Position: Associate Professor
Rafael Alcala Vida
Early stage researcher
Ana Saavedra Martins
Gloria Blazquez Romero
Jordi Creus Muncunill
Marta Garcia Forn
Dr. Esther Pérez Navarro
Department of Biomedicine
Faculty of Medicine, Casanova 143
08036 Barcelona (Spain)
34 93 403 52 84
estherperez (at) ub.edu
The main objective of our group is to study molecular mechanisms that control motor coordination and cognitive function, with the main focus on the activity of kinases and phosphatases, and whether alterations in these mechanisms contribute to the symptoms observed in Huntington’s disease (HD). Although HD has been classically considered a motor disorder there is now considerable evidence that early cognitive deficits appear in patients before the onset of motor disturbances. Our final goal is thus to identify new therapeutic targets to ameliorate or prevent motor and cognitive dysfunction. We are also interested in studying whether alterations observed in the brain can be detected in blood samples from HD patients.
· Rué L, Bañez-Coronel M, Creus-Muncunill J, Giralt A, Alcalá-Vida R, Mentxaka G, Kagerbauer B, Zomeño-Abellán MT, Aranda Z, Venturi V, Pérez-Navarro E, Estivill X, Martí E. Targeting CAG repeat RNAs reduces Huntington’s disease phenotype independently of huntingtin levels. J Clin Invest. 2016, 126:4319-4330.
· Azkona G, Saavedra A, Aira Z, Aluja D, Xifró X, Baguley T, Alberch J, Ellman JA, Lombroso PJ, Azkue JJ, Pérez-Navarro E. STEP modulates nociception: evidences from genetic deletion and pharmacological inhibition. Pain, 2016, 157:377-386
· Tyebji S, Saavedra A, Canas PM, Pliassova A, Delgado-García JM, Alberch J, Cunha RA, Gruart A, Pérez-Navarro E (2015) Hyperactivation of D1 and A2A receptors contributes to cognitive dysfunction in Huntington’s disease. Neurobiol Dis. 74:41-57.
· Saavedra A, Giralt A, Rué L, Xifró X, Xu J, Ortega Z, Lucas JJ, Lombroso PJ, Alberch J, Pérez-Navarro E (2011) Striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase expression and activity in Huntington’s disease: a STEP in the resistance to excitotoxicity. J Neurosci. 31:8150-62.
· Giralt A, Saavedra A, Carretón O, Xifró X, Alberch J, Pérez-Navarro E. (2011) Increased PKA signaling disrupts recognition memory and spatial memory: role in Huntington’s disease. Hum Mol Genet. 20:4232-4247.