK-1 have been observed in atherosclerotic plaques, suggesting a possible protector role of this receptor. ALK-1 deficiency is also related to the development of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Besides, due to the ability of ALK-1 to regulate cell proliferation and migration, and to modulate extracellular matrix (ECM) protein expression in several cell types, ALK-1 has been now demonstrated to play an important role in cardiovascular remodeling.In this review, we would like to offer a complete vision of the role of ALK-1 in many process related to cardiovascular homeostasis, and the involvement of this protein in the development of cardiovascular diseases, suggesting the possibility of using the ALK-1/smad-1 pathway as a powerful therapeutic target. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source


Munoz-Felix J.M.,University of Salamanca | Munoz-Felix J.M.,Biomedical Research Institute of Salamanca IBSAL | Munoz-Felix J.M.,Institute Queen Sophie for Renal Research | Gonzalez-Nunez M.,University of Salamanca | And 5 more authors.
Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews | Year: 2013

Fibrosis is a common phenomenon associated with several pathologies, characterized by an excessive extracellular matrix deposition that leads to a progressive organ dysfunction. Thus fibrosis has a relevant role in chronic diseases affecting the kidney, the liver, lung, skin (scleroderma) and joints (arthritis), among others. The pathogenesis of fibrosis in different organs share numerous similarities, being one of them the presence of activated fibroblasts, denominated myofibroblast, which act as the main source of extracellular matrix proteins. Transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) is a profibrotic cytokine that plays a pivotal role in fibrosis. The TGF-β1/ALK5/Smad3 signaling pathway has been studied in fibrosis extensively. However, an increasing number of studies involving the ALK1/Smad1 pathway in the fibrotic process exist. In this review we offer a perspective of the function of ALK1/Smad1 pathway in renal fibrosis, liver fibrosis, scleroderma and osteoarthritis, suggesting this pathway as a powerful therapeutical target. We also propose several strategies to modulate the activity of this pathway and its consequences in the fibrotic process. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Gonzalez-Nunez M.,University of Salamanca | Gonzalez-Nunez M.,Biomedical Research Institute of Salamanca IBSAL | Gonzalez-Nunez M.,Institute Queen Sophie for Renal Research | Munoz-Felix J.M.,University of Salamanca | And 5 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease | Year: 2013

Activin receptor-like kinase-1 or ALK-1 is a type I cell surface receptor for the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family of proteins. The role of ALK-1 in endothelial cells biology and in angiogenesis has been thoroughly studied by many authors. However, it has been recently suggested a possible role of ALK-1 in cardiovascular homeostasis.ALK-1 is not only expressed in endothelial cells but also in smooth muscle cells, myofibroblast, hepatic stellate cells, chondrocytes, monocytes, myoblasts, macrophages or fibroblasts, but its role in these cells have not been deeply analyzed. Due to the function of ALK-1 in these cells, this receptor plays a role in several cardiovascular diseases. Animals with ALK-1 haploinsufficiency and patients with mutations in Acvrl1 (the gene that codifies for ALK-1) develop type-2 Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia. Moreover, ALK-1 heterozygous mice develop pulmonary hypertension. Higher levels of ALK-1 have been observed in atherosclerotic plaques, suggesting a possible protector role of this receptor. ALK-1 deficiency is also related to the development of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Besides, due to the ability of ALK-1 to regulate cell proliferation and migration, and to modulate extracellular matrix (ECM) protein expression in several cell types, ALK-1 has been now demonstrated to play an important role in cardiovascular remodeling.In this review, we would like to offer a complete vision of the role of ALK-1 in many process related to cardiovascular homeostasis, and the involvement of this protein in the development of cardiovascular diseases, suggesting the possibility of using the ALK-1/smad-1 pathway as a powerful therapeutic target. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source


Oujo B.,University of Salamanca | Oujo B.,Biomedical Research Institute of Salamanca IBSAL | Oujo B.,Institute Queen Sophie for Renal Research | Munoz-Felix J.M.,University of Salamanca | And 29 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) plays a pivotal role in renal fibrosis. Endoglin, a 180 KDa membrane glycoprotein, is a TGF-β co-receptor overexpressed in several models of chronic kidney disease, but its function in renal fibrosis remains uncertain. Two membrane isoforms generated by alternative splicing have been described, L-Endoglin (long) and S-Endoglin (short) that differ from each other in their cytoplasmic tails, being L-Endoglin the most abundant isoform. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of L-Endoglin overexpression in renal tubulo-interstitial fibrosis. For this purpose, a transgenic mouse which ubiquitously overexpresses human L-Endoglin ( L-ENG+) was generated and unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) was performed in L-ENG+ mice and their wild type (WT) littermates. Obstructed kidneys from L-ENG+ mice showed higher amounts of type I collagen and fibronectin but similar levels of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) than obstructed kidneys from WT mice. Smad1 and Smad3 phosphorylation were significantly higher in obstructed kidneys from L-ENG+ than in WT mice. Our results suggest that the higher increase of renal fibrosis observed in L-ENG+ mice is not due to a major abundance of myofibroblasts, as similar levels of α-SMA were observed in both L-ENG+ and WT mice, but to the higher collagen and fibronectin synthesis by these fibroblasts. Furthermore, in vivo L-Endoglin overexpression potentiates Smad1 and Smad3 pathways and this effect is associated with higher renal fibrosis development. © 2014 Oujo et al. Source

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