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Aging and Metabolism
Metabolic Engineering and Diabetes Therapy
Group Leader
+34 93 40 37160

Emeritus Professor (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Dept. - UB)


Research information


The group directed by Prof. Guinovart is involved in several projects on glycogen metabolism and its dysfunctions in diabetes and Lafora disease. Studies on glycogen metabolism have allowed the identification of many enzymes and intermediate metabolites involved in the synthesis and degradation of this polysaccharide. However, new factors and processes that participate in glycogen regulation are constantly being discovered. Moreover, data on the mechanisms of control in distinct organs and in diverse physiological conditions are incomplete. The alteration of one of these mechanisms may lead to serious pathologies such as diabetes mellitus and Lafora disease. The discovery of compounds that counteract the alterations of glucose metabolism is of potential interest for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Research interests

  • To study the mechanisms of glucose storage in the form of glycogen in liver, muscle and brain and its alterations in diabetes and neurological disorders.
  • To identify and characterize novel compounds with anti-diabetic action.
  • To identify novel potential molecular targets for the design of anti-diabetic compounds.

Research lines

1) To characterise the physiological role of glycogen in the CNS and in particular in neurons.

Main tasks:

a) To study the molecular changes associated with the lack of glycogen in the brain.

b) To further demonstrate the presence of glycogen in neurons and analyse its role in the normal functioning of this cell type.


2) To study the pathological consequences of neuronal glycogen accumulation in pathological conditions and aging.

Main tasks:

a) To further examine the molecular mechanism(s) of neurodegeneration induced by the accumulation of glycogen.

b) To address the reversibility of abnormal glycogen accumulation in Lafora disease.

c) To study the role of neuronal glycogen accumulation in the etiopathogeny of ALS, diabetic complications, and aging.


3) To analyse the consequences of abnormal accumulation of glycogen in muscular glycogenoses.

Main tasks:

a) To study the consequences of the over-accumulation of glycogen in skeletal muscle.

b) To examine the contribution of glycogen accumulation in neurons to the physiopathology of Pompe disease.


4) To analyse the role of hepatic glycogen in feeding behaviour.

Main tasks:

a) To study how the amount of liver glycogen regulates food intake.

b) To determine hepatic ATP involvement in food intake.


5) To revisit the role of glycogenin in glycogen synthesis.

Main tasks:

a) To characterise an animal model lacking glycogenin (GYG).

b) To study other possible functions of GYG besides glycogen initiation.


Selected publications

Duran J, Hervera A, Markussen KH, Varea O, López-Soldado I, Sun RC, Del Río JA, Gentry MS, Guinovart JJ
( )
Testoni G; Olmeda B; Duran J; López-Rodríguez E; Aguilera M; Hernández-Álvarez MI; Prats N; Pérez-Gil J; Guinovart JJ
Human Molecular Genetics
(21 )
3554 -
Testoni G; Duran J; García-Rocha M; Vilaplana F; Serrano A; Sebastián D; López-Soldado I; Sullivan M; Slebe F; Vilaseca M; Muñoz-Cánoves P; Guinovart J
Cell Metabolism
(1 )
256 -
López-Soldado I; Zafra D; Duran J; Adrover A; Calbó J; Guinovart J
(3 )
796 -
Saez, Isabel; Duran, Jordi; Sinadinos, Christopher; Beltran, Antoni; Yanes, Oscar; Tevy, Maria F; Martinez-Pons, Carlos; Milan, Marco; Guinovart, Joan J
Journal Of Cerebral Blood Flow And Metabolism
(6 )
945 -
Duran J; Gruart A; García-Rocha M; Delgado-García J; Guinovart J
Human Molecular Genetics
(12 )
3147 -
Duran, Jordi; Florencia Tevy, Maria; Garcia-Rocha, Mar; Calbo, Joaquim; Milan, Marco; Guinovart, Joan J
Embo Molecular Medicine
(8 )
719 -
Valles-Ortega J; Duran J; Garcia-Rocha M; Bosch C; Saez I; Pujadas L; Serafin A; Cañas X; Soriano E; Delgado-García J; Gruart A; Guinovart J
Embo Molecular Medicine
(11 )
667 -
Vilchez D; Ros S; Cifuentes D; Pujadas L; Vallès J; García-Fojeda B; Criado-García O; Fernández-Sánchez E; Medrão-Fernández I; Domínguez J; García-Rocha M; Soriano E; Rodríguez De Córdoba S; Guinovart JJ
Nature Neuroscience
(11 )
1407 -

Group members

Group Leader
Research Associate
Research Associate
Research Assistant
Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellow

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