Publications by authors named "Jose Vicente Llorens"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Role of Iron in Friedreich's Ataxia: Insights From Studies in Human Tissues and Cellular and Animal Models.

Front Neurosci 2019 18;13:75. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain.

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is a rare early-onset degenerative disease that affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems, and other extraneural tissues, mainly the heart and endocrine pancreas. This disorder progresses as a mixed sensory and cerebellar ataxia, primarily disturbing the proprioceptive pathways in the spinal cord, peripheral nerves and nuclei of the cerebellum. FRDA is an inherited disease with an autosomal recessive pattern caused by an insufficient amount of the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein frataxin, which is an essential and highly evolutionary conserved protein whose deficit results in iron metabolism dysregulation and mitochondrial dysfunction. The first experimental evidence connecting frataxin with iron homeostasis came from ; iron accumulates in the mitochondria of yeast with deletion of the frataxin ortholog gene. This finding was soon linked to previous observations of iron deposits in the hearts of FRDA patients and was later reported in animal models of the disease. Despite advances made in the understanding of FRDA pathophysiology, the role of iron in this disease has not yet been completely clarified. Some of the questions still unresolved include the molecular mechanisms responsible for the iron accumulation and iron-mediated toxicity. Here, we review the contribution of the cellular and animal models of FRDA and relevance of the studies using FRDA patient samples to gain knowledge about these issues. Mechanisms of mitochondrial iron overload are discussed considering the potential roles of frataxin in the major mitochondrial metabolic pathways that use iron. We also analyzed the effect of iron toxicity on neuronal degeneration in FRDA by reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent and ROS-independent mechanisms. Finally, therapeutic strategies based on the control of iron toxicity are considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019.00075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6387962PMC
February 2019

Impact of Models in the Study and Treatment of Friedreich's Ataxia.

Int J Mol Sci 2018 07 7;19(7). Epub 2018 Jul 7.

Lehrstuhl für Entwicklungsbiologie, Universität Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany.

has been for over a century the model of choice of several neurobiologists to decipher the formation and development of the nervous system as well as to mirror the pathophysiological conditions of many human neurodegenerative diseases. The rare disease Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA) is not an exception. Since the isolation of the responsible gene more than two decades ago, the analysis of the fly orthologue has proven to be an excellent avenue to understand the development and progression of the disease, to unravel pivotal mechanisms underpinning the pathology and to identify genes and molecules that might well be either disease biomarkers or promising targets for therapeutic interventions. In this review, we aim to summarize the collection of findings provided by the models but also to go one step beyond and propose the implications of these discoveries for the study and cure of this disorder. We will present the physiological, cellular and molecular phenotypes described in the fly, highlighting those that have given insight into the pathology and we will show how the ability of to perform genetic and pharmacological screens has provided valuable information that is not easily within reach of other cellular or mammalian models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071989DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073496PMC
July 2018

Drosophila melanogaster Models of Metal-Related Human Diseases and Metal Toxicity.

Int J Mol Sci 2017 Jul 6;18(7). Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Department of Genetics, University of Valencia, Campus of Burjassot, 46100 Valencia, Spain.

Iron, copper and zinc are transition metals essential for life because they are required in a multitude of biological processes. Organisms have evolved to acquire metals from nutrition and to maintain adequate levels of each metal to avoid damaging effects associated with its deficiency, excess or misplacement. Interestingly, the main components of metal homeostatic pathways are conserved, with many orthologues of the human metal-related genes having been identified and characterized in . has gained appreciation as a useful model for studying human diseases, including those caused by mutations in pathways controlling cellular metal homeostasis. Flies have many advantages in the laboratory, such as a short life cycle, easy handling and inexpensive maintenance. Furthermore, they can be raised in a large number. In addition, flies are greatly appreciated because they offer a considerable number of genetic tools to address some of the unresolved questions concerning disease pathology, which in turn could contribute to our understanding of the metal metabolism and homeostasis. This review recapitulates the metabolism of the principal transition metals, namely iron, zinc and copper, in and the utility of this organism as an experimental model to explore the role of metal dyshomeostasis in different human diseases. Finally, a summary of the contribution of as a model for testing metal toxicity is provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms18071456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535947PMC
July 2017

Early Social Isolation Stress and Perinatal NMDA Receptor Antagonist Treatment Induce Changes in the Structure and Neurochemistry of Inhibitory Neurons of the Adult Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex.

eNeuro 2017 Mar-Apr;4(2). Epub 2017 May 1.

Neurobiology Unit, Cell Biology Department, Interdisciplinary Research Structure for Biotechnology and Biomedicine (BIOTECMED), Universitat De València, Burjassot 46100, Spain.

The exposure to aversive experiences during early life influences brain development and leads to altered behavior. Moreover, the combination of these experiences with subtle alterations in neurodevelopment may contribute to the emergence of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia. Recent hypotheses suggest that imbalances between excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) neurotransmission, especially in the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, may underlie their etiopathology. In order to understand better the neurobiological bases of these alterations, we studied the impact of altered neurodevelopment and chronic early-life stress on these two brain regions. Transgenic mice displaying fluorescent excitatory and inhibitory neurons, received a single injection of MK801 (NMDAR antagonist) or vehicle solution at postnatal day 7 and/or were socially isolated from the age of weaning until adulthood (3 months old). We found that anxiety-related behavior, brain volume, neuronal structure, and the expression of molecules related to plasticity and E/I neurotransmission in adult mice were importantly affected by early-life stress. Interestingly, many of these effects were potentiated when the stress paradigm was applied to mice perinatally injected with MK801 ("double-hit" model). These results clearly show the impact of early-life stress on the adult brain, especially on the structure and plasticity of inhibitory networks, and highlight the double-hit model as a valuable tool to study the contribution of early-life stress in the emergence of neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0034-17.2017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5411163PMC
March 2018

Metal Homeostasis Regulators Suppress FRDA Phenotypes in a Drosophila Model of the Disease.

PLoS One 2016 19;11(7):e0159209. Epub 2016 Jul 19.

Department of Genetics, University of Valencia, Burjassot, Valencia, Spain.

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA), the most commonly inherited ataxia in populations of European origin, is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a decrease in frataxin levels. One of the hallmarks of the disease is the accumulation of iron in several tissues including the brain, and frataxin has been proposed to play a key role in iron homeostasis. We found that the levels of zinc, copper, manganese and aluminum were also increased in a Drosophila model of FRDA, and that copper and zinc chelation improve their impaired motor performance. By means of a candidate genetic screen, we identified that genes implicated in iron, zinc and copper transport and metal detoxification can restore frataxin deficiency-induced phenotypes. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the metal dysregulation in FRDA includes other metals besides iron, therefore providing a new set of potential therapeutic targets.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0159209PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4951068PMC
July 2017

TORC1 Inhibition by Rapamycin Promotes Antioxidant Defences in a Drosophila Model of Friedreich's Ataxia.

PLoS One 2015 9;10(7):e0132376. Epub 2015 Jul 9.

Department of Genetics, University of Valencia, Burjassot, Valencia, Spain.

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA), the most common inherited ataxia in the Caucasian population, is a multisystemic disease caused by a significant decrease in the frataxin level. To identify genes capable of modifying the severity of the symptoms of frataxin depletion, we performed a candidate genetic screen in a Drosophila RNAi-based model of FRDA. We found that genetic reduction in TOR Complex 1 (TORC1) signalling improves the impaired motor performance phenotype of FRDA model flies. Pharmacologic inhibition of TORC1 signalling by rapamycin also restored this phenotype and increased the lifespan and ATP levels. Furthermore, rapamycin reduced the altered levels of malondialdehyde + 4-hydroxyalkenals and total glutathione of the model flies. The rapamycin-mediated protection against oxidative stress is due in part to an increase in the transcription of antioxidant genes mediated by cap-n-collar (Drosophila ortholog of Nrf2). Our results suggest that autophagy is indeed necessary for the protective effect of rapamycin in hyperoxia. Rapamycin increased the survival and aconitase activity of model flies subjected to high oxidative insult, and this improvement was abolished by the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine. These results point to the TORC1 pathway as a new potential therapeutic target for FRDA and as a guide to finding new promising molecules for disease treatment.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0132376PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4497667PMC
April 2016

Friedreich ataxia: an update on animal models, frataxin function and therapies.

Adv Exp Med Biol 2009 ;652:247-61

Laboratory of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia, CSIC, C/Jaume Roig 11, Valencia, Spain.

Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive progressively debilitating degenerative disease that principally affects the nervous system and the heart. Although FRDA is considered a rare disease, is the most common inherited ataxia. It is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the FXN gene, mainly an expanded GAA triplet repeat in the intron 1. The genetic defect results in the reduction of frataxin levels, a protein targeted to the mitochondria. Frataxin deficiency leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative damage and iron accumulation. Studies of the yeast and animal models of the disease have led to propose several different roles for frataxin. Animal models have also been important for dissecting the steps of pathogenesis in FRDA and they are essential for the development of effective therapies. Currently, antioxidant and iron chelation therapies are under evaluation in clinical trials. Gene reactivation, gene therapy and protein replacement strategies for FRDA are promising approaches. This review focuses on the current models developed for FRDA, the different roles proposed for frataxin and the progress of potential treatment strategies for the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2813-6_17DOI Listing
April 2010
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