Nutritional Cell Signalling

Institute of Biomedicine (IBUB)

Principal investigator: Diego Haro Bautista Researchers: Pedro F. Marrero González · Joana Relat Pardo PhD students: Viviana Paz Sandoval Sandoval · Úrsula Monserrat Martínez Garza · Héctor Sanz Lamora

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Our scientific trajectory has focused on the metabolic control of gene expression. We have found that dietary interventions regulate the expression and/or the signaling of Fgf21 in a tissue-specific manner. The relevance that this peptide hormone has taken in the field of obesity/diabetes, and its effects on browning, led us to study the role that nutritional interventions, such as low protein diet or polyphenols-supplemented diets, may have against the deleterious effect of a high fat diet (HFD).

We are currently interested in the search for dietary factors that impact gene expression in a beneficial way for the prevention of insulin resistance (IR) generated by an HFD. We are also interested in understanding how diet (or its components) can stimulate the process of browning in white adipose tissue.

Our objective is to determine the molecular mechanisms that, as consequence of the dietetic intervention, are responsible for the changes in the gene expression that leads to the metabolic adaptation in the different tissues


Mediterranean Tomato-Based Sofrito Sauce Improves Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF21) Signaling in White Adipose Tissue of Obese ZUCKER Rats.Sandoval V, Rodríguez-Rodríguez R, Martínez-Garza Ú, Rosell-Cardona C, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Marrero PF, Haro D, Relat J. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Feb;62(4). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700606

A low-protein diet induces body weight loss and browning of subcutaneous white adipose tissue through enhanced expression of hepatic fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21). Pérez-Martí A, Garcia-Guasch M, Tresserra-Rimbau A, Carrilho-Do-Rosário A, Estruch R, Salas-Salvadó J, Martínez-González MÁ, Lamuela-Raventós R, Marrero PF, Haro D, Relat J. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Aug;61(8). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201600725.

FGF21 mediates the lipid metabolism response to amino acid starvation. De Sousa-Coelho AL, Relat J, Hondares E, Pérez-Martí A, Ribas F, Villarroya F, Marrero PF, Haro D. J Lipid Res. 2013 Jul;54(7):1786-97. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M033415

Fsp27/CIDEC is a CREB target gene induced during early fasting in liver and regulated by FA oxidation rate. Vilà-Brau A, De Sousa-Coelho AL, Gonçalves JF, Haro D, Marrero PF.J Lipid Res. 2013 Mar;54(3):592-601. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M028472

Activating transcription factor 4-dependent induction of FGF21 during amino acid deprivation. De Sousa-Coelho AL, Marrero PF, Haro D. Biochem J. 2012 Apr 1;443(1):165-71. doi: 10.1042/BJ20111748