Pilar Lucas

National Center for Biotechnology (CNB), Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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Publications (24)144.77 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: CCR5 and CXCR4, the respective cell surface coreceptors of R5 and X4 HIV-1 strains, both form heterodimers with CD4, the principal HIV-1 receptor. Using several resonance energy transfer techniques, we determined that CD4, CXCR4, and CCR5 formed heterotrimers, and that CCR5 coexpression altered the conformation of both CXCR4/CXCR4 homodimers and CD4/CXCR4 heterodimers. As a result, binding of the HIV-1 envelope protein gp120IIIB to the CD4/CXCR4/CCR5 heterooligomer was negligible, and the gp120-induced cytoskeletal rearrangements necessary for HIV-1 entry were prevented. CCR5 reduced HIV-1 envelope-induced CD4/CXCR4-mediated cell-cell fusion. In nucleofected Jurkat CD4 cells and primary human CD4(+) T cells, CCR5 expression led to a reduction in X4 HIV-1 infectivity. These findings can help to understand why X4 HIV-1 strains infection affect T-cell types differently during AIDS development and indicate that receptor oligomerization might be a target for previously unidentified therapeutic approaches for AIDS intervention.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The migratory route of neural progenitor/precursor cells (NPC) has a central role in central nervous system development. Although the role of the chemokine CXCL12 in NPC migration has been described, the intracellular signaling cascade involved remains largely unclear. Here we studied the molecular mechanisms that promote murine NPC migration in response to CXCL12, in vitro and ex vivo. Migration was highly dependent on signaling by the CXCL12 receptor, CXCR4. Although the JAK/STAT pathway was activated following CXCL12 stimulation of NPC, JAK activity was not necessary for NPC migration in vitro. Whereas CXCL12 activated the PI3K catalytic subunits p110α and p110β in NPC, only p110β participated in CXCL12-mediated NPC migration. Ex vivo experiments using organotypic slice cultures showed that p110β blockade impaired NPC exit from the medial ganglionic eminence. In vivo experiments using in utero electroporation nonetheless showed that p110β is dispensable for radial migration of pyramidal neurons. We conclude that PI3K p110β is activated in NPC in response to CXCL12, and its activity is necessary for immature interneuron migration to the cerebral cortex.
    Molecular Neurobiology 04/2013; · 5.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypermethylation of SOCS genes is associated with many human cancers, suggesting a role as tumor suppressors. As adaptor molecules for ubiquitin ligases, SOCS proteins modulate turnover of numerous target proteins. Few SOCS targets identified so far have a direct role in cell cycle progression; the mechanism by which SOCS regulate the cell cycle thus remains largely unknown. Here we show that SOCS1 overexpression inhibits in vitro and in vivo expansion of human melanoma cells, and that SOCS1 associates specifically with Cdh1, triggering its degradation by the proteasome. Cells therefore show a G1/S transition defect, as well as a secondary blockade in mitosis and accumulation of cells in metaphase. SOCS1 expression correlated with a reduction in cyclin D/E levels and an increase in the tumor suppressor p19, as well as the CDK inhibitor p53, explaining the G1/S transition defect. As a result of Cdh1 degradation, SOCS1-expressing cells accumulated cyclin B1 and securin, as well as apparently inactive Cdc20, in mitosis. Levels of the late mitotic Cdh1 substrate Aurora A did not change. These observations comprise a hitherto unreported mechanism of SOCS1 tumor suppression, suggesting this molecule as a candidate for the design of new therapeutic strategies for human melanoma.
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 09/2012; 70(3). · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: B-cell movement into lymphoid follicles depends on the expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR5 and the recently reported Epstein-Barr virus-induced receptor 2 (EBI2). In cooperation with CXCR5, EBI2 helps to position activated B cells in the follicle, although the mechanism is poorly understood. Using human HEK293T cells and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) techniques, we demonstrate that CXCR5 and EBI2 form homo- and heterodimers. EBI2 expression modulated CXCR5 homodimeric complexes, as indicated by the FRET(50) value (CXCR5 homodimer, 0.9851±0.0784; CXCR5 homodimer+EBI2, 1.7320±0.4905; P<0.05). HEK293T cells expressing CXCR5/EBI2 and primary activated murine B cells both down-modulated CXCR5-mediated responses, such as Ca(2+) flux, cell migration, and MAPK activation; this modulation did not occur when primary B cells were obtained from EBI2(-/-) mice. The mechanism involves a reduction in binding affinity of the ligand (CXCL13) for CXCR5 (K(D): 5.05×10(-8) M for CXCR5 alone vs. 1.49×10(-7) M for CXCR5/EBI2) and in the efficacy (E(max)) of G-protein activation in CXCR5/EBI2-coexpressing cells (42.33±4.3%; P<0.05). These findings identify CXCR5/EBI2 heterodimers as functional units that contribute to the plasticity of CXCL13-mediated B-cell responses.-Barroso, R., Muñoz, L. M., Barrondo, S., Vega, B., Holgado, B. L., Lucas, P., Baíllo, A., Sallés, J., Rodríguez-Frade J. M., Mellado, M. EBI2 regulates CXCL13-mediated responses by heterodimerization with CXCR5.
    The FASEB Journal 08/2012; · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Use of SPR-based biosensors is an established method for measuring molecular interactions. Their application to the study of GPCRs is nonetheless limited to detergent-solubilized receptors that can then be reconstituted into a lipid environment. Using the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its specific ligand CXCL12, we outline here a highly reproducible biosensor method based on receptor presentation on the surface of lentiviral particles; the approach is simple and does not require the use of antibodies to achieve correct receptor orientation on the sensorchip surface. We measured the kinetic parameters of CXCR4/CXCL12 binding in a single step and in real time and evaluated the effect of GAG presentation of chemokines on this interaction. The data indicate that at low concentrations, soluble heparin modulates CXCR4/CXCL12 interaction and at high concentrations, abrogates binding. These observations suggest that in addition to their known role in modulating local chemokine availability, GAG affect the receptor/ligand interaction, although their influence on affinity parameters is very limited. The method will also be useful for quantifying these biomarkers in biological fluids and for the development of high-throughput screening for their antagonists.
    Journal of leukocyte biology 05/2011; 90(2):399-408. · 4.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Use of SPR-based biosensors is an established method for measuring molecular interactions. Their application to the study of GPCRs is nonetheless limited to detergent-solubilized receptors that can then be reconstituted into a lipid environment. Using the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its specific ligand CXCL12, we outline here a highly reproducible biosensor method based on receptor presentation on the surface of lentiviral particles; the approach is simple and does not require the use of antibodies to achieve correct receptor orientation on the sensorchip surface. We measured the kinetic parameters of CXCR4/CXCL12 binding in a single step and in real time and evaluated the effect of GAG presentation of chemokines on this interaction. The data indicate that at low concentrations, soluble heparin modulates CXCR4/CXCL12 interaction and at high concentrations, abrogates binding. These observations suggest that in addition to their known role in modulating local chemokine availability, GAG affect the receptor/ligand interaction, although their influence on affinity parameters is very limited. The method will also be useful for quantifying these biomarkers in biological fluids and for the development of high-throughput screening for their antagonists.
    Journal of leukocyte biology 05/2011; · 4.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since the first reports on chemokine function, much information has been generated on the implications of these molecules in numerous physiological and pathological processes, as well as on the signaling events activated through their binding to receptors. Despite these extensive studies, no chemokine-related drugs have yet been approved for use in patients with inflammatory or autoimmune diseases. This discrepancy between efforts and results has forced a re-evaluation of the chemokine field. We have explored chemokine receptor conformations at the cell surface and found that, as is the case for other G protein-coupled receptors, chemokine receptors are not isolated entities that are activated following ligand binding; rather, they are found as dimers and/or higher order oligomers at the cell surface, even in the absence of ligands. These complexes form organized arrays that can be modified by receptor expression and ligand levels, indicating that they are dynamic structures. The way in which these receptor complexes are stabilized modulates ligand binding, as well as their pharmacological properties and the signaling events activated. These conformations thus represent a mechanism that increases the broad variety of chemokine functions. Understanding these receptor interactions and their dynamics at the cell surface is thus critical for influencing chemokine function and could open up new possibilities for drug design.
    Pharmacology [?] Therapeutics 05/2011; 131(3):351-8. · 7.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although homo- and heterodimerization are reported for some chemokine receptors, it remains unclear whether these functional states are in dynamic equilibrium and how receptor/ligand levels influence oligomerization. In human neutrophils and in cell lines that coexpress the chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2, we used fluorescence resonance energy transfer techniques to show that these two receptors form homo- and heterodimers. Receptor expression and ligand activation were found to regulate the balance between these complexes, adapting the response to changes in the milieu. CXCL8, a ligand for both receptors, alters heterodimeric complexes, whereas it stabilizes homodimers and promotes receptor internalization. Oligomerization of receptors, together with the regulation of their expression and desensitization, could thus contribute to the fine control of chemokine functions.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2009; 183(11):7337-7346. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although homo- and heterodimerization are reported for some chemokine receptors, it remains unclear whether these functional states are in dynamic equilibrium and how receptor/ligand levels influence oligomerization. In human neutrophils and in cell lines that coexpress the chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2, we used fluorescence resonance energy transfer techniques to show that these two receptors form homo- and heterodimers. Receptor expression and ligand activation were found to regulate the balance between these complexes, adapting the response to changes in the milieu. CXCL8, a ligand for both receptors, alters heterodimeric complexes, whereas it stabilizes homodimers and promotes receptor internalization. Oligomerization of receptors, together with the regulation of their expression and desensitization, could thus contribute to the fine control of chemokine functions.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2009; 183(11):7337-46. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The CXCR4 chemokine receptor and the delta opioid receptor (DOR) are pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). Both are widely distributed in brain tissues and immune cells, and have key roles in inflammation processes and in pain sensation on proximal nerve endings. We show that in immune cells expressing CXCR4 and DOR, simultaneous addition of their ligands CXCL12 and [D-Pen2, D-Pen5]enkephalin does not trigger receptor function. This treatment does not affect ligand binding or receptor expression, nor does it promote heterologous desensitization. Our data indicate that CXCR4 and DOR form heterodimeric complexes that are dynamically regulated by the ligands. This is compatible with a model in which GPCR oligomerization leads to suppression of signaling, promoting a dominant negative effect. Knockdown of CXCR4 and DOR signaling by heterodimerization might have repercussions on physiological and pathological processes such as inflammation, pain sensation and HIV-1 infection.
    European Journal of Immunology 03/2008; 38(2):537-49. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The chemokine CXCL12 influences self-renewal and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cell precursors in bone marrow by directing them toward specific stromalcell components. CXCL12 up-regulates members of the SOCS family through JAK/STAT activation, a mechanism that attenuates chemokine responses. SOCS expression may thus modulate retention of hematopoietic precursors (Sca-1(+) c-Kit(+)Lin(-) cells) in bone marrow. We show that in bovine growth hormone transgenic mice and in growth hormone-treated mice, SOCS up-regulation correlated with a large number of Sca-1(+) c-Kit(+)Lin(-) cells in blood. Retroviral transduction of SOCSs blocked in vitro migration of Sca-1(+)c-Kit(+)Lin(-) cells, as well as their capacity to reconstitute lethally irradiated mice. Furthermore, in lethally irradiated mice reconstituted with bone marrow infected by a tetracycline-regulated, SOCS-expressing lentiviral vector, doxycycline treatment promoted rapid, extensive precursor mobilization to the periphery. The results indicate that by blocking CXCR4-mediated functions, SOCSs modulate hematopoietic precursor cell retention in bone marrow, and suggest the therapeutic interest of SOCS manipulation in several pathologic situations.
    Blood 01/2007; 108(12):3928-37. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infectivity requires actin-dependent clustering of host lipid raft-associated receptors, a process that might be linked to Rho guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) activation. Rho GTPase activity can be negatively regulated by statins, a family of drugs used to treat hypercholesterolemia in man. Statins mediate inhibition of Rho GTPases by impeding prenylation of small G proteins through blockade of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase. We show that statins decreased viral load and increased CD4+ cell counts in acute infection models and in chronically HIV-1-infected patients. Viral entry and exit was reduced in statin-treated cells, and inhibition was blocked by the addition of l-mevalonate or of geranylgeranylpyrophosphate, but not by cholesterol. Cell treatment with a geranylgeranyl transferase inhibitor, but not a farnesyl transferase inhibitor, specifically inhibited entry of HIV-1-pseudotyped viruses. Statins blocked Rho-A activation induced by HIV-1 binding to target cells, and expression of the dominant negative mutant RhoN19 inhibited HIV-1 envelope fusion with target cell membranes, reducing cell infection rates. We suggest that statins have direct anti-HIV-1 effects by targeting Rho.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 09/2004; 200(4):541-7. · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of chemokine receptors as HIV-1 coreceptors has focused research on developing strategies to prevent HIV-1 infection. We generated CCR2-01, a CCR2 receptor-specific monoclonal antibody that neither competes with the chemokine CCL2 for binding nor triggers signaling, but nonetheless blocks replication of monotropic (R5) and T-tropic (X4) HIV-1 strains. This effect is explained by the ability of CCR2-01 to induce oligomerization of CCR2 with the CCR5 or CXCR4 viral coreceptors. HIV-1 infection through CCR5 and CXCR4 receptors can thus be prevented in the absence of steric hindrance or receptor downregulation by acting in trans on a receptor that is rarely used by the virus to infect cells.
    The EMBO Journal 02/2004; 23(1):66-76. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection depends on multiple lateral interactions between the viral envelope and host cell receptors. Previous studies have suggested that these interactions are possible because HIV-1 receptors CD4, CXCR4, and CCR5 partition in cholesterol-enriched membrane raft domains. We generated CD4 partitioning mutants by substituting or deleting CD4 transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains and the CD4 ectodomain was unaltered. We report that all CD4 mutants that retain raft partitioning mediate HIV-1 entry and CD4-induced Lck activation independently of their transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. Conversely, CD4 ectodomain targeting to a nonraft membrane fraction results in a CD4 receptor with severely diminished capacity to mediate Lck activation or HIV-1 entry, although this mutant binds gp120 as well as CD4wt. In addition, the nonraft CD4 mutant inhibits HIV-1 X4 and R5 entry in a CD4(+) cell line. These results not only indicate that HIV-1 exploits host membrane raft domains as cell entry sites, but also suggest new strategies for preventing HIV-1 infection.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 09/2002; 196(3):293-301. · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A heterologous prime-boost vaccination with DNA vectors and vaccinia virus recombinants (VVr) has been shown to enhance specific cellular immune responses and to elicit significant protection against pathogens in animal models. In this study, we have analyzed, in the leishmaniasis cutaneous murine model, the effectiveness of this prime-boost strategy by immunizing with a DNA vector followed by boost with a VVr expressing the same Leishmania infantum P36/LACK antigen. After DNA priming and VVr boost, we challenged susceptible BALB/c mice with live L. major promastigotes, and examined the increase in footpad lesion size and parasite load in draining lymph nodes. Compared to controls, we observed reduction of up to 70% in lesion size and 1000-fold in parasite load. DNA prime-VVr boost before challenge elicited a Th1 type immune response in spleen cells from immunized animals. This DNA/VVr vaccination approach could be of utility in the prophylaxis against leishmaniasis.
    Vaccine 02/2002; 20(7-8):1226-31. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 infection triggers lateral membrane diffusion following interaction of the viral envelope with cell surface receptors. We show that these membrane changes are necessary for infection, as initial gp120-CD4 engagement leads to redistribution and clustering of membrane microdomains, enabling subsequent interaction of this complex with HIV-1 co-receptors. Disruption of cell membrane rafts by cholesterol depletion before viral exposure inhibits entry by both X4 and R5 strains of HIV-1, although viral replication in infected cells is unaffected by this treatment. This inhibitory effect is fully reversed by cholesterol replenishment of the cell membrane. These results indicate a general mechanism for HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein-mediated fusion by reorganization of membrane microdomains in the target cell, and offer new strategies for preventing HIV-1 infection.
    EMBO Reports 09/2000; 1(2):190-6. · 7.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of the chemokine receptors as receptors for HIV-1 has boosted interest in these molecules, raising expectations for the development of new strategies to prevent HIV-1 infection. The discovery that chemokines block HIV-1 replication has focused attention on identifying their mechanism of action. Previous studies concluded that this inhibitory effect may be mediated by steric hindrance or by receptor down-regulation. We have identified a CCR5 receptor-specific mAb that neither competes with the chemokine for binding nor triggers signaling, as measured by Ca(2+) influx or chemotaxis. The antibody neither triggers receptor down-regulation nor interferes with the R5 JRFL viral strain gp120 binding to CCR5, but blocks HIV-1 replication in both in vitro assays using peripheral blood mononuclear cells as HIV-1 targets, as well as in vivo using human peripheral blood mononuclear cell-reconstituted SCID (severe combined immunodeficient) mice. Our evidence shows that the anti-CCR5 mAb efficiently prevents HIV-1 infection by inducing receptor dimerization. Chemokine receptor dimerization also is induced by chemokines and is required for their anti-HIV-1 activity. In addition to providing a molecular mechanism through which chemokines block HIV-1 infection, these results illustrate the prospects for developing new tools that possess HIV-1 suppressor activity, but lack the undesired inflammatory side effects of the chemokines.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2000; 97(7):3388-93. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have characterized the human natural antibody repertoire that contains antibodies recognizing the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp120. A panel of monovalent antigen-binding fragments (Fab) selected from IgM and IgG isotype libraries generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of a healthy, HIV-1 noninfected individual was analysed, reflecting that only IgM, but not IgG, Fab were able to recognize HIV-1 gp120. The IgM Fab antibodies were not restricted to any particular heavy chain variable region (VH) germ line gene. However, the recognition of gp120 is associated to polyreactive antibodies and all display low-affinity interaction. This correlates with the absence of any maturation process as somatic mutation or isotype switch as the nucleotide sequence analysis of the variable regions reveals they are expressed near to germline configuration. In addition, none of the antibodies showed any neutralizing activity on HIV-1-infected lymphocytes, reflecting that the natural anti-gp120 repertoire is not sufficient to neutralize HIV infection.
    Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 10/1999; 50(3):270-9. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) facilitates the induction of primary immune responses by activating and recruiting antigen-presenting cells (APC), which efficiently present antigen determinants to Th cells. We have derived a functional GM-CSF/gp120 chimeric protein that, following immunization in soluble, adjuvant-independent form in normal mice, triggers highly specific, high affinity anti-gp120 antibodies. In contrast, nude mice respond with mutated, polyreactive, low affinity antibodies that mature further and increase in affinity in T cell-reconstituted nude mice. Anti-gp120 antibody production in nude mice is mediated principally by GM-CSF/gp120-triggered IL-4 production, since neutralizing anti-IL-4 abrogates the in vivo response. The anti-gp120 antibody response in normal, nude and T cell-reconstituted nude mice is encoded at a remarkably high frequency by the VH81X and VH7183 genes, a family used notably during fetal life and, when expressed at the adult stage, associated with autoimmune disease. We conclude that HIV gp120 binds and selects a subpopulation of developing B cells expressing a set of VH genes associated with immunodeficiency and autoimmunity.
    Molecular Immunology 09/1999; 36(11-12):721-31. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vaccinia virus (VV) infection induces protective T- and B-cell responses, making recombinants based on VV good candidates for the development of effective vaccines to other viruses. VV recombinants expressing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) envelope protein (Env) have been generated in several laboratories and shown to induce anti-HIV cellular and humoral immune responses in vaccinated humans and in chimpanzees. To increase the immunogenicity of the Env antigen, a VV recombinant was generated that expresses a chimeric antigen consisting of the Env protein fused to an immunostimulatory cytokine, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). The chimeric protein retained GM-CSF biological activity when expressed by this recombinant virus (VV-GM-gp120) in cells infected in vitro. Infection of BALB/c mice with VV-GM-gp120 triggered a higher HIV-specific cellular immune response, as measured by interferon-gamma production, than that induced by a VV recombinant expressing the native Env protein. Moreover, although anti-gp120 antibody titres were similar in sera from mice inoculated with either of the VV recombinants, immunization with the recombinant expressing the fusion protein elicited antibodies against a broader spectrum of Env epitopes. These results indicate that HIV Env antigen fusion to GM-CSF provides a means to improve the anti-HIV immune response.
    Journal of General Virology 02/1999; 80 ( Pt 1):217-23. · 3.13 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

736 Citations
144.77 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2013
    • National Center for Biotechnology (CNB)
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2012
    • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
      • Department of Pharmacology
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2009–2011
    • Spanish National Research Council
      • Department of Immunology and Oncology
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain