Josep Parnau

Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (4)55.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is of universal biological significance. It has emerged as an important global RNA, DNA and translation regulatory pathway. By systematically sequencing 737 genes (annotated in the Vertebrate Genome Annotation database) on the human X chromosome in 250 families with X-linked mental retardation, we identified mutations in the UPF3 regulator of nonsense transcripts homolog B (yeast) (UPF3B) leading to protein truncations in three families: two with the Lujan-Fryns phenotype and one with the FG phenotype. We also identified a missense mutation in another family with nonsyndromic mental retardation. Three mutations lead to the introduction of a premature termination codon and subsequent NMD of mutant UPF3B mRNA. Protein blot analysis using lymphoblastoid cell lines from affected individuals showed an absence of the UPF3B protein in two families. The UPF3B protein is an important component of the NMD surveillance machinery. Our results directly implicate abnormalities of NMD in human disease and suggest at least partial redundancy of NMD pathways.
    Nature Genetics 10/2007; 39(9):1127-33. DOI:10.1038/ng2100 · 29.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the identification of six patients with 3q29 microdeletion syndrome. The clinical phenotype is variable despite an almost identical deletion size. The phenotype includes mild-to-moderate mental retardation, with only slightly dysmorphic facial features that are similar in most patients: a long and narrow face, short philtrum, and high nasal bridge. Autism, gait ataxia, chest-wall deformity, and long and tapering fingers were noted in at least two of six patients. Additional features--including microcephaly, cleft lip and palate, horseshoe kidney and hypospadias, ligamentous laxity, recurrent middle ear infections, and abnormal pigmentation--were observed, but each feature was only found once, in a single patient. The microdeletion is approximately 1.5 Mb in length, with molecular boundaries mapping within the same or adjacent bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones at either end of the deletion in all patients. The deletion encompasses 22 genes, including PAK2 and DLG1, which are autosomal homologues of two known X-linked mental retardation genes, PAK3 and DLG3. The presence of two nearly identical low-copy repeat sequences in BAC clones on each side of the deletion breakpoint suggests that nonallelic homologous recombination is the likely mechanism of disease causation in this syndrome.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2005; 77(1):154-60. DOI:10.1086/431653 · 10.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified truncating mutations in the human DLG3 (neuroendocrine dlg) gene in 4 of 329 families with moderate to severe X-linked mental retardation. DLG3 encodes synapse-associated protein 102 (SAP102), a member of the membrane-associated guanylate kinase protein family. Neuronal SAP102 is expressed during early brain development and is localized to the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. It is composed of three amino-terminal PDZ domains, an src homology domain, and a carboxyl-terminal guanylate kinase domain. The PDZ domains interact directly with the NR2 subunits of the NMDA glutamate receptor and with other proteins responsible for NMDA receptor localization, immobilization, and signaling. The mutations identified in this study all introduce premature stop codons within or before the third PDZ domain, and it is likely that this impairs the ability of SAP102 to interact with the NMDA receptor and/or other proteins involved in downstream NMDA receptor signaling pathways. NMDA receptors have been implicated in the induction of certain forms of synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression, and these changes in synaptic efficacy have been proposed as neural mechanisms underlying memory and learning. The disruption of NMDA receptor targeting or signaling, as a result of the loss of SAP102, may lead to altered synaptic plasticity and may explain the intellectual impairment observed in individuals with DLG3 mutations.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 09/2004; 75(2):318-24. DOI:10.1086/422703 · 10.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intramuscular triacylglyceride (TAG) is considered an independent marker of insulin resistance in humans. Here, we examined the effect of high-fat diets, based on distinct fatty acid compositions (saturated, monounsaturated or n-6 polyunsaturated), on TAG levels and fatty acid transporter protein (FATP-1) expression in 2 rat muscles that differ in their fiber type, soleus, and gastrocnemius; the relationship to whole body glucose intolerance was also studied. Compared with carbohydrate-fed rats, the groups subjected to any one of the high-fat diets consistently exhibited enhanced body weight gain and adiposity, elevated plasma free fatty acids and TAG in the fed condition, hyperinsulinemia, and glucose intolerance. TAG content was consistently higher in soleus than in gastrocnemius, but was only significantly elevated by the n-6 polyunsaturated-based diet. FATP-1 levels in soleus were double those in gastrocnemius muscle in carbohydrate-fed animals. High-fat diets caused an elevation in FATP-1 protein content in soleus, but a reduction in gastrocnemius. In conclusion, the hyperinsulinemic hyperlipidemic condition upregulates FATP-1 expression in soleus and downregulates that of gastrocnemius. Hypercaloric saturated, monounsaturated, or n-6 polyunsaturated lipid diets cause equivalent whole body insulin resistance in rats, but only an n-6 polyunsaturated acid-based diet triggers intramuscular TAG accumulation.
    Metabolism 09/2004; 53(8):1032-6. DOI:10.1016/j.metabol.2004.03.011 · 3.89 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

361 Citations
55.11 Total Impact Points


  • 2007
    • Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2004-2005
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Medical Genetics
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom
    • University of Barcelona
      • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain