Professional Education

  • Licenciado, Universidad Autonoma De Barcelona (2003)
  • Master in Genetics, University of the Basque Country (2006)
  • Doctor, Universidad Del Pais Vasco (2009)

Stanford Advisors


All Publications

  • Coronary Artery Disease Associated Transcription Factor TCF21 Regulates Smooth Muscle Precursor Cells That Contribute to the Fibrous Cap. PLoS genetics Nurnberg, S. T., Cheng, K., Raiesdana, A., Kundu, R., Miller, C. L., Kim, J. B., Arora, K., Carcamo-Oribe, I., Xiong, Y., Tellakula, N., Nanda, V., Murthy, N., Boisvert, W. A., Hedin, U., Perisic, L., Aldi, S., Maegdefessel, L., Pjanic, M., Owens, G. K., Tallquist, M. D., Quertermous, T. 2015; 11 (5)


    Recent genome wide association studies have identified a number of genes that contribute to the risk for coronary heart disease. One such gene, TCF21, encodes a basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factor believed to serve a critical role in the development of epicardial progenitor cells that give rise to coronary artery smooth muscle cells (SMC) and cardiac fibroblasts. Using reporter gene and immunolocalization studies with mouse and human tissues we have found that vascular TCF21 expression in the adult is restricted primarily to adventitial cells associated with coronary arteries and also medial SMC in the proximal aorta of mouse. Genome wide RNA-Seq studies in human coronary artery SMC (HCASMC) with siRNA knockdown found a number of putative TCF21 downstream pathways identified by enrichment of terms related to CAD, including "vascular disease," "disorder of artery," and "occlusion of artery," as well as disease-related cellular functions including "cellular movement" and "cellular growth and proliferation." In vitro studies in HCASMC demonstrated that TCF21 expression promotes proliferation and migration and inhibits SMC lineage marker expression. Detailed in situ expression studies with reporter gene and lineage tracing revealed that vascular wall cells expressing Tcf21 before disease initiation migrate into vascular lesions of ApoE-/- and Ldlr-/- mice. While Tcf21 lineage traced cells are distributed throughout the early lesions, in mature lesions they contribute to the formation of a subcapsular layer of cells, and others become associated with the fibrous cap. The lineage traced fibrous cap cells activate expression of SMC markers and growth factor receptor genes. Taken together, these data suggest that TCF21 may have a role regulating the differentiation state of SMC precursor cells that migrate into vascular lesions and contribute to the fibrous cap and more broadly, in view of the association of this gene with human CAD, provide evidence that these processes may be a mechanism for CAD risk attributable to the vascular wall.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005155

    View details for PubMedID 26020946

  • Identification and validation of N-acetyltransferase 2 as an insulin sensitivity gene JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Knowles, J. W., Xie, W., Zhang, Z., Chennemsetty, I., Assimes, T. L., Paananen, J., Hansson, O., Pankow, J., Goodarzi, M. O., Carcamo-Orive, I., Morris, A. P., Chen, Y. I., Maekinen, V., Ganna, A., Mahajan, A., Guo, X., Abbasi, F., Greenawalt, D. M., Lum, P., Molony, C., Lind, L., Lindgren, C., Raffel, L. J., Tsao, P. S., Schadt, E. E., Rotter, J. I., Sinaiko, A., Reaven, G., Yang, X., Hsiung, C. A., Groop, L., Cordell, H. J., Laakso, M., Hao, K., Ingelsson, E., Frayling, T. M., Weedon, M. N., Walker, M., Quertermous, T. 2015; 125 (4): 1739-1751


    Decreased insulin sensitivity, also referred to as insulin resistance (IR), is a fundamental abnormality in patients with type 2 diabetes and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. While IR predisposition is heritable, the genetic basis remains largely unknown. The GENEticS of Insulin Sensitivity consortium conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for direct measures of insulin sensitivity, such as euglycemic clamp or insulin suppression test, in 2,764 European individuals, with replication in an additional 2,860 individuals. The presence of a nonsynonymous variant of N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) [rs1208 (803A>G, K268R)] was strongly associated with decreased insulin sensitivity that was independent of BMI. The rs1208 "A" allele was nominally associated with IR-related traits, including increased fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and coronary artery disease. NAT2 acetylates arylamine and hydrazine drugs and carcinogens, but predicted acetylator NAT2 phenotypes were not associated with insulin sensitivity. In a murine adipocyte cell line, silencing of NAT2 ortholog Nat1 decreased insulin-mediated glucose uptake, increased basal and isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis, and decreased adipocyte differentiation, while Nat1 overexpression produced opposite effects. Nat1-deficient mice had elevations in fasting blood glucose, insulin, and triglycerides and decreased insulin sensitivity, as measured by glucose and insulin tolerance tests, with intermediate effects in Nat1 heterozygote mice. Our results support a role for NAT2 in insulin sensitivity.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI74592

    View details for Web of Science ID 000352248600037

  • Regulation of Human Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Proliferation and Differentiation Capacity by Glucocorticoid Receptor and AP-1 Crosstalk JOURNAL OF BONE AND MINERAL RESEARCH Carcamo-Orive, I., Gaztelumendi, A., Delgado, J., Tejados, N., Dorronsoro, A., Fernandez-Rueda, J., Pennington, D. J., Trigueros, C. 2010; 25 (10): 2115-2125


    Although marrow adipocytes and osteoblasts derive from a common bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs), the mechanisms that underlie osteoporosis-associated bone loss and marrow adipogenesis during prolonged steroid treatment are unclear. We show in human BMSCs (hBMSCs) that glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling in response to high concentrations of glucocorticoid (GC) supports adipogenesis but inhibits osteogenesis by reducing c-Jun expression and hBMSC proliferation. Conversely, significantly lower concentrations of GC, which permit hBMSC proliferation, are necessary for normal bone mineralization. In contrast, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signaling increases both JNK/c-Jun activity and hBMSC expansion, favoring osteogenic differentiation instead of adipogenesis. Indeed, PDGF antagonizes the proadipogenic qualities of GC/GR signaling. Thus our results reveal a novel c-Jun-centered regulatory network of signaling pathways in differentiating hBMSCs that controls the proliferation-dependent balance between osteogenesis and adipogenesis.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jbmr.120

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282776100005

    View details for PubMedID 20499359

  • ERK2 protein regulates the proliferation of human mesenchymal stem cells without affecting their mobilization and differentiation potential EXPERIMENTAL CELL RESEARCH Carcamo-Orive, I., Tejados, N., Delgado, J., Gaztelumendi, A., Otaegui, D., Lang, V., Trigueros, C. 2008; 314 (8): 1777-1788


    Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSC), derived mainly from adult bone marrow, are valuable models for the study of processes involved in stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. As the Extracellular signal-Regulated Kinase (ERK) signalling pathway is a major contributor to cellular growth, differentiation and survival, we have studied the functions of this kinase in hMSC activity. Ablation of ERK2 gene expression (but not ERK1) by RNA interference significantly reduced proliferation of hMSC. This reduction was due to a defect in Cyclin D1 expression and subsequent arrest in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle. hMSC growth is enhanced through culture medium supplementation with growth factors (GFs) such as Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF), basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF) or Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF). However, these supplements could not rescue the defect observed after ERK2 knockdown, suggesting a common signalling pathway used by these GFs for proliferation. In contrast, ERK1/2 may be dissociated from chemotactic signalling induced by the same GFs. Additionally, hMSCs were capable of differentiating into adipocytes even in the absence of either ERK1 or ERK2 proteins. Our data show that hMSCs do not require cell division to enter the adipogenic differentiation process, indicating that clonal amplification of these cells is not a critical step. However, cell-cell contact seems to be an essential requirement to be able to differentiate into mature adipocytes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.yexcr.2008.01.020

    View details for Web of Science ID 000255624300012

    View details for PubMedID 18378228

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