Rodrigo López-Leal

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The proopiomelanocortin gene (POMC) is expressed in a group of neurons present in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Neuron-specific POMC expression in mammals is conveyed by two distal enhancers, named nPE1 and nPE2. Previous transgenic mouse studies showed that nPE1 and nPE2 independently drive reporter gene expression to POMC neurons. Here, we(More)
The developmental brain gene NPAS3 stands out as a hot spot in human evolution because it contains the largest number of human-specific, fast-evolving, conserved, non-coding elements. In this paper we studied 2xHAR142, one of these elements that is located in the fifth intron of NPAS3. Using transgenic mice, we show that the mouse and chimp 2xHAR142(More)
Cell-specific expression of many genes is conveyed by multiple enhancers, with each individual enhancer controlling a particular expression domain. In contrast, multiple enhancers drive similar expression patterns of some genes involved in embryonic development, suggesting regulatory redundancy. Work in Drosophila has indicated that functionally overlapping(More)
The functional and structural integrity of the nervous system depends on the coordinated action of neurons and glial cells. Phenomena like synaptic activity, conduction of action potentials, and neuronal growth and regeneration, to name a few, are fine tuned by glial cells. Furthermore, the active role of glial cells in the regulation of neuronal functions(More)
The structural homeostasis is challenging for neurons, whose axons extend up to meters in large animals, and the axoplasmic mass reaches over a thousand times that of the cell body. Thus, the protein demand may overcome the capacity of the cell body to supply the right protein species, to the right place, in the right time. In this context, a body of(More)
The gene encoding the prohormone proopiomelanocortin (POMC) is mainly expressed in two regions in vertebrates, namely corticotrophs and melanotrophs in the pituitary and a small population of neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. In this latter region, POMC-derived peptides participate in the control of energy balance and sensitivity to pain.(More)
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