Patricia Maciel

Patricia Maciel
University of Minho · School of Medicine

PhD

About

220
Publications
34,325
Reads
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5,594
Citations
Introduction
The goal of my research is to understand the genetic basis of nervous system function and dysfunction, with a strong focus on human neurological disease, using molecular genetics, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, cell biology and behavioral analysis. We study neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. The disease models we develop in C. elegans and mouse can, once validated, be used to search for therapeutic targets and test the efficacy of therapeutic strategies.
Additional affiliations
September 2002 - present
University of Minho
Position
  • Senior Researcher
March 1998 - September 2002
Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (220)
Article
Full-text available
Polyglutamine diseases are a class of dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorders for which there is no effective treatment. Here we provide evidence that activation of serotonergic signalling is beneficial in animal models of Machado-Joseph disease. We identified citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, in a small molecule screen...
Article
Full-text available
The physiological function of Ataxin-3 (ATXN3), a deubiquitylase (DUB) involved in Machado–Joseph Disease (MJD), remains elusive. In this study, we demonstrate that ATXN3 is required for neuronal differentiation and for normal cell morphology, cytoskeletal organization, proliferation and survival of SH-SY5Y and PC12 cells. This cellular phenotype i...
Article
Full-text available
Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) or spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is a neurodegenerative disease currently with no treatment. We describe a novel mouse model of MJD which expresses mutant human ataxin-3 at near endogenous levels and manifests MJD-like motor symptoms that appear gradually and progress over time. CMVMJD135 mice show ataxin-3 intra...
Article
Full-text available
The risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases increases with age. Although many of the molecular pathways regulating proteotoxic stress and longevity are well characterized, their contribution to disease susceptibility remains unclear. In this study, we describe a new Caenorhabditis elegans model of Machado-Joseph disease pathogenesis. Pan-neur...
Article
Full-text available
Ataxin-3, the protein involved in Machado-Joseph disease, is able to bind ubiquitylated substrates and act as a deubiquitylating enzyme in vitro, and it has been involved in the modulation of protein degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. C. elegans and mouse ataxin-3 knockout models are viable and without any obvious phenotype in a basal...
Article
Machado–Joseph disease (MJD), also known as spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder (ND). While most research in NDs has been following a neuron-centric point of view, microglia are now recognized as crucial in the brain. Previous work revealed alterations that point to an increased activation state...
Article
Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 (SCA3) is an adult-onset, progressive ataxia. SCA3 presents with ataxia before any gross neuropathology. A feature of many cerebellar ataxias is aberrant cerebellar output that contributes to motor dysfunction. We examined whether abnormal cerebellar output was present in the CMVMJD135 SCA3 mouse model and, if so, whet...
Article
Full-text available
Polyglutamine (PolyQ) diseases include a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders caused by unstable expansions of CAG trinucleotide repeats in the coding region of specific genes. Such genetic alterations produce abnormal proteins containing an unusually long PolyQ tract that renders them more prone to aggregate and cause toxicity. Although...
Article
Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), pose a significant and urgent challenge to healthcare systems worldwide. With an increasing life expectancy, these progressive age-related disorders are expected to rise exponentially. No cure currently exists for AD, and the aetiology remains poorly understood. Furthermore, AD drug de...
Article
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The atypical antipsychotic aripiprazole is a Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for the treatment of psychotic, mood, and other psychiatric disorders. Previous drug discovery efforts pinpointed aripiprazole as an effective suppressor of Machado–Joseph disease (MJD) pathogenesis, as its administration resulted in a reduced abundance and aggr...
Article
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Microglia have been increasingly implicated in neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), and specific disease associated microglia (DAM) profiles have been defined for several of these NDs. Yet, the microglial profile in Machado–Joseph disease (MJD) remains unexplored. Here, we characterized the profile of microglia in the CMVMJD135 mouse model of MJD. Thi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or related neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) often carry disruptive mutations in genes that are depleted of functional variation in the broader population. We build upon this observation and exome sequencing from 154,842 individuals to explore the allelic diversity of rare protein-coding variation c...
Article
Machado-Joseph disease (MJD/SCA3) is a neurodegenerative polyglutamine disorder exhibiting a wide spectrum of phenotypes. The abnormal size of the (CAG)n at ATXN3 explains ~55% of the age at onset variance, suggesting the involvement of other factors, namely genetic modifiers, whose identification remains limited. Our aim was to find novel genetic...
Article
Full-text available
The low regeneration potential of the central nervous system (CNS) represents a challenge for the development of new therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases, including spinocerebellar ataxias. Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3)—or Machado–Joseph disease (MJD)—is the most common dominant ataxia, being mainly characterized by motor de...
Article
Full-text available
Diseases of neurodevelopment mostly exhibit neurological and psychiatric symptoms that go from very mild to extremely severe. While the etiology of most cases of neurodevelopmental disease is still unknown, the discovery of underlying genetic causes is rapidly increasing, with hundreds of genes being currently implicated as disease-causing. Here, w...
Preprint
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Microglial cells are the first line of defense within the central nervous system, with morphological characterization being widely used to define their activation status. Most methods to evaluate microglia status are manual, and, therefore, often biased, inaccurate, and time consuming. In fact, the process to collect morphological data starts with...
Preprint
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is an adult-onset, progressive ataxia with no current disease modifying treatments. SCA3 patients have mild degeneration of the cerebellum, a brain area involved in motor coordination and maintenance of balance, as well as of the brainstem, of the spinal cord and of other movement-related subcortical areas. Howe...
Article
Full-text available
With increased longevity and subsequent rise in people with age‐related neurodegenerative diseases, protection of neurons from oxidative stress damage has become an important field of study. For the first time, we highlight the neuroprotective properties of rapeseed pomace (RSP) extract in SH‐SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. We used resazurin to det...
Article
Full-text available
Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) or Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement coordination leading to a premature death. Despite several efforts, no disease-modifying treatment is yet available for this disease. Previous studies pinpointed the modulation of serotonergic signaling, through pha...
Article
Full-text available
Here, we present the data on the biological effects of Hyptis spp. and Lycium spp. plant extracts in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) models of neurodegenerative diseases, which is related to the work presented in the article “Neurotherapeutic effect of Hyptis spp. leaf extracts in C. elegans models of tauopathy and polyglutamine disease: role o...
Article
Hyptis suaveolens (HS), Hyptis pectinata (HP) and Hyptis marrubioides (HM) are plants used in folk medicine for treatment of several diseases. Here, we tested the in vivo antioxidant and neuroprotective potential of methanolic extracts from these plants, containing several rosmarinic acid derivatives and isoquercetin. In C. elegans, HS, HP and HM l...
Article
Introduction: Six of the most frequent dominantly inherited spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) worldwide - SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, SCA6, SCA7, and SCA17 - are caused by an expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the corresponding proteins. While the identification of the causative mutation has advanced knowledge on the pathogenesis of polyQ SCAs, effe...
Article
Background No treatment exists for the most common dominantly inherited ataxia Machado‐Joseph disease, or spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3). Successful evaluation of candidate therapeutics will be facilitated by validated noninvasive biomarkers of disease pathology recapitulated by animal models. Objective We sought to identify shared in vivo n...
Article
Full-text available
Background: MBD5, encoding the methyl-CpG-binding domain 5 protein, has been proposed as a necessary and sufficient driver of the 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. De novo missense and protein-truncating variants from exome sequencing studies have directly implicated MBD5 in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmenta...
Article
A selection of new chromeno[2,3-b]pyridines was prepared from chromenylacrylonitriles and N-substituted piperazines, using a novel and efficient synthetic procedure. The compounds were tested for their anticancer activity using breast cancer cell lines MCF-7, Hs578t and MDA-MB-231 and the non-neoplastic cell line MCF-10A for toxicity evaluation. In...
Article
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disease caused by CAG (encoding glutamine) repeat expansion in the Ataxin-3 ( ATXN3 ) gene. We have shown previously that ATXN3-depleted or pathogenic ATXN3-expressing cells abrogate polynucleotide kinase 3′-phosphatase (PNKP) activity. Here, we report that ATXN3 assoc...
Article
Astrocytes are key players in the regulation of brain development and function. They sense and respond to the surrounding activity by elevating their intracellular calcium (Ca2+) levels. These astrocytic Ca2+ elevations emerge from different sources and display complex spatio‐temporal properties. Ca2+ elevations are spatially distributed in global...
Article
Full-text available
The connectome of Caenorhabditis elegans has been extensively studied and fully mapped, allowing researchers to more confidently conclude on the impact of any change in neuronal circuits based on behavioral data. One of the more complex sensorimotor circuits in nematodes is the one that regulates the integration of feeding status with the subsequen...
Article
l -tryptophan (Trp), an essential amino acid for mammals, is the precursor of a wide array of immunomodulatory metabolites produced by the kynurenine and serotonin pathways. The kynurenine pathway is a paramount source of several immunoregulatory metabolites, including l -kynurenine (Kyn), the main product of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) th...
Article
We present the largest exome sequencing study of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to date (n = 35,584 total samples, 11,986 with ASD). Using an enhanced analytical framework to integrate de novo and case-control rare variation, we identify 102 risk genes at a false discovery rate of 0.1 or less. Of these genes, 49 show higher frequencies of disruptiv...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: No treatment exists for the most common dominantly inherited ataxia Machado-Joseph disease, or spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3). Successful evaluation of candidate therapeutics will be facilitated by validated noninvasive biomarkers of aspects of disease pathology recapitulated by animal models. Objective: We sought to identify shar...
Article
Full-text available
Background: High resolution genome-wide copy number analysis, routinely used in clinical diagnosis for several years, retrieves new and extremely rare copy number variations (CNVs) that provide novel candidate genes contributing to disease etiology. The aim of this work was to identify novel genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disease, inferred f...
Article
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), also known as Machado–Joseph disease (MJD), is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the ATXN3 gene. In spite of the identification of a clear monogenic cause 25 years ago, the pathological process still puzzles researchers, impairing prospects for an effective therapy. Here, we pr...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic mutations and aging-associated oxidative damage underlie the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Machado-Joseph disease (MJD). Natural products derived from plants have been regarded as important sources of novel bioactive compounds to counteract neurodegeneration. Here, we tested the neuro...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ubiquitylation/deubiquitylation balance in cells is maintained by Deubiquitylating enzymes, including ATXN3. The precise role of this protein, mutated in SCA3, remains elusive, as few substrates for its deubiquitylating activity were identified. Therefore, we characterized the ubiquitome of neuronal cells lacking ATXN3, and found altered polyub...
Article
Full-text available
Spinocerebellar ataxias are dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorders with no disease-modifying treatment. We previously identified the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram as a safe and effective drug to be repurposed for Machado-Joseph disease. Pre-symptomatic treatment of transgenic (CMVMJD135) mice strikingly ameliorated mut...
Article
Full-text available
Machado-Joseph disease, also known as spinocerebellar ataxia type 3, is a fatal polyglutamine disease with no disease-modifying treatment. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram was shown in nematode and mouse models to be a compelling repurposing candidate for Machado-Joseph disease therapeutics. We sought to confirm the efficacy of...
Article
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder, mainly characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the Substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and by the presence of intracellular inclusions, known as Lewy bodies. Despite SNpc being considered the primary affected region in PD, the neuropathological features are...
Article
Full-text available
Microdeletions at 1q43-q44 have been described as resulting in a clinically recognizable phenotype of intellectual disability (ID), facial dysmorphisms and microcephaly (MIC). In contrast, the reciprocal microduplications of 1q43-q44 region have been less frequently reported and patients showed a variable phenotype, including macrocephaly. Reports...
Article
We present the largest exome sequencing study of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to date (n = 35,584 total samples, 11,986 with ASD). Using an enhanced analytical framework to integrate de novo and case-control rare variation, we identify 102 risk genes at a false discovery rate of 0.1 or less. Of these genes, 49 show higher frequencies of disruptiv...
Article
Full-text available
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by severe motor symptoms, and currently there is no treatment that retards disease progression or reverses damage prior to the time of clinical diagnosis. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) is neuroprotective in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD; however, its effect in...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present the largest exome sequencing study to date focused on rare variation in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (n=35,584). Integrating de novo and case-control variation with an enhanced Bayesian framework incorporating evolutionary constraint against mutation, we implicate 99 genes in ASD risk at a false discovery rate (FDR) ≤ 0.1. Of these 99...
Chapter
Genomic rearrangements leading to the appearance of copy number variations (CNVs) are frequent and widespread events, mostly as a consequence of the inherent repeat architecture of the human genome. It is currently accepted that these structural variants represent a major genetic component underlying our phenotypic diversity and also play an import...
Article
Full-text available
Certain human traits such as neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs) and congenital anomalies (CAs) are believed to be primarily genetic in origin. However, even after whole-genome sequencing (WGS), a substantial fraction of such disorders remain unexplained. We hypothesize that some cases of ND–CA are caused by aberrant DNA methylation leading to dysre...
Article
Background and Objective: Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases. Creatine administration increases concentration of the energy buffer phosphocreatine, exerting protective effects in the brain. We evaluate whether a creatine‐enriched diet would be beneficial for a mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia ty...
Chapter
Machado-Joseph disease (MJD), also known as Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 3 (SCA3), is the most common autosomal dominant ataxia worldwide. MJD integrates a large group of disorders known as polyglutamine diseases (polyQ). To date, no effective treatment exists for MJD and other polyQ diseases. Nevertheless, researchers are making efforts to find tre...
Preprint
Full-text available
Certain human traits such as neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs) and congenital anomalies (CAs) are believed to be primarily genetic in origin. With recent dramatic advances in genomic technologies, genome-wide surveys of cohorts of patients with ND/CAs for point mutations and structural variations have greatly advanced our understanding of their ge...