Vall dHebron Research Institute

Barcelona, Spain

Vall dHebron Research Institute

Barcelona, Spain
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Martinez-Vicente M.,Vall Dhebron Research Institute | Martinez-Vicente M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Martinez-Vicente M.,CIBER ISCIII
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience | Year: 2017

Neuronal homeostasis depends on the proper functioning of different quality control systems. All intracellular components are subjected to continuous turnover through the coordinated synthesis, degradation and recycling of their constituent elements. Autophagy is the catabolic mechanism by which intracellular cytosolic components, including proteins, organelles, aggregates and any other intracellular materials, are delivered to lysosomes for degradation. Among the different types of selective autophagy described to date, the process of mitophagy involves the selective autophagic degradation of mitochondria. In this way, mitophagy is responsible for basal mitochondrial turnover, but can also be induced under certain physiological or pathogenic conditions to eliminate unwanted or damaged mitochondria. Dysfunctional cellular proteolytic systems have been linked extensively to neurodegenerative diseases (ND) like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), or Huntington’s disease (HD), with autophagic failure being one of the main factors contributing to neuronal cell death in these diseases. Neurons are particularly vulnerable to autophagic impairment as well as to mitochondrial dysfunction, due mostly to their particular high energy dependence and to their post-mitotic nature. The accurate and proper degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria by mitophagy is essential for maintaining control over mitochondrial quality and quantity in neurons. In this report, I will review the role of mitophagy in neuronal homeostasis and the consequences of its dysfunction in ND. © 2017 Martinez-Vicente.


Koga H.,Yeshiva University | Martinez-Vicente M.,Yeshiva University | Martinez-Vicente M.,Vall dHebron Research Institute | Arias E.,Yeshiva University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2011

Autophagy contributes to the removal of prone-to-aggregate proteins, but in several instances these pathogenic proteins have been shown to interfere with autophagic activity. In the case of Huntington's disease (HD), a congenital neurodegenerative disorder resulting from mutation in the hunting tin protein, we have previously described that the mutant protein interferes with the ability of autophagic vacuoles to recognize cytosolic cargo. Growing evidence supports the existence of cross talk among autophagic pathways, suggesting the possibility of functional compensation when one of them is compromised. In this study, we have identified a compensatory upregulation of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in different cellular and mouse models of HD. Components of CMA, namely the lysosome associated membrane protein type 2A (LAMP-2A) and lysosomal-hsc70, are markedly increased in HD models. The increase in LAMP-2A is achieved through both an increase in the stability of this protein at the lysosomal membrane and transcriptional upregulation of this splice variant of the lamp-2 gene. We propose that CMA activity increases in response to macroautophagic dysfunction in the early stages of HD, but that the efficiency of this compensatory mechanism may decrease with age and so contribute to cellular failure and the onset of pathological manifestations. © 2011 the authors.


Dehay B.,University of Bordeaux Segalen | Ramirez A.,University of Lübeck | Martinez-Vicente M.,Vall dHebron Research Institute | Perier C.,Vall dHebron Research Institute | And 8 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2012

Parkinson disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder pathologically characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons from the substantia nigra pars compacta and the presence, in affected brain regions, of protein inclusions named Lewy bodies (LBs). The ATP13A2 gene (locus PARK9) encodes the protein ATP13A2, a lysosomal type 5 P-type ATPase that is linked to autosomal recessive familial parkinsonism. The physiological function of ATP13A2, and hence its role in PD, remains to be elucidated. Here, we show that PD-linked mutations in ATP13A2 lead to several lysosomal alterations in ATP13A2 PD patient-derived fibroblasts, including impaired lysosomal acidification, decreased proteolytic processing of lysosomal enzymes, reduced degradation of lysosomal substrates, and diminished lysosomal-mediated clearance of autophagosomes. Similar alterations are observed in stableATP13A2- knockdown dopaminergic cell lines,which are associated with cell death. Restoration of ATP13A2 levels in ATP13A2-mutant/ depleted cells restores lysosomal function and attenuates cell death. Relevant to PD, ATP13A2 levels are decreased in dopaminergic nigral neurons from patients with PD, in which ATP13A2 mostly accumulates within Lewy bodies. Our results unravel an instrumental role of ATP13A2 deficiency on lysosomal function and cell viability and demonstrate the feasibility and therapeutic potential of modulating ATP13A2 levels in the context of PD.


Gallwitz B.,University of Tübingen | Guzman J.,Celaya Center for Specialist Medicine | Dotta F.,Endocrine and Metabolic science | Guerci B.,Nancy University Hospital Center | And 7 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2012

Background Glycaemic control deteriorates progressively over time in patients with type 2 diabetes. Options for treatment escalation remain controversial after failure of first-line treatment with metformin. We compared add-on exenatide with glimepiride for durability of glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled by metformin alone. Methods We did an open-label, randomised controlled trial at 128 centres in 14 countries between Sept 5, 2006, and March 29, 2011. Patients aged 18-85 years with type 2 diabetes inadequately treated by metformin were randomly assigned via a computer-generated randomisation sequence to receive exenatide twice daily or glimepiride once daily as add-on to metformin. Randomisation was stratified by predetermined categories of glycated haemoglobin (HbA 1C) concentration. The primary outcome was time to inadequate glycaemic control and need for alternative treatment, defined as an HbA 1c concentration of more than 9% after the first 3 months of treatment, or more than 7% at two consecutive visits after the first 6 months. Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with EudraCT, number 2005-005448-21, and ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00359762. Findings We randomly assigned 515 patients to the exenatide group and 514 to the glimepiride group, of whom 490 versus 487 were the intention-to-treat population. 203 (41%) patients had treatment failure in the exenatide group compared with 262 (54%) in the glimepiride group (risk difference 12·4 [95% CI 6·2-18·6], hazard ratio 0·748 [0·623-0·899]; p=0·002). 218 (44%) of 490 patients in the exenatide group, and 150 (31%) of 487 in the glimepiride group achieved an HbA 1c concentration of less than 7% (p<0·0001), and 140 (29%) versus 87 (18%) achieved concentrations of 6·5% and less (p=0·0001). We noted a significantly greater decrease in bodyweight in patients given exenatide than in those given glimepiride (p<0·0001). Five patients in each treatment group died from causes unrelated to treatment. Significantly fewer patients in the exenatide group than in the glimepiride group reported documented symptomatic (p<0·0001), nocturnal (p=0·007), and non-nocturnal (p<0·0001) hypoglycaemia. Discontinuation because of adverse events (mainly gastrointestinal) was significantly higher (p=0·0005) in the exenatide group than in the glimepiride group in the first 6 months of treatment, but not thereafter. Interpretation These findings provide evidence for the benefits of exenatide versus glimepiride for control of glycaemic deterioration in patients with type-2 diabetes inadequately controlled by metformin alone.


Muntane G.,Idibell Hospital Universitari Of Bellvitge | Ferrer I.,Idibell Hospital Universitari Of Bellvitge | Martinez-Vicente M.,Idibell Hospital Universitari Of Bellvitge | Martinez-Vicente M.,Vall dHebron Research Institute
Neuroscience | Year: 2012

α-synuclein is a key protein in Lewy body diseases (LBDs) and a major component of Lewy bodies and related aberrant cytoplasmic and neuritic inclusions. Regional differences in α-synuclein have been associated with selective neuronal vulnerability to Lewy pathology. Furthermore, phosphorylation at serine 129 (Ser129) and α-synuclein truncation have been considered crucial in the pathogenesis of Lewy inclusions. The present study shows consistent reduction in α-synuclein protein expression levels in the human substantia nigra and nucleus basalis of Meynert compared with other brain regions independently of age and pathology. Phosphorylated α-synuclein at Ser129 is naturally increased in these same regions, thus inversely related with the total amount of α-synuclein. In contrast, truncated α-synuclein is naturally observed in control and diseased brains and correlating with the total amount of α-synuclein. Several truncated variants have been identified where some of these variants are truncated at the C-terminal domain, whereas others are truncated at the N-terminal domain, and all are present in cases with and without Lewy pathology. Although accumulation of truncated α-synuclein variants and phosphorylated α-synuclein occurs in Lewy bodies, α-synuclein phosphorylation and truncation can be considered constitutive in control and diseased brains. © 2011 IBRO.


Clau-Terre F.,Vall dHebron Research Institute | Sharma V.,St Georges Healthcare Nhs Trust | Cholley B.,Service dAnesthesie Reanimation | Gonzalez-Alujas T.,University of Barcelona | And 3 more authors.
Anesthesiology | Year: 2014

There has been a recent explosion of education and training in echocardiography in the specialties of anesthesiology and critical care. These devices, by their impact on clinical management, are changing the way surgery is performed and critical care is delivered. A number of international bodies have made recommendations for training and developed examinations and accreditations. The challenge to medical educators in this area is to deliver the training needed to achieve competence into already overstretched curricula. The authors found an apparent increase in the use of simulators, with proven efficacy in improving technical skills and knowledge. There is still an absence of evidence on how it should be included in training programs and in the accreditation of certain levels. There is a conviction that this form of simulation can enhance and accelerate the understanding and practice of echocardiography by the anesthesiologist and intensivists, particularly at the beginning of the learning curve. © 2013, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Dehay B.,University of Bordeaux Segalen | Martinez-Vicente M.,Vall dHebron Research Institute | Caldwell G.A.,University of Alabama | Caldwell G.A.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | And 9 more authors.
Movement Disorders | Year: 2013

Impairment of autophagy-lysosomal pathways (ALPs) is increasingly regarded as a major pathogenic event in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD). ALP alterations are observed in sporadic PD brains and in toxic and genetic rodent models of PD-related neurodegeneration. In addition, PD-linked mutations and post-translational modifications of α-synuclein impair its own lysosomal-mediated degradation, thereby contributing to its accumulation and aggregation. Furthermore, other PD-related genes, such as leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 (LRRK2), parkin, and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1), have been mechanistically linked to alterations in ALPs. Conversely, mutations in lysosomal-related genes, such as glucocerebrosidase (GBA) and lysosomal type 5 P-type ATPase (ATP13A2), have been linked to PD. New data offer mechanistic molecular evidence for such a connection, unraveling a causal link between lysosomal impairment, α-synuclein accumulation, and neurotoxicity. First, PD-related GBA deficiency/mutations initiate a positive feedback loop in which reduced lysosomal function leads to α-synuclein accumulation, which, in turn, further decreases lysosomal GBA activity by impairing the trafficking of GBA from the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi to lysosomes, leading to neurodegeneration. Second, PD-related mutations/deficiency in the ATP13A2 gene lead to a general lysosomal impairment characterized by lysosomal membrane instability, impaired lysosomal acidification, decreased processing of lysosomal enzymes, reduced degradation of lysosomal substrates, and diminished clearance of autophagosomes, collectively contributing to α-synuclein accumulation and cell death. According to these new findings, primary lysosomal defects could potentially account for Lewy body formation and neurodegeneration in PD, laying the groundwork for the prospective development of new neuroprotective/disease-modifying therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring lysosomal levels and function. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society.


Andreu-Perez P.,Vall dHebron Research Institute
Science signaling | Year: 2011

The RAS to extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signal transduction cascade is crucial to cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Although numerous growth factors activate the RAS-ERK pathway, they can have different effects on the amplitude and duration of the ERK signal and, therefore, on the biological consequences. For instance, nerve growth factor, which elicits a larger and more sustained increase in ERK phosphorylation in PC12 cells than does epidermal growth factor (EGF), stimulates PC12 cell differentiation, whereas EGF stimulates PC12 cell proliferation. Here, we show that protein arginine methylation limits the ERK1/2 signal elicited by particular growth factors in different cell types from various species. We found that this restriction in ERK1/2 phosphorylation depended on methylation of RAF proteins by protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5). PRMT5-dependent methylation enhanced the degradation of activated CRAF and BRAF, thereby reducing their catalytic activity. Inhibition of PRMT5 activity or expression of RAF mutants that could not be methylated not only affected the amplitude and duration of ERK phosphorylation in response to growth factors but also redirected the response of PC12 cells to EGF from proliferation to differentiation. This additional level of regulation within the RAS pathway may lead to the identification of new targets for therapeutic intervention.


Recasens A.,Vall Dhebron Research Institute | Recasens A.,University of Sydney | Dehay B.,Institut Universitaire de France | Dehay B.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy | Year: 2014

Formation and accumulation of misfolded protein aggregates are a central hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases. In Parkinson’s disease (PD), the aggregation-prone protein alpha-synuclein (α-syn) is the culprit. In the past few years, another piece of the puzzle has been added with data suggesting that α-syn may self-propagate, thereby contributing to the progression and extension of PD. Of particular importance, it was the seminal observation of Lewy bodies (LB), a histopathological signature of PD, in grafted fetal dopaminergic neurons in the striatum of PD patients. Consequently, these findings were a conceptual breakthrough, generating the “host to graft transmission” hypothesis, also called the “prion-like hypothesis.” Several in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that α-syn can undergo a toxic templated conformational change, spread from cell to cell and from region to region, and initiate the formation of “LB–like aggregates,” contributing to the PD pathogenesis. Here, we will review and discuss the current knowledge for such a putative mechanism on the prion-like nature of α-syn, and discuss about the proper use of the term prion-like. © 2014 Recasens and Dehay.


Koga H.,Yeshiva University | Martinez-Vicente M.,Yeshiva University | Martinez-Vicente M.,Vall dHebron Research Institute | MacIan F.,Yeshiva University | And 2 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2011

Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a selective mechanism for the degradation of soluble proteins in lysosomes. CMA contributes to cellular quality control and is activated as part of the cellular response to different stressors. Defective CMA has been identified in ageing and different age-related diseases. Until now, CMA activity could only be measured in vitro using isolated lysosomes. Here we report the development of a photoconvertible fluorescent reporter that allows monitoring of CMA activity in living cells. Activation of CMA increases the association of the reporter with lysosomes which can be visualized as a change in the intracellular fluorescence. The CMA reporter can be utilized in a broad variety of cells and is suitable for high-content microscopy. Using this reporter, we find that levels of basal and inducible CMA activity are cell-type dependent, and we have identified an upregulation of this pathway in response to the catalytic inhibition of the proteasome. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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