Raquel Marco-Ferreres

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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Publications (8)53.88 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A well-integrated and hierarchically organized gene regulatory network is responsible for the progressive specification of the forebrain. The transcription factor Six3 is one of the central components of this network. As such, Six3 regulates several components of the network but its upstream regulators are still poorly characterized. Here we have systematically identified such regulators taking advantage of the detailed functional characterization of the regulatory region of the medaka fish Six3.2 ortholog and of a time/cost effective trans-regulatory screening, which complemented and overcame the limitations of in silico prediction approaches. The candidates resulting from this search were validated with dose response Luciferase assays and expression pattern criteria. Reconfirmed candidates with matching expression pattern were also tested with Chromatin Immunoprecipitation and functional studies. Our results confirm the previously proposed direct regulation of Pax6 and further demonstrate that Msx2 and Pbx1 are bona fide direct regulators of early Six3.2 distribution in distinct domains of the medaka-fish forebrain. They also point to other TFs, including Tcf3, as additional regulators of different spatial-temporal domains of Six3.2 expression. The activity of these regulators is discussed in the context of the gene regulatory network proposed for the specification of the forebrain.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Vertebrate organogenesis is critically sensitive to gene dosage and even subtle variations in the expression levels of key genes may result in a variety of tissue anomalies. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are fundamental regulators of gene expression and their role in vertebrate tissue patterning is just beginning to be elucidated. To gain further insight into this issue, we analysed the transcriptomic consequences of manipulating the expression of miR-204 in the Medaka fish model system. We used RNA-Seq and an innovative bioinformatics approach, which combines conventional differential expression analysis with the behavior expected by miR-204 targets after its overexpression and knockdown. With this approach combined with a correlative analysis of the putative targets, we identified a wider set of miR-204 target genes belonging to different pathways. Together, these approaches confirmed that miR-204 has a key role in eye development and further highlighted its putative function in neural differentiation processes, including axon guidance as supported by in vivo functional studies. Together, our results demonstrate the advantage of integrating next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics approaches to investigate miRNA biology and provide new important information on the role of miRNAs in the control of axon guidance and more broadly in nervous system development.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Nucleic Acids Research
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    Leonardo Beccari · Raquel Marco-Ferreres · Paola Bovolenta
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    ABSTRACT: The vertebrate forebrain or prosencephalon is patterned at the beginning of neurulation into four major domains: the telencephalic, hypothalamic, retinal and diencephalic anlagen. These domains will then give rise to the majority of the brain structures involved in sensory integration and the control of higher intellectual and homeostatic functions. Understanding how forebrain pattering arises has thus attracted the interest of developmental neurobiologists for decades. As a result, most of its regulators have been identified and their hierarchical relationship is now the object of active investigation. Here, we summarize the main morphogenetic pathways and transcription factors involved in forebrain specification and propose the backbone of a possible gene regulatory network (GRN) governing its specification, taking advantage of the GRN principles elaborated by pioneer studies in simpler organisms. We will also discuss this GRN and its operational logic in the context of the remarkable morphological and functional diversification that the forebrain has undergone during evolution.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Mechanisms of development
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    ABSTRACT: Here we present the Transcription Factor Encyclopedia (TFe), a new web-based compendium of mini review articles on transcription factors (TFs) that is founded on the principles of open access and collaboration. Our consortium of over 100 researchers has collectively contributed over 130 mini review articles on pertinent human, mouse and rat TFs. Notable features of the TFe website include a high-quality PDF generator and web API for programmatic data retrieval. TFe aims to rapidly educate scientists about the TFs they encounter through the delivery of succinct summaries written and vetted by experts in the field. TFe is available at http://www.cisreg.ca/tfe.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Genome biology
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    ABSTRACT: Here we present the Transcription Factor Encyclopedia (TFe), a new web-based compendium of mini review articles on transcription factors (TFs) that is founded on the principles of open access and collaboration. Our consortium of over 100 researchers has collectively contributed over 130 mini review articles on pertinent human, mouse and rat TFs. Notable features of the TFe website include a high-quality PDF generator and web API for programmatic data retrieval. TFe aims to rapidly educate scientists about the TFs they encounter through the delivery of succinct summaries written and vetted by experts in the field. TFe is available at http://www.cisreg.ca/tfe.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Genome Biology
  • P. Bovolenta · R. Marco-Ferreres · I. Conte

    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2010
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that have important roles in the regulation of gene expression. The roles of individual miRNAs in controlling vertebrate eye development remain, however, largely unexplored. Here, we show that a single miRNA, miR-204, regulates multiple aspects of eye development in the medaka fish (Oryzias latipes). Morpholino-mediated ablation of miR-204 expression resulted in an eye phenotype characterized by microphthalmia, abnormal lens formation, and altered dorsoventral (D-V) patterning of the retina, which is associated with optic fissure coloboma. Using a variety of in vivo and in vitro approaches, we identified the transcription factor Meis2 as one of the main targets of miR-204 function. We show that, together with altered regulation of the Pax6 pathway, the abnormally elevated levels of Meis2 resulting from miR-204 inactivation are largely responsible for the observed phenotype. These data provide an example of how a specific miRNA can regulate multiple events in eye formation; at the same time, they uncover an as yet unreported function of Meis2 in the specification of D-V patterning of the retina.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Timely generation of distinct neural cell types in appropriate numbers is fundamental for the generation of a functional retina. In vertebrates, the transcription factor Six6 is initially expressed in multipotent retina progenitors and then becomes restricted to differentiated retinal ganglion and amacrine cells. How Six6 expression in the retina is controlled and what are its precise functions are still unclear. To address this issue, we used bioinformatic searches and transgenic approaches in medaka fish (Oryzias latipes) to characterise highly conserved regulatory enhancers responsible for Six6 expression. One of the enhancers drove gene expression in the differentiating and adult retina. A search for transcription factor binding sites, together with luciferase, ChIP assays and gain-of-function studies, indicated that NeuroD, a bHLH transcription factor, directly binds an 'E-box' sequence present in this enhancer and specifically regulates Six6 expression in the retina. NeuroD-induced Six6 overexpression in medaka embryos promoted unorganized retinal progenitor proliferation and, most notably, impaired photoreceptor differentiation, with no apparent changes in other retinal cell types. Conversely, Six6 gain- and loss-of-function changed NeuroD expression levels and altered the expression of the photoreceptor differentiation marker Rhodopsin. In addition, knockdown of Six6 interfered with amacrine cell generation. Together, these results indicate that Six6 and NeuroD control the expression of each other and their functions coordinate amacrine cell generation and photoreceptor terminal differentiation.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · Development

Publication Stats

148 Citations
53.88 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2012-2014
    • Centro De Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
    • Spanish National Research Council
      • Department of Development and Differentiation
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2010
    • Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras
      Valenza, Valencia, Spain