Paterna De Rivera, Spain
Paterna De Rivera, Spain

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Fernandez-Costa J.M.,University of Valencia | Fernandez-Costa J.M.,Valentia Biopharma | Garcia-Lopez A.,University of Valencia | Zuniga S.,Sistemas Genomicos Ltd | And 16 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2013

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by the expansion of CTG repeats in the 3' untranslated region of the DMPK gene. Several missplicing events and transcriptional alterations have been described in DM1 patients. A large number of these defects have been reproduced in animal models expressing CTG repeats alone. Recent studies have also reported miRNA dysregulation in DM1 patients. In this work, a Drosophila model was used to investigate miRNA transcriptome alterations in the muscle, specifically triggered by CTG expansions. Twenty miRNAs were differentially expressed in CTG-expressing flies. Of these, 19 were down-regulated, whereas 1 was up-regulated. This trend was confirmed for those miRNAs conserved between Drosophila and humans (miR-1, miR-7 and miR-10) in muscle biopsies from DM1 patients. Consistently, at least seven target transcripts of these miRNAs were up-regulated in DM1 skeletal muscles. The mechanisms involved in dysregulation of miR-7 included a reduction of its primary precursor both in CTG-expressing flies and in DM1 patients. Additionally, a regulatory role for Muscleblind (Mbl) was also suggested for miR-1 and miR-7, as these miRNAs were down-regulated in flies where Mbl had been silenced. Finally, the physiological relevance of miRNA dysregulation was demonstrated for miR-10, since over-expression of this miRNA in Drosophila extended the lifespan of CTG-expressing flies. Taken together, our results contribute to our understanding of the origin and the role of miRNA alterations in DM1. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Axford M.M.,The Hospital for Sick Children | Axford M.M.,University of Toronto | Lopez-Castel A.,The Hospital for Sick Children | Lopez-Castel A.,Valentia Biopharma | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2011

Background: Recently, curious mutations have been reported to occur within the (CTG)n repeat tract of the myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) locus. For example, the repeat, long presumed to be a pure repeat sequence, has now been revealed to often contain interruption motifs in a proportion of cases with expansions. Similarly, a few de novo somatic CTG expansions have been reported to arise from non-expanded DM1 alleles with 5e37 units, thought to be genetically stable. Aims and methods: This study has characterised a novel mutation configuration at the DM1 CTG repeat that arose as somatic mosaicism in a juvenile onset DM1 patient with a non-expanded allele of (CTG)12 and tissue specific expansions ranging from (CTG)1100 to 6000. Results: The mutation configuration replaced the CTG tract with a non-CTG repeat insertion of 43 or 60 nucleotides, precisely placed in the position of the CTG tract with proper flanking sequences. The inserts appeared to arise from a longer human sequence on chromosome 4q12, and may have arisen through DNA structure mediated somatic inter-gene recombination or replication/repair template switching errors. De novo insertions were detected in cerebral cortex and skeletal muscle, but not in heart or liver. Repeat tracts with -1 or -2 CTG units were also detected in cerebellum, which may have arisen by contractions of the short (CTG)12 allele. Conclusion: This non-CTG configuration expands current understanding of the sequence variations that can arise at this hypermutable site.


Garcia-Alcover I.,Valentia Biopharma | Garcia-Alcover I.,University of Valencia | Colonques-Bellmunt J.,Valentia Biopharma | Garijo R.,Valentia Biopharma | And 9 more authors.
DMM Disease Models and Mechanisms | Year: 2014

Alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs is an important mechanism that regulates cellular function in higher eukaryotes. A growing number of human genetic diseases involve splicing defects that are directly connected to their pathology. In myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), several clinical manifestations have been proposed to be the consequence of tissue-specific missplicing of numerous genes. These events are triggered by an RNA gain-of-function and resultant deregulation of specific RNA-binding factors, such as the nuclear sequestration of muscleblind-like family factors (MBNL1-MBNL3). Thus, the identification of chemical modulators of splicing events could lead to the development of the first valid therapy for DM1 patients. To this end, we have generated and validated transgenic flies that contain a luciferase-reporter-based system that is coupled to the expression of MBNL1-reliant splicing (spliceosensor flies), to assess events that are deregulated in DM1 patients in a relevant disease tissue. We then developed an innovative 96-well plate screening platform to carry out in vivo high-throughput pharmacological screening (HTS) with the spliceosensor model. After a large-scale evaluation (>16,000 chemical entities), several reliable splicing modulators (hits) were identified. Hit validation steps recognized separate DM1-linked therapeutic traits for some of the hits, which corroborated the feasibility of the approach described herein to reveal promising drug candidates to correct missplicing in DM1. This powerful Drosophila-based screening tool might also be applied in other disease models displaying abnormal alternative splicing, thus offering myriad uses in drug discovery. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd


Moreno L.,University of Valencia | Cabedo N.,Instituto Agroforestal Mediterraneo | Ivorra M.D.,University of Valencia | Sanz M.-J.,University of Valencia | And 3 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2013

Dopamine-mediated neurotransmission plays an important role in relevant psychiatric and neurological disorders. Nowadays, there is an enormous interest in the development of new drugs acting at the dopamine receptors (DR) as potential new targets for the treatment of schizophrenia or Parkinson's disease. Previous studies have revealed that isoquinoline compounds such as tetrahydroisoquinolines (THIQs) can behave as selective D2 dopaminergic alkaloids. In the present study we have synthesized five aporphine compounds and five phenanthrene alkaloids and evaluated their potential dopaminergic activity. Binding studies on rat striatal membranes were used to evaluate their affinity and selectivity towards D1 and D2 DR. Phenanthrene type alkaloids, in particular the 3,4-dihydroxy- and 3,4-methylenedioxy derivatives, displayed high selectivity towards D2 DR. Therefore, they are potential candidates to be used in the treatment of schizophrenia (antagonists) or Parkinson's disease (agonists) due to their scarce D1 DR-associated side effects. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Garcia-Alcover I.,Valentia Biopharma | Castel A.L.,Valentia Biopharma | Perez-Alonso M.,Valentia Biopharma | Artero R.,University of Valencia
Drug Discovery Today: Technologies | Year: 2013

Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is a complex neuromuscular genetic disease for which there is currently no valid therapy. The recent development of non-mammal animal models opened up the possibility of performing drug discovery in vivo, using as screening readout phenotypes with underlying molecular parallels to the disease. In this review we discuss the state of the art technologies already used in large scale drug screening and provide guidance for further development of novel technologies. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Valentia Biopharma and University of Valencia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Disease models & mechanisms | Year: 2014

Alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs is an important mechanism that regulates cellular function in higher eukaryotes. A growing number of human genetic diseases involve splicing defects that are directly connected to their pathology. In myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), several clinical manifestations have been proposed to be the consequence of tissue-specific missplicing of numerous genes. These events are triggered by an RNA gain-of-function and resultant deregulation of specific RNA-binding factors, such as the nuclear sequestration of muscleblind-like family factors (MBNL1-MBNL3). Thus, the identification of chemical modulators of splicing events could lead to the development of the first valid therapy for DM1 patients. To this end, we have generated and validated transgenic flies that contain a luciferase-reporter-based system that is coupled to the expression of MBNL1-reliant splicing (spliceosensor flies), to assess events that are deregulated in DM1 patients in a relevant disease tissue. We then developed an innovative 96-well plate screening platform to carry out in vivo high-throughput pharmacological screening (HTS) with the spliceosensor model. After a large-scale evaluation (>16,000 chemical entities), several reliable splicing modulators (hits) were identified. Hit validation steps recognized separate DM1-linked therapeutic traits for some of the hits, which corroborated the feasibility of the approach described herein to reveal promising drug candidates to correct missplicing in DM1. This powerful Drosophila-based screening tool might also be applied in other disease models displaying abnormal alternative splicing, thus offering myriad uses in drug discovery.


Patent
Valentia Biopharma | Date: 2014-06-18

Phenanthrene derivatives of formula I for use as medicaments. The present invention refers to phenanthrene derivatives for use as medicaments, mainly in the prevention and/or treatment of DM1, HDL2, SCA8, DM2, SCA3, FXTAS, FTD/ALS, and SCA31. In a preferred embodiment, phenanthrene derivatives of the invention are also used as antimyotonic agents.


Patent
Valentia Biopharma | Date: 2013-12-13

The present invention refers to phenanthrene derivatives for use as medicaments, mainly in the prevention and/or treatment of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, Huntingtons Disease Like 2, Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 8, Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2, Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3, Fragile-X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome, Frontotemporal Degeneration/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 31. In a preferred embodiment, phenanthrene derivatives of the invention are also used as antimyotonic agents. Therefore, this invention may be included either in the whole pharmaceutical or medical field.

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