Ramón Areces Foundation funds IRB Barcelona research on obesity

<p>Antonio Zorzano, group leader of the Complex Metabolic Diseases and Mitochondria Laboratory at IRB Barcelona.</p>
Antonio Zorzano, group leader of the Complex Metabolic Diseases and Mitochondria Laboratory at IRB Barcelona.

Antonio Zorzano, group leader of the Complex Metabolic Diseases and Mitochondria Laboratory, heads the study.

The Ramón Areces Foundation has granted 120,000 euros for this 3-year project.

 

The Ramon Areces Foundation is to fund six projects in Catalonia over the next three years. Antonio Zorzano, group leader of the Complex Metabolic Diseases and Mitochondria Laboratory at IRB Barcelona and full professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Barcelona, leads one of them, entitled "Investigating the molecular mechanisms of exosome production under cellular stress”.

The overall aim of this work is to unravel the molecular machinery and mechanisms involved in the formation of exosomes during cellular stress and specifically during metabolic stress and hypoxia in adipocytes. Increasing evidence indicates that exosomes, cell-derived vesicles that are present in many eukaryotic fluids, including blood and urine, have specialized functions and play a key role in processes such as coagulation, intercellular signaling, and waste management. Consequently, there is growing interest in the clinical applications of these vesicles. Exosomes can potentially be used for prognosis and, therapy, and as biomarkers for health and disease.

“We hope to make relevant contributions to the understanding of how exosomes are formed in pathological states such as obesity. Given the current global obesity epidemic, identification of biomarkers derived from exosomes and a better understanding of how these are produced and regulated may reveal new therapeutic approaches to reduce pathologies related to obesity”, explains Antonio Zorzano.

About the Ramón Areces Foundation Research Funding

This is the fourth time an IRB Barcelona researcher has been awarded this funding in the Foundation’s “Life and Earth Sciences” category. Between 2012 and 2015, the following scientists received it: Dr. Ernest Giralt, group leader and coordinator of the Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Programme; Dr. Manuel Palacin, group leader of the Amino Acid Transporters and Disease Lab; and Dr. Joan J. Guinovart, group leader of the Metabolic Engineering and Diabetes Therapy Lab and director of IRB Barcelona.

Established in 1976, the Ramón Areces Foundation is devoted to scientific patronage, by promoting basic research in scientific disciplines at the development phase that requires considerable funding and equipment, as well as clinical or applied research, thus contributing to the training of human capital, and the dissemination of knowledge.