J J Guinovart

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (166)700.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We generated mice that overexpress protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) in the liver (PTG(OE)), which results in an increase in liver glycogen. When fed a high-fat diet (HFD), these animals reduced their food intake. The resulting effect was a lower body weight, decreased fat mass and reduced leptin levels. Furthermore, PTG overexpression reversed the glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia caused by the HFD and protected against HFD-induced hepatic steatosis. Remarkably, when fed a HFD, PTG(OE) mice did not show the decrease in hepatic ATP content observed in control animals and had lower expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and higher expression of propiomelanocortin (POMC) in the hypothalamus. Additionally, after an overnight fast, PTG(OE) animals presented high liver glycogen content, lower liver triacylglycerol content, and lower serum concentrations of fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate compared to control mice, regardless whether they received a HFD or a standard diet (SD). In conclusion, liver glycogen accumulation caused a reduced food intake, protected against the deleterious effects of a HFD and diminished the metabolic impact of fasting. Therefore, we propose that hepatic glycogen content be considered a potential target for the pharmacological manipulation of diabetes and obesity.
    Diabetes 10/2014; · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycogen is a branched polymer of glucose and the carbohydrate energy store for animal cells. In the brain, it is essentially found in glial cells, although it is also present in minute amounts in neurons. In humans, loss-of-function mutations in laforin and malin, proteins involved in suppressing glycogen synthesis, induce the presence of high numbers of insoluble polyglucosan bodies in neuronal cells. Known as Lafora bodies (LBs), these deposits result in the aggressive neurodegeneration seen in Lafora's disease. Polysaccharide-based aggregates, called corpora amylacea (CA), are also present in the neurons of aged human brains. Despite the similarity of CA to LBs, the mechanisms and functional consequences of CA formation are yet unknown. Here, we show that wild-type laboratory mice also accumulate glycogen-based aggregates in the brain as they age. These structures are immunopositive for an array of metabolic and stress-response proteins, some of which were previously shown to aggregate in correlation with age in the human brain and are also present in LBs. Remarkably, these structures and their associated protein aggregates are not present in the aged mouse brain upon genetic ablation of glycogen synthase. Similar genetic intervention in Drosophila prevents the accumulation of glycogen clusters in the neuronal processes of aged flies. Most interestingly, targeted reduction of Drosophila glycogen synthase in neurons improves neurological function with age and extends lifespan. These results demonstrate that neuronal glycogen accumulation contributes to physiological aging and may therefore constitute a key factor regulating age-related neurological decline in humans.
    Aging cell 07/2014; · 7.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycogen is a primary form of energy storage in eukaryotes that is essential for glucose homeostasis. The glycogen polymer is synthesized from glucose through the cooperative action of glycogen synthase (GS), glycogenin (GN), and glycogen branching enzyme and forms particles that range in size from 10 to 290 nm. GS is regulated by allosteric activation upon glucose-6-phosphate binding and inactivation by phosphorylation on its N- and C-terminal regulatory tails. GS alone is incapable of starting synthesis of a glycogen particle de novo, but instead it extends preexisting chains initiated by glycogenin. The molecular determinants by which GS recognizes self-glucosylated GN, the first step in glycogenesis, are unknown. We describe the crystal structure of Caenorhabditis elegans GS in complex with a minimal GS targeting sequence in GN and show that a 34-residue region of GN binds to a conserved surface on GS that is distinct from previously characterized allosteric and binding surfaces on the enzyme. The interaction identified in the GS-GN costructure is required for GS-GN interaction and for glycogen synthesis in a cell-free system and in intact cells. The interaction of full-length GS-GN proteins is enhanced by an avidity effect imparted by a dimeric state of GN and a tetrameric state of GS. Finally, the structure of the N- and C-terminal regulatory tails of GS provide a basis for understanding phosphoregulation of glycogen synthesis. These results uncover a central molecular mechanism that governs glycogen metabolism.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The balance between the rates of protein synthesis and degradation in muscle is regulated by PI3K/Akt signaling. Here we addressed the effect of ERK activation by sodium tungstate on protein turnover in rat L6 myotubes. Phosphorylation of ERK by this compound increased protein synthesis by activating MTOR and prevented dexamethasone-induced protein degradation by blocking FoxO3a activity, but it did not alter Akt phosphorylation. Thus, activation of ERK by tungstate improves protein turnover in dexamethasone-treated cells. On the basis of our results, we propose that tungstate be considered an alternative to IGF-I and its analogs in the prevention of skeletal muscle atrophy.
    FEBS letters. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Glycogen is present in the brain, where it has been found mainly in glial cells but not in neurons. Therefore, all physiologic roles of brain glycogen have been attributed exclusively to astrocytic glycogen. Working with primary cultured neurons, as well as with genetically modified mice and flies, here we report that-against general belief-neurons contain a low but measurable amount of glycogen. Moreover, we also show that these cells express the brain isoform of glycogen phosphorylase, allowing glycogen to be fully metabolized. Most importantly, we show an active neuronal glycogen metabolism that protects cultured neurons from hypoxia-induced death and flies from hypoxia-induced stupor. Our findings change the current view of the role of glycogen in the brain and reveal that endogenous neuronal glycogen metabolism participates in the neuronal tolerance to hypoxic stress.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 26 February 2014; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.33.
    Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 02/2014; · 5.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Liver and muscle glycogen content is reduced in diabetic patients but there is no information on the effect of diabetes on the glycogen content in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The main aim of the study was to compare the glycogen content in the RPE between diabetic and non-diabetic human donors. Glycogen synthase (GS) and glycogen phosphorylase (GP), the key enzymes of glycogen metabolism, as well as their isoforms, were also assessed. For this purpose, 44 human postmortem eye cups were included (22 from 11 type 2 diabetic and 22 from 11 non-diabetic donors matched by age). Human RPE cells cultured in normoglycemic and hyperglycemic conditions were also analyzed. Glycogen content as well as the mRNA, protein content and enzyme activity of GS and GP were determined. In addition, GS and GP isoforms were characterized. In the RPE from diabetic donors, as well as in RPE cells grown in hyperglycemic conditions, the glycogen content was increased. The increase in glycogen content was associated with an increase in GS without changes in GP levels. In RPE form human donors, the muscle GS isoform but not the liver GS isoform was detected. Regarding GP, the muscle and brain isoform of GP but not the liver GP isoform were detected. We conclude that glycogen storage is increased in the RPE of diabetic patients, and it is associated with an increase in GS activity. Further studies aimed at determining the role of glycogen deposits in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy are warranted.
    Acta Diabetologica 01/2014; · 4.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lafora disease is a fatal neurodegenerative condition characterized by the accumulation of abnormal glycogen inclusions known as Lafora bodies. It is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in either the laforin or malin gene. To study whether glycogen is primarily responsible for the neurodegeneration in Lafora disease, we generated malin knockout mice with impaired (totally or partially) glycogen synthesis. These animals did not show the increase in markers of neurodegeneration, the impairments in electrophysiological properties of hippocampal synapses, nor the susceptibility to kainate-induced epilepsy seen in the malin knockout model. Interestingly, the autophagy impairment that has been described in malin knockout animals was also rescued in this double knockout model. Conversely, two other mouse models in which glycogen is over-accumulated in the brain independently of the lack of malin showed impairment in autophagy. Our findings reveal that glycogen accumulation accounts for the neurodegeneration and functional consequences seen in the malin knockout model, as well as the impaired autophagy. These results identify the regulation of glycogen synthesis as a key target for the treatment of Lafora disease.
    Human Molecular Genetics 01/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined glucose and fructose effects on serine phosphorylation levels of a range of proteins in rat liver and muscle cells. For this, healthy adult rats were subjected to either oral glucose or fructose loads. A mini-array system was utilized to determine serine phosphorylation levels of liver and skeletal muscle proteins. A glucose oral load of 125 mg/100 g body weight (G 1/2) did not induce changes in phosphorylated serines of the proteins studied. Loading with 250 mg/100 g body weight of fructose (Fr), which induced similar glycemia levels as G 1/2, significantly increased serine phosphorylation of liver cyclin D3, PI3 kinase/p85, ERK-2, PTP2 and clusterin. The G 1/2 increased serine levels of the skeletal muscle proteins cyclin H, Cdk2, IRAK, total PKC, PTP1B, c-Raf 1, Ras and the β-subunit of the insulin receptor. The Fr induced a significant increase only in muscle serine phosphorylation of PI3 kinase/p85. The incubation of isolated rat hepatocytes with 10 mM glucose for 5 min significantly increased serine phosphorylation of 31 proteins. In contrast, incubation with 10 mM fructose produced less intense effects. Incubation with 10 mM glucose plus 75 µM fructose counteracted the effects of the incubation with glucose alone, except those on Raf-1 and Ras. Less marked effects were detected in cultured muscle cells incubated with 10 mM glucose or 10 mM glucose plus 75 µM fructose. Our results suggest that glucose and fructose act as specific functional modulators through a general mechanism that involves liver-generated signals, like micromolar fructosemia, which would inform peripheral tissues of the presence of either glucose- or fructose-derived metabolites.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(10):e109726. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic β-cells play a central role in type 2 diabetes (T2D) development, which is characterized by the progressive decline of the functional β-cell mass mainly associated with increased β-cell apoptosis. Thus, understanding how to enhance survival of β-cells is key for the management of T2D. The Insulin Receptor Substrate 2 (IRS2) protein is pivotal in mediating the Insulin/IGF signaling pathway in β-cells. In fact, IRS2 is critically required for β-cell compensation in conditions of increased insulin demand and for β-cell survival. Tungstate is a powerful anti-diabetic agent, which has been shown to promote β-cell recovery in toxin-induced diabetic rodent models. In this study, we investigated if tungstate could prevent the onset of diabetes in a scenario of dysregulated Insulin/IGF signaling and massive β-cell death. To this end, we treated mice deficient in IRS2 (Irs2(-/-)), which exhibit severe β-cell loss, with tungstate for 3 weeks. Tungstate normalized glucose tolerance in Irs2(-/-) mice, in correlation with increased β-cell mass, increased β-cell replication and a striking 3-fold reduction in β-cell apoptosis. Islets from treated Irs2-/- exhibited increased phosphorylated Erk1/2. Interestingly, tungstate repressed apoptosis-related genes in Irs2(-/-) islets in vitro and Erk1/2 blockade abolished some of these effects. Gene expression profiling evidenced a broad impact of tungstate on cell death pathways in islets from Irs2(-/-) mice, consistent with reduced apoptotic rates. Our results support that β-cell death can be arrested in the absence of IRS2 and that therapies aimed at reversing β-cell mass decline are potential strategies to prevent the progression to T2D.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 11/2013; · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The liver responds to an increase in blood glucose levels in the postprandial state by uptake of glucose and conversion to glycogen. Liver glycogen synthase (GYS2), a key enzyme in glycogen synthesis, is controlled by a complex interplay between the allosteric activator glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) and reversible phosphorylation through GS kinase-3 and glycogen-associated form of protein phosphatase 1. Here we initially performed mutagenesis analysis and identified a key residue (Arg582) required for activation of GYS2 by G6P. We then employed GYS2 Arg582Ala knockin (+/R582A) mice in which G6P-mediated GYS2 activation has been profoundly impaired (60-70%), while sparing regulation through reversible phosphorylation. R582A-mutant-expressing hepatocytes showed significantly reduced glycogen synthesis with glucose and insulin or glucokinase activator, which resulted in channeling glucose/G6P towards glycolysis and lipid synthesis. GYS2(+/R582A) mice were modestly glucose intolerant and displayed significantly reduced glycogen accumulation with feeding or glucose load in vivo. These data show that G6P-mediated activation of GYS2 plays a key role in controlling glycogen synthesis and hepatic glucose-G6P flux control and thus whole-body glucose homeostasis.
    Diabetes 08/2013; · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Both radiotherapy and most effective chemotherapeutic agents induce different types of DNA damage. Here we show that tungstate modulates cell response to DNA damaging agents. Cells treated with tungstate were more sensitive to etoposide, phleomycin and ionizing radiation (IR), all of which induce DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Tungstate also modulated the activation of the central DSB signalling kinase, ATM, in response to these agents. These effects required the functionality of the Mre11-Nbs1-Rad50 (MRN) complex and were mimicked by the inhibition of PP2A phosphatase. Therefore, tungstate may have adjuvant activity when combined with DNA-damaging agents in the treatment of several malignancies.
    FEBS letters 05/2013; 587(10):1579-86. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycogen is the main source of glucose for many biological events. However, this molecule may have other functions, including those that have deleterious effects on cells. The rate-limiting enzyme in glycogen synthesis is glycogen synthase (GS). It is encoded by two genes, GYS1, expressed in muscle (muscle glycogen synthase, MGS) and other tissues, and GYS2, primarily expressed in liver (liver glycogen synthase, LGS). Expression of GS and its activity have been widely studied in many tissues. To date, it is not clear which GS isoform is responsible for glycogen synthesis and the role of glycogen in testis. Using RT-PCR, Western blot and immunofluorescence, we have detected expression of MGS but not LGS in mice testis during development. We have also evaluated GS activity and glycogen storage at different days after birth and we show that both GS activity and levels of glycogen are higher during the first days of development. Using RT-PCR, we have also shown that malin and laforin are expressed in testis, key enzymes for regulation of GS activity. These proteins form an active complex that regulates MGS by poly-ubiquitination in both Sertoli cell and male germ cell lines. In addition, PTG overexpression in male germ cell line triggered apoptosis by caspase3 activation, proposing a proapoptotic role of glycogen in testis. These findings suggest that GS activity and glycogen synthesis in testis could be regulated and a disruption of this process may be responsible for the apoptosis and degeneration of seminiferous tubules and possible cause of infertility. J. Cell. Biochem. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 02/2013; · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycogen is the only carbohydrate reserve of the brain, but its overall contribution to brain functions remains unclear. Although it has traditionally been considered as an emergency energetic reservoir, increasing evidence points to a role of glycogen in the normal activity of the brain. To address this long-standing question, we generated a brain-specific Glycogen Synthase knockout (GYS1(Nestin-KO)) mouse and studied the functional consequences of the lack of glycogen in the brain under alert behaving conditions. These animals showed a significant deficiency in the acquisition of an associative learning task and in the concomitant activity-dependent changes in hippocampal synaptic strength. Long-term potentiation (LTP) evoked in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapse was also decreased in behaving GYS1(Nestin-KO) mice. These results unequivocally show a key role of brain glycogen in the proper acquisition of new motor and cognitive abilities and in the underlying changes in synaptic strength.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 2 January 2013; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.200.
    Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 01/2013; · 5.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tungstate treatment ameliorates experimental diabetes by increasing liver glycogen deposition through an as yet unidentified mechanism. The signalling mechanism of tungstate was studied in CHOIR cells and primary cultured hepatocytes. This compound exerted its pro-glycogenic effects through a new G-protein-dependent and Tyr-Kinase Receptor-independent mechanism. Chemical or genetic disruption of G-protein signalling prevented the activation of the Ras/ERK cascade and the downstream induction of glycogen synthesis caused by tungstate. Thus, these findings unveil a novel non-canonical signalling pathway that leads to the activation of glycogen synthesis and that could be exploited as an approach to treat diabetes.
    FEBS letters 12/2012; · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the biological relevance of glycosyltrasferases (GTs) and the many efforts devoted to this subject, the catalytic mechanism through which a subclass of this large family of enzymes, namely those that operate with net retention of the anomeric configuration, has not been fully established. Here, we show that in the absence of an acceptor, an archetypal retaining GT such as Pyrococcus abyssi glycogen synthase (PaGS) reacts with its glucosyl donor substrate, uridine 5'-diphosphoglucose (UDP-Glc), to produce the scission of the covalent bond between the terminal phosphate oxygen of UDP and the sugar ring. X-ray diffraction analysis of the PaGS/UDP-Glc complex shows no electronic density attributable to the UDP moiety, but establishes the presence in the active site of the enzyme of a glucose-like derivative that lacks the exocyclic oxygen attached to the anomeric carbon. Chemical derivatization followed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of the isolated glucose-like species allowed us to identify the molecule found in the catalytic site of PaGS as 1,5-anhydro-D-arabino-hex-1-enitol (AA) or its tautomeric form, 1,5-anhydro-D-fructose. These findings are consistent with a stepwise S(N) i-like mechanism as the modus operandi of retaining GTs, a mechanism that involves the discrete existence of an oxocarbenium intermediate. Even in the absence of a glucosyl acceptor, glycogen synthase (GS) promotes the formation of the cationic intermediate, which, by eliminating the proton of the adjacent C2 carbon atom, yields AA. Alternatively, these observations could be interpreted assuming that AA is a true intermediate in the reaction pathway of GS and that this enzyme operates through an elimination/addition mechanism. © 2012 IUBMB Life, 2012.
    International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Life 07/2012; 64(7):spcone. · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Under physiological conditions, most neurons keep glycogen synthase (GS) in an inactive form and do not show detectable levels of glycogen. Nevertheless, aberrant glycogen accumulation in neurons is a hallmark of patients suffering from Lafora disease or other polyglucosan disorders. Although these diseases are associated with mutations in genes involved in glycogen metabolism, the role of glycogen accumulation remains elusive. Here, we generated mouse and fly models expressing an active form of GS to force neuronal accumulation of glycogen. We present evidence that the progressive accumulation of glycogen in mouse and Drosophila neurons leads to neuronal loss, locomotion defects and reduced lifespan. Our results highlight glycogen accumulation in neurons as a direct cause of neurodegeneration.
    EMBO Molecular Medicine 05/2012; 4(8):719-29. · 7.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using a streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic rat model, we analyzed and separated the effects of hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia over the in vivo expression and subcellular localization of hepatic fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) in the multicellular context of the liver. Our data showed that FBPase subcellular localization was modulated by the nutritional state in normal but not in diabetic rats. By contrast, the liver zonation was not affected in any condition. In healthy starved rats, FBPase was localized in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes, whereas in healthy re-fed rats it was concentrated in the nucleus and the cell periphery. Interestingly, despite the hyperglycemia, FBPase was unable to accumulate in the nucleus in hepatocytes from streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, suggesting that insulin is a critical in vivo modulator. This idea was confirmed by exogenous insulin supplementation to diabetic rats, where insulin was able to induce the rapid accumulation of FBPase within the hepatocyte nucleus. Besides, hepatic FBPase was found phosphorylated only in the cytoplasm, suggesting that the phosphorylation state is involved in the nuclear translocation. In conclusion, insulin and not hyperglycemia plays a crucial role in the nuclear accumulation of FBPase in vivo and may be an important regulatory mechanism that could account for the increased endogenous glucose production of liver of diabetic rodents.
    Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 03/2012; 113(3):848-56. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tungstate counteracts diabetes and obesity in animal models, but its molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Our Saccharomyces cerevisiae-based approach has found that tungstate alleviated the growth defect induced by nutrient stress and enhanced the activation of the GCN pathway. Tungstate relieved the sensitivity to starvation of a gcn2-507 yeast hypomorphic mutant, indicating that tungstate modulated the GCN pathway downstream of Gcn2p. Interestingly, tungstate inhibited Glc7p and PP1 phosphatase activity, both negative regulators of the GCN pathway in yeast and humans, respectively. Accordingly, overexpression of a dominant-negative Glc7p mutant in yeast mimicked tungstate effects. Therefore tungstate alleviates nutrient stress in yeast by in vivo inhibition of Glc7p. These data uncover a potential role for tungstate in the treatment of PP1 and GCN related diseases.
    FEBS letters 02/2012; 586(3):270-6. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant muscle GYS1 (glycogen synthase 1) and recombinant liver GYS2 were phosphorylated by recombinant AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) in a time-dependent manner and to a similar stoichiometry. The phosphorylation site in GYS2 was identified as Ser7, which lies in a favourable consensus for phosphorylation by AMPK. Phosphorylation of GYS1 or GYS2 by AMPK led to enzyme inactivation by decreasing the affinity for both UDP-Glc (UDP-glucose) [assayed in the absence of Glc-6-P (glucose-6-phosphate)] and Glc-6-P (assayed at low UDP-Glc concentrations). Incubation of freshly isolated rat hepatocytes with the pharmacological AMPK activators AICA riboside (5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-β-D-ribofuranoside) or A769662 led to persistent GYS inactivation and Ser7 phosphorylation, whereas inactivation by glucagon treatment was transient. In hepatocytes from mice harbouring a liver-specific deletion of the AMPK catalytic α1/α2 subunits, GYS2 inactivation by AICA riboside and A769662 was blunted, whereas inactivation by glucagon was unaffected. The results suggest that GYS inactivation by AMPK activators in hepatocytes is due to GYS2 Ser7 phosphorylation.
    Biochemical Journal 01/2012; 443(1):193-203. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
700.65 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2008–2014
    • IRB Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
    • Institute for Research in Biomedicine
      Bellinzona, Ticino, Switzerland
  • 1979–2014
    • University of Barcelona
      • • Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular (Biologia)
      • • Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular
      • • Department of Geochemistry, Petrology and Geological Prospecting
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 1981–2011
    • Autonomous University of Barcelona
      • • Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery
      • • Faculty of Veterinary
      • • Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular
      • • Department of Chemistry
      Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2006
    • Hospital Clínic de Barcelona
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2005
    • Institut Marqués, Spain, Barcelona
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2003–2005
    • Barcelona Science Park
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2004
    • Barcelona Media
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2002–2003
    • Parc de recerca biomedica de barcelona
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 1976–1997
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Pharmacology
      Charlottesville, VA, United States
  • 1996
    • Newcastle University
      • Institute of Cellular Medicine
      Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom