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Bhavesh R.,Spanish Cardiovascular Research Center | Lechuga-Vieco A.V.,Spanish Cardiovascular Research Center | Ruiz-Cabello J.,Spanish Cardiovascular Research Center | Ruiz-Cabello J.,Complutense University of Madrid | Herranz F.,Spanish Cardiovascular Research Center
Nanomaterials | Year: 2015

Iron oxide nanoparticles have long been studied as a T2 contrast agent in MRI due to their superparamagnetic behavior. T1-based positive contrast, being much more favorable for clinical application due to brighter and more accurate signaling is, however, still limited to gadolinium- or manganese-based imaging tools. Though being the only available commercial positive-contrast agents, they lack an efficient argument when it comes to biological toxicity and their circulatory half-life in blood. The need arises to design a biocompatible contrast agent with a scope for easy surface functionalization for long circulation in blood and/or targeted imaging. We hereby propose an extremely fast microwave synthesis for fluorescein-labeled extremely-small iron oxide nanoparticles (fdIONP), in a single step, as a viable tool for cell labeling and T1-MRI. We demonstrate the capabilities of such an approach through high-quality magnetic resonance angiographic images of mice. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Beninca C.,Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona IBMB | Beninca C.,Spanish Cardiovascular Research Center | Planaguma J.,University of Bergen | Planaguma J.,Hospital Clinic IDIBAPS | And 12 more authors.
Cellular Signalling | Year: 2014

Contrary to previous assumptions, G proteins do not permanently reside on the plasma membrane, but are constantly monitoring the cytoplasmic surfaces of the plasma membrane and endomembranes. Here, we report that the Gαq and Gα11 proteins locate at the mitochondria and play a role in a complex signaling pathway that regulates mitochondrial dynamics. Our results provide evidence for the presence of the heteromeric G protein (Gαq/11βγ) at the outer mitochondrial membrane and for Gαq at the inner membrane. Both localizations are necessary to maintain the proper equilibrium between fusion and fission; which is achieved by altering the activity of mitofusin proteins, Drp1, OPA1 and the membrane potential at both the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes. As a result of the absence of Gαq/11, there is a decrease in mitochondrial fusion rates and a decrease in overall respiratory capacity, ATP production and OXPHOS-dependent growth. These findings demonstrate that the presence of Gαq proteins at the mitochondria serves as a physiological function: stabilizing elongated mitochondria and regulating energy production in Drp1 and Opa1 dependent mechanisms. This thereby links organelle dynamics and physiology. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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