Francesc Ventura

University of Barcelona, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (82)296.04 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Here we report a new approach for studying protein oligomerization in cells using a single electrophoresis gel. We combined the use of a crosslinking reagent for sample preparation, such as glutaraldehyde, with the analysis of oligomers by Tris-acetate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The use of a 3-15 % Tris-acetate polyacrylamide gradient gel allows for the simultaneous analysis of proteins of masses ranging from 10 to 500 kDa. We showed the usefulness of this method for analyzing endogenous p53 oligomerization with high resolution and sensitivity in human cells. Oligomerization analysis was dependent on the crosslinker concentration used. We also showed that this method could be used to study the regulation of oligomerization. In all experiments, Tris-acetate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis proved to be a robust, manageable, and cost- and time-efficient method that provided excellent results using a single gel. This approach can be easily extrapolated to the study of other oligomers. All of these features make this method a highly useful tool for the analysis of protein oligomerization.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The delivery of osteogenic factors is a proven therapeutic strategy to promote bone regeneration. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) constitute a family of cytokines with well-known osteogenic and bone regenerative abilities. However, clinical uses of BMPs require high doses that have been associated with complications such as osteolysis, ectopic bone formation or hematoma formation. In the present work, we sought to improve bone tissue engineering via an approach that combines the use of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs), composite scaffolds, and osteoinductive agents. We employed a composite gelatin/CaSO4 scaffold that allows for an early expansion of seeded BMMSCs, which is followed by an increased level of osteogenic differentiation after 10 days in culture. Furthermore, this scaffold enhanced bone formation by BMMSCs in a mouse model of critical-size calvarial defect. More importantly, our results demonstrate that ex vivo pre-treatment of BMMSCs with low amounts of BMP-2 (2nM) and Wnt3a (50ng/ml) for 24 hours cooperatively increases the expression of osteogenic markers in vitro and bone regeneration in the critical-size calvarial defect mouse model. These data provide a strong rationale for the development of an ex vivo cooperative use of BMP-2 and Wnt3a. Osteogenic factor cooperation might be applied to reduce the required amount of growth factors while obtaining higher therapeutic effects.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Tissue Engineering Part A
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    ABSTRACT: Background and objectives: As the population ages, osteometabolic diseases and osteoporotic fractures emerge, resulting in substantial healthcare resource utilization and impaired quality of life. Many types of mechanical stimulation have the potential of being recognized by bone cells after a mechanical sign is transformed into a biological one (a process called mechanotransduction). The therapeutic ultrasound (TU) is one of several resources capable of promoting bone cell mechanical stimulation. Therefore, the main purpose of present study was to evaluate the effect of TU on the proliferation of pre-osteoblasts using in vitro bioassays. Study design/materials and methods: We used MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblast lineage cells kept in Alpha medium. Cells were treated using pulsed mode therapeutic ultrasound, with frequency of 1 MHz, intensity of 0.2 W/cm(2) (SATA), duty cycle of 20%, for 30 minutes. Nifedipine and rapamycin were used to further investigate the role of L-type Ca(2+) channels and mTOR pathway. Intracellular calcium, TGF-β1, magnesium, and the mRNA levels of osteopontin, osteonectin, NF-κB1, p38α were evaluated. Results: The results show that TU stimulates the growth of MC3T3-E1 cells and decreases the supernatant calcium and magnesium content. Also, it increases intracellular calcium, activates NF-κB1 and mTOR complex via p38α. Moreover, TU promoted a decrease in the TGF-β1 synthesis, which is a cell growth inhibitor. Conclusions: Therapeutic ultrasound, with frequency of 1 MHz, intensity of 0.2 W/cm(2) (SATA) and pulsed mode, for 30 minutes, was able to increase the proliferation of preosteoblast-like bone cells. This effect was mediated by a calcium influx, with a consequent activation of the mTOR pathway, through increased NF-κB1 and p38α. Lasers Surg. Med. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Lasers in Surgery and Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background and Objectives: As the population ages, osteometabolic diseases and osteoporotic fractures emerge, resulting in substantial healthcare resource utilization and impaired quality of life. Many types ofmechanical stimulation have the potential of being recognized by bone cells after a mechanical sign is transformed into a biological one (a process called mechanotransduction). The therapeutic ultrasound (TU) is one of several resources capable of promoting bone cell mechanical stimulation. Therefore, the main purpose of present study was to evaluate the effect of TU on the proliferation of pre-osteoblasts using in vitro bioassays. Study Design/Materials and Methods: We used MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblast lineage cells kept in Alphamedium. Cells were treated using pulsed mode therapeutic ultrasound, with frequency of 1MHz, intensity of 0.2W/cm2 (SATA), duty cycle of 20%, for 30minutes. Nifedipine and rapamycin were used to further investigate the role of L-type Ca2þ channels and mTOR pathway. Intracellular calcium, TGF-b1, magnesium, and the mRNA levels of osteopontin, osteonectin, NFkB1, p38a were evaluated. Results: The results show that TU stimulates the growth of MC3T3-E1 cells and decreases the supernatant calcium and magnesium content. Also, it increases intracellular calcium, activates NF-kB1 and mTOR complex via p38a. Moreover, TU promoted a decrease in the TGF-b1 synthesis, which is a cell growth inhibitor. Conclusions: Therapeutic ultrasound, with frequency of 1 MHz, intensity of 0.2 W/cm2 (SATA) and pulsed mode, for 30 minutes, was able to increase the proliferation of preosteoblast-like bone cells. This effect was mediated by a calcium influx, with a consequent activation of themTOR pathway, through increased NF-kB1 and p38a
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Lasers in Surgery and Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The skeleton acts as an endocrine organ that regulates energy metabolism and calcium and phosphorous homeostasis through the secretion of osteocalcin (Oc) and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23). However, evidence suggests that osteoblasts secrete additional unknown factors that contribute to the endocrine function of bone. To search for these additional factors, we generated mice with a conditional osteoblast-specific deletion of p38α MAPK known to display profound defects in bone homeostasis. Herein, we show that impaired osteoblast function is associated with a strong decrease in body weight and adiposity (P < 0.01). The differences in adiposity were not associated with diminished caloric intake, but rather reflected 20% increased energy expenditure and the up-regulation of uncoupling protein-1 (Ucp1) in white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT) (P < 0.05). These alterations in lipid metabolism and energy expenditure were correlated with a decrease in the blood levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY) (40% lower) rather than changes in the serum levels of insulin, Oc, or FGF23. Among all Npy-expressing tissues, only bone and primary osteoblasts showed a decline in Npy expression (P < 0.01). Moreover, the intraperitoneal administration of recombinant NPY partially restored the WAT weight and adipocyte size of p38α-deficient mice (P < 0.05). Altogether, these results further suggest that, in addition to Oc, other bone-derived signals affect WAT and energy expenditure contributing to the regulation of energy metabolism.-Rodríguez-Carballo, E., Gámez, B., Méndez-Lucas, A., Sánchez-Freutrie, M., Zorzano, A., Bartrons, R., Alcántara, S., Perales, J. C., and Ventura, F. p38α function in osteoblasts influences adipose tissue homeostasis. © FASEB.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · The FASEB Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The transcription factors Runx2 and Osx (Osterix) are required for osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Runx2 expression occurs at early stages of osteochondroprogenitor determination, followed by Osx induction during osteoblast maturation. We demonstrate that coexpression of Osx and Runx2 leads to cooperative induction of expression of the osteogenic genes Col1a1, Fmod, and Ibsp. Functional interaction of Osx and Runx2 in the regulation of these promoters is mediated by enhancer regions with adjacent Sp1 and Runx2 DNA-binding sites. These enhancers allow formation of a cooperative transcriptional complex, mediated by the binding of Osx and Runx2 to their specific DNA promoter sequences and by the protein-protein interactions between them. We also identified the domains involved in the interaction between Osx and Runx2. These regions contain the amino acids in Osx and Runx2 known to be phosphorylated by p38 and ERK MAPKs. Inhibition of p38 and ERK kinase activities or mutation of their known phosphorylation sites in Osx or Runx2 strongly disrupts their physical interaction and cooperative transcriptional effects. Altogether, our results provide a molecular description of a mechanism for Osx and Runx2 transcriptional cooperation that is subject to further regulation by MAPK-activating signals during osteogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Background p38 MAPK activity plays an important role in several steps of the osteoblast lineage progression through activation of osteoblast-specific transcription factors and it is also essential for the acquisition of the osteoblast phenotype in early development. Although reports indicate p38 signalling plays a role in early skeletal development, its specific contributions to adult bone remodelling are still to be clarified. Methodology/Principal Findings We evaluated osteoblast-specific deletion of p38α to determine its significance in early skeletogenesis, as well as for bone homeostasis in adult skeleton. Early p38α deletion resulted in defective intramembranous and endochondral ossification in both calvaria and long bones. Mutant mice showed reduction of trabecular bone volume in distal femurs, associated with low trabecular thickness. In addition, knockout mice also displayed decreased femoral cortical bone volume and thickness. Deletion of p38α did not affect osteoclast function. Yet it impaired osteoblastogenesis and osteoblast maturation and activity through decreased expression of osteoblast-specific transcription factors and their targets. Furthermore, the inducible Cre system allowed us to control the onset of p38α disruption after birth by removal of doxycycline. Deletion of p38α at three or eight weeks postnatally led to significantly lower trabecular and cortical bone volume after 6 or 12 months. Conclusions Our data demonstrates that, in addition to early skeletogenesis, p38α is essential for osteoblasts to maintain their function in mineralized adult bone, as bone anabolism should be sustained throughout life. Moreover, our data also emphasizes that clinical development of p38 inhibitors should take into account their potential bone effects.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The tumor suppressor p53 is a transcription factor that coordinates the cellular response to several kinds of stress. p53 inactivation is an important step in tumor progression. Oligomerization of p53 is critical for its post-translational modification and its ability to regulate the transcription of target genes necessary to inhibit tumor growth. Here, we report that the HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase HERC2 interacts with p53. This interaction involves the CPH domain of HERC2 and the last 43 amino acid residues of p53. Through this interaction, HERC2 regulates p53 activity. RNA interference experiments showed how HERC2 depletion reduces the transcriptional activity of p53 without affecting its stability. This regulation of p53 activity by HERC2 is independent of proteasome or MDM2 activity. Under these conditions, upregulation of cell growth and increased focus formation were observed, showing the functional relevance of the HERC2/p53 interaction. This interaction was maintained after DNA damage caused by the chemotherapeutic drug bleomycin. In these stressed cells, p53 phosphorylation was not impaired by HERC2 knockdown. Interestingly, p53 mutations that affect its tetramerization domain disrupted the HERC2/p53 interaction suggesting a role for HERC2 in p53 oligomerization. This regulatory role was shown using cross-linking assays. Thus, the inhibition of p53 activity after HERC2 depletion can be attributed to a reduction in p53 oligomerization. Ectopic expression of HERC2 (residues 2292 to 2923) confirmed these observations. Altogether, these results identify HERC2 as a novel regulator of p53 signaling.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have become integral nodes of post-transcriptional control of genes that confer cellular identity and regulate differentiation. Cell-specific signaling and transcriptional regulation in skeletal biology are extremely dynamic processes that are highly reliant on dose-dependent responses. As such, skeletal-determining genes are ideal targets for the quantitative regulation by miRNAs. So far, broad evidence have identified a characteristic temporal miRNA signature in skeletal-cell differentiation and confirmed the essential roles that numerous miRNAs play in bone development and homeostasis. In addition, microarray expression data have evidenced their role in several skeletal pathologies. Mouse models where their expression is altered have provided evidence of causal links between miRNAs and bone abnormalities. Thus, a detailed understanding of the function of miRNAs and their tight relationship with bone diseases would constitute a powerful tool for early diagnosis and future therapeutic approaches.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Molecular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Cells respond to different kind of stress through the coordinated activation of signaling pathways such as MAPK or p53. To find which molecular mechanisms are involved, we need to understand their cell adaptation. The ribosomal protein, S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), is a common downstream target of signaling by hormonal or nutritional stress. Here, we investigated the initial contribution of S6K1/MAPK signaling pathways in the cell response to oxidative stress produced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). To analyze S6K1 activation, we used the commercial anti-phospho-Thr389-S6K1 antibody most frequently mentioned in the bibliography. We found that this antibody detected an 80-90 kDa protein that was rapidly phosphorylated in response to H2O2 in several human cells. Unexpectedly, this phosphorylation was insensitive to both mTOR and PI3K inhibitors, and knock-down experiments showed that this protein was not S6K1. RSK and MSK proteins were candidate targets of this phosphorylation. We demonstrated that H2O2 stimulated phosphorylation of RSK and MSK kinases at residues that are homologous to Thr389 in S6K1. This phosphorylation required the activity of either p38 or ERK MAP kinases. Kinase assays showed activation of RSK and MSK by H2O2. Experiments with mouse embryonic fibroblasts from p38 animals' knockout confirmed these observations. Altogether, these findings show that the S6K1 signaling pathway is not activated under these conditions, clarify previous observations probably misinterpreted by non-specific detection of proteins RSK and MSK by the anti-phospho-Thr389-S6K1 antibody, and demonstrate the specific activation of MAPK signaling pathways through ERK/p38/RSK/MSK by H2O2.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Capsaicin, the active component of chili pepper, has been reported to have antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory effects on a variety of cell lines. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the effects of capsaicin during HSC activation and maintenance. Activated and freshly isolated HSCs were treated with capsaicin. Proliferation was measured by incorporation of EdU. Cell cycle arrest and apoptosis were investigated using flow cytometry. The migratory response to chemotactic stimuli was evaluated by a modified Boyden chamber assay. Activation markers and inflammatory cytokines were determined by qPCR, immunocytochemistry, and flow cytometry. Our results show that capsaicin reduces HSC proliferation, migration, and expression of profibrogenic markers of activated and primary mouse HSCs. In conclusion, the present study shows that capsaicin modulates proliferation, migration, and activation of HSC in vitro.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Cell biochemistry and biophysics
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    ABSTRACT: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) make up a family of morphogens that are critical for patterning, development, and function of the central and peripheral nervous system. Their effects on neural cells are pleiotropic and highly dynamic depending on the stage of development and the local niche. Neural cells display a broad expression profile of BMP ligands, receptors, and transducer molecules. Moreover, interactions of BMP signaling with other incoming morphogens and signaling pathways are crucial for most of these processes. The key role of BMP signaling suggests that it includes many regulatory mechanisms that restrict BMP activity both temporally and spatially. BMPs affect neural cell fate specification in a dynamic fashion. Initially they inhibit proliferation of neural precursors and promote the first steps in neuronal differentiation. Later on, BMP signaling effects switch from neuronal induction to promotion of astroglial identity and inhibition of neuronal or oligodendroglial lineage commitment. Furthermore, in postmitotic cells, BMPs regulate cell survival and death, to modulate neuronal subtype specification, promote dendritic and axonal growth and induce synapse formation and stabilization. In this review, we examine the canonical and non-canonical mechanisms of BMP signal transduction. Moreover, we focus on the specific role of BMPs in the nervous system including their ability to regulate neural stem cell proliferation, self-renewal, lineage specification, and neuronal function.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Osteogenesis depends on a coordinated network of signals and transcription factors such as Runx2 and Osterix. Recent evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRNAs) act as important post-transcriptional regulators in a large number of processes, including osteoblast differentiation. In this study, we performed miRNA expression profiling and identified miR-322, a BMP-2-down-regulated miRNA, as a regulator of osteoblast differentiation. We report miR-322 gain- and loss-of-function experiments in C2C12 and MC3T3-E1 cells and primary cultures of murine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. We demonstrate that overexpression of miR-322 enhances BMP-2 response, increasing the expression of Osx and other osteogenic genes. Furthermore, we identify Tob2 as a target of miR-322, and we characterize the specific Tob2 3′-UTR sequence bound by miR-322 by reporter assays. We demonstrate that Tob2 is a negative regulator of osteogenesis that binds and mediates degradation of Osx mRNA. Our results demonstrate a new molecular mechanism controlling osteogenesis through the specific miR-322/Tob2 regulation of specific target mRNAs. This regulatory circuit provides a clear example of a complex miRNA-transcription factor network for fine-tuning the osteoblast differentiation program.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: PFK-2/FBPase-2 (6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase) catalyses the synthesis and degradation of Fru-2,6-P2 (fructose-2,6-bisphosphate), a key modulator of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. The PFKFB3 gene is involved in cell proliferation owing to its role in carbohydrate metabolism. Here we analyze its mechanism of regulation as an immediately early gene controlled by stress stimuli that activate p38/MK2 pathway. We report that exposure of HeLa and T98G cells to different stress stimuli (NaCl, H2O2, UV radiation and anisomycin) leads to a rapid increase (15-30 minutes) in PFKFB3 mRNA levels. The use of specific inhibitors in combination with MK2-deficient cells implicate control by MK2 protein kinase. Transient transfection of HeLa cells with deleted gene promoter constructs allowed us to identify a Serum Response Element (SRE) to which Serum Response Factor (SRF) binds and thus transactivates PFKFB3 gene transcription. Direct Binding of phospho-SRF to the SRE sequence (-918 nt) was confirmed by ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipiation) assays. Moreover, PFKFB3 isoenzyme phosphorylation at Ser461 by MK2 increases PFK-2 activity. Together, the results suggest a multimodal mechanism of stress stimuli affecting PFKFB3 transcriptional regulation and kinase activation by protein phosphorylation, resulting in an increase in Fru-2,6-P2 concentration and stimulation of glycolysis in cancer cells.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Biochemical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Reciprocal regulation of metabolism and signaling allows cells to modulate their activity in accordance with their metabolic resources. Thus, amino acids could activate signal transduction pathways that control cell metabolism. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the effect of amino acids on fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru-2,6-P2) metabolism. We demonstrate that amino acids increase Fru-2,6-P2 concentration in HeLa and in MCF7 human cells. In conjunction with this, 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase activity, glucose uptake, and lactate concentration were increased. These data correlate with the specific phosphorylation of heart 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase (PFKFB2) isoenzyme at Ser-483. This activation was mediated by the PI3K and p38 signaling pathways. Furthermore, Akt inactivation blocked PFKFB2 phosphorylation and Fru-2,6-P2 production, thereby suggesting that the above signaling pathways converge at Akt kinase. In accordance with these results, kinase assays showed that amino acid-activated Akt phosphorylated PFKFB2 at Ser-483 and that knockdown experiments confirmed that the increase in Fru-2,6-P2 concentration induced by amino acids was due to PFKFB2. In addition, similar effects on Fru-2,6-P2 metabolism were observed in freshly isolated rat cardiomyocytes treated with amino acids, which indicates that these effects are not restricted to human cancer cells. In these cardiomyocytes, the glucose consumption and the production of lactate and ATP suggest an increase of glycolytic flux. Taken together, these results demonstrate that amino acids stimulate Fru-2,6-P2 synthesis by Akt-dependent PFKFB2 phosphorylation and activation and show how signaling and metabolism are inextricably linked.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Bone-specific transcription factors promote differentiation of mesenchymal precursors towards the osteoblastic cell phenotype. Among them, Runx2 and Osterix have been widely accepted as master osteogenic factors, since neither Runx2 nor Osterix null mice form mature osteoblasts. Recruitment of Osterix to a number of promoters of bone-specific genes has been shown. However, little is known about functional interactions between Osterix and the Col1a1 promoter. In this study we determined in several mesenchymal and osteoblastic cell types that either BMP-2 or Osterix overexpression increased Col1a1 transcription. We identified consensus Sp1 sequences, located in the proximal promoter and in the bone-enhancer, as Osterix binding regions in the Col1a1 promoter in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we show that p38 or Erk MAPK signaling are required for maximal transcriptional effects on Col1a1 expression. Runx2 has been shown to activate Col1a1 expression through binding to sites which are located close to the Sp1 sites where Osterix binds. Our data show that overexpression of Runx2 and Osterix leads to a cooperative effect on the expression of the Col1a1 endogenous gene and its promoter reporter construct. These effects mainly affect the long isoform of Osterix which suggest that the two Osterix isoforms might display some differential effects on transactivation of bone-specific genes.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Bone
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular microarrays present a promising tool for multiplex evaluation of the signalling effect of substrate-immobilized factors on cellular differentiation. In this paper, we compare the early myoblast-to-osteoblast cell commitment steps in response to a growth factor stimulus using standard well plate differentiation assays or cellular microarrays. Our results show that restraints on the cell culture size, inherent to cellular microarrays, impair the differentiation outcome. Also, while cells growing on spots with immobilised BMP-2 are early biased towards the osteoblast fate, longer periods of cell culturing in the microarrays result in cell proliferation and blockage of osteoblast differentiation. The results presented here raise concerns about the efficiency of cell differentiation when the cell culture dimensions are reduced to a simplified microspot environment. Also, these results suggest that further efforts should be devoted to increasing the complexity of the microspots composition, aiming to replace signalling cues missing in this system.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Materials Science Materials in Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Sertoli cells play a central role in the control and maintenance of spermatogenesis by secreting growth factors, in response to hormonal stimulation, that participate in the paracrine regulation of this process. In this study, we investigated how the hormonal regulation of spermatogenesis modulates 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase (PFKFB) isozyme expression in two mouse spermatogenic cell lines, GC-1 spg and GC-2 spd (ts). For this purpose, TM4 Sertoli cells were used to obtain conditioned medium that was treated or not with dihydrotestosterone for 2 days [dihydrotestosterone conditioned medium (TCM) and basal conditioned medium (BCM), respectively]. We observed an increase in the expression of PFKFB4 along with a decrease in PFKFB3 in spermatogenic cell lines treated with TCM. These effects were inhibited by the antiandrogen drug flutamide and by heat-inactivated TCM, indicating the protein nature of the TCM mediator and its dependence on Sertoli cell stimulation by dihydrotestosterone. In addition, adult rat testes treated with the GnRH antagonist Degarelix exhibited a reduction in the expression of PFKFB4 in germ cells. Addition of exogenous FGF-2 mimicked the changes in the Pfkfb gene expression, whereas neutralizing antibodies against FGF-2 abolished them. Interestingly, similar effects on Pfkfb gene expression were observed using different MAPK inhibitors (U-0126, PD-98059, and H-89). Luciferase analysis of Pfkfb4 promoter constructs demonstrated that a putative CRE-binding sequence located at -1,463 relative to the transcription start site is required to control Pfkfb4 gene expression after TCM treatment. Pulldown assays showed the binding of the CREB transcription factor to this site. Altogether, these results show how the paracrine regulation orchestrated by Sertoli cells in response to testosterone controls glycolysis in germ cells.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids (GC) induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in different cell types and therefore are widely used to treat a variety of diseases including autoimmune disorders and cancer. This effect is mediated by the GC receptor (GR), a ligand-activated transcription factor that translocates into the nucleus where it modulates transcription of target genes in a promoter-specific manner. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) regulates GR response by genomic and nongenomic mechanisms, although the specific role of each isoform is not well defined. We used GSK3 pharmacological inhibitors and isoform-specific small interfering RNA to evaluate the role of GSK3 in the genomic regulation induced by GC. GSK3 inhibition resulted in the reduction of GC-induced mRNA expression of GC-induced genes such as BIM, HIAP1, and GILZ. Knockdown of GSK3β but not GSK3α reduced endogenous GILZ induction in response to dexamethasone and GR-dependent reporter gene activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that GSK3 inhibition impaired the dexamethasone-mediated binding of GR and RNA polymerase II to endogenous GILZ promoter. These results indicate that GSK3β is important for GR transactivation activity and that GSK3β inhibition suppresses GC-stimulated gene expression. Furthermore, we show that genomic regulation by the GR is independent of known GSK3β phosphorylation sites. We propose that GC-dependent transcriptional activation requires functional GSK3β signaling and that altered GSK3β activity influences cell response to GC.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Molecular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: The phenolic compounds present in cocoa seeds have been studied regarding health benefits, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Fibrosis is a wound healing response that occurs in almost all patients with chronic liver injury. A large number of cytokines and soluble intercellular mediators are related to changes in the behavior and phenotype of the hepatic stellate cell (HSC) that develop a fibrogenic and contractile phenotype leading to the development of fibrosis. The objective of this study was to assess the catechin effect in GRX liver cells in activities such as cell growth and inflammation. The GRX cells treatment with catechin induced a significant decrease in cell growth. This mechanism does not occur by apoptosis or even by autophagy because there were no alterations in expression of caspase 3 and PARP (apoptosis), and LC3 (autophagy). The expression of p27 and p53 proteins, regulators of the cell cycle, showed increased expression, while COX-2 and IL-6 mRNA showed a significant decrease in expression. This study shows that catechin decreases cell growth in GRX cells and, probably, this decrease does not occur by apoptosis or autophagy but through an anti-inflammatory effect and cell cycle arrest. Catechin also significantly decreased the production of TGF-β by GRX cells, showing a significant antifibrotic effect.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Publication Stats

2k Citations
296.04 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1990-2014
    • University of Barcelona
      • • Departament de Ciències Fisiològiques II
      • • Department of Physiological Sciences I
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2008-2012
    • IDIBELL Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain