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Projects. Life and Earth Sciences

New therapeutic targets for myotonic dystrophy: analysis of microRNAs in two animal models of the disease

Lead Researcher:
Rubén Darío Artero Allepuz 

Research Centre:
Facultad de Biología. Universidad de Valencia.

Synopsis:
Rubén Darío ArteroMyotonic dystrophy is a disease caused by CTG trinucleotide expansions in a non-coding region of the DMPK gene. Various mechanisms have been described by which these expansions alter gene expression. This project aims to explore an additional mechanism: that expansions alter the expression of specific regulatory RNAs. For this analysis disease models in Drosophila melanogaster and in mice will be used using mass sequencing, PCR arrays and bioinformatics techniques. The mechanisms leading to differential expression will also be studied as well as their consequences and functional targets and the changes in their expression will be reversed to assess their possible use as a therapeutic target.

 

SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION


2 articles published in Journals
1 paper at international conferences

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Rubén Darío Artero Allepuz Born in 1967 in Castellón, he graduated in Biological Sciences in 1990, specialising in Biochemistry, and received his Ph.D. in 1995 at the University of Valencia (UV). After his Ph.D., he spent almost 6 years at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York (USA) studying the genetic control of muscle development. After three years as a researcher in the Ramón y Cajal programme and three as Associate Professor, since 2009 he has been a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Genetics at the University of Valencia. He is the scientific co ordinator of the CETEGEN project, which handles € 2 million in translational research incentives in myotonic dystrophy, and involves 8 national research teams. His scientific contributions include the cloning and functional characterisation of two genes which are important for muscle development (Drosophila muscleblind and hibris genes). In his research he has used cutting-edge technologies such as DNA chips to measure the transcriptional state of much of the Drosophila genome, and chemical traces in model organisms to identify potentially therapeutic molecules. He is the author of three patents, 22 scientific articles and has supervised four doctoral theses. He has been the promoter of two spin-off companies at the University of Valencia (Imegen and Valentia Biopharma).


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