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Dr Sergio Rodriguez-Cuenca

+44 (0)1223 336786


My current areas of interest are the following:


1) To explore the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the development of insulin resistance and other metabolic disturbances associated to obesity and vice versa, how insulin resistance/diabetes impacts on mitochondrial biology. I am also interested in strategies aimed to increase mitochondrial performance as a possible therapy to fight against Metabolic Syndrome.


2) To study the peroxisome biology, particularly the catabolism of fatty acid and the peroxisomal contribution to the biosynthesis of etherlipids (alkyl and alkenyl species) in the context of obesity and insulin resistance. I am also interested in the crosstalk between peroxisomes and other intracellular organelles such as mitochondria and lipid droplets.


3) To investigate the qualitative aspects of phospholipids and plasmalogens (etherlipids) remodelling and their relevance in the context of adipose tissue expansion. Particularly, I am interested in the plasticity of the molecular pathways responsible for the remodelling of the cellular and mitochondrial membranes.


4) To gain knowledge about the molecular mechanisms controlling lipolysis and lipid droplet biology in obesity and insulin resistance states



H-index: 15 (Web of Science) 17 (Google Scholar) for a total of 29 research papers.


1) Correia-Melo C, Marques FD, Anderson R, Hewitt G, Hewitt R, Cole J, Carroll BM, Miwa S, Birch J, Merz A, Rushton MD, Charles M, Jurk D, Tait SW, Czapiewski R, Greaves L, Nelson G, Bohlooly-Y M, Rodriquez-Cuenca S, Vidal-Puig A, Mann D, Saretzki G, Quarato G, Green DR, Adams PD, von Zglinicki T, Korolchuk VI, Passos JF. Mitochondria are required for pro-ageing features of the senescent phenotype. EMBO J. 2016 Apr 1;35(7):724-42.


2) Pellegrinelli V, Rouault C, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Albert V, Edom-Vovard F, Vidal-Puig A, Clément K, Butler-Browne GS, Lacasa D. Human Adipocytes Induce Inflammation and Atrophy in Muscle Cells During Obesity. Diabetes. 2015 Sep;64(9):3121-34.


3) Barbarroja N*, Rodriguez-Cuenca S*, Nygren H, Camargo A, Pirraco A, Relat J, Cuadrado I, Pellegrinelli V, Medina-Gomez G, Lopez-Pedrera C, Tinahones FJ, Symons JD, Summers SA, Oresic M, Vidal-Puig A. Increased dihydroceramide/ceramide ratio mediated by defective expression of degs1 impairs adipocyte differentiation and function. Diabetes. 2015 Apr;64(4):1180-92.


4) Ortega FJ(1), Serrano M, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Moreno-Navarrete JM, Gómez-Serrano M, Sabater M, Rodriguez-Hermosa JI, Xifra G, Ricart W, Peral B, Vidal-Puig A, Fernández-Real JM. Transducin-like enhancer of split 3 (TLE3) in adipose tissue is increased in situations characterized by decreased PPARγ gene expression. J Mol Med (Berl). 2014 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print]


5) Mercader JM, Puiggros M, Segrè AV, Planet E, Sorianello E, Sebastian D, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Ribas V, Bonàs-Guarch S, Draghici S, Yang C, Mora S, Vidal-Puig A, Dupuis J; DIAGRAM Consortium, Florez JC; MITIN Consortium, Zorzano A, Torrents D. Identification of novel type 2 diabetes candidate genes involved in the crosstalk between the mitochondrial and the insulin signaling systems. PLoS Genet. 2012;8(12):e1003046.


6) Camacho A, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Blount M, Prieur X, Barbarroja N, Fuller M,Hardingham GE, Vidal-Puig A. Ablation of PGC1 beta prevents mTOR dependent endoplasmic reticulum stress response. Exp Neurol. 2012 Oct;237(2):396-406


7) Whittle AJ, Carobbio S, Martins L, Slawik M, Hondares E, Vázquez MJ, Morgan D,Csikasz RI, Gallego R, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Dale M, Virtue S, Villarroya F, CannonB, Rahmouni K, López M, Vidal-Puig A. BMP8B increases brown adipose tissue thermogenesis through both central and peripheral actions. Cell. 2012 May 11;149(4):871-85.


8 ) Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Carobbio S, Vidal-Puig A. Ablation of Pparg2 impairs lipolysis and reveals murine strain differences in lipolytic responses. FASEB J. 2012 May;26(5):1835-44.


9) Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Carobbio S, Velagapudi VR, Barbarroja N, Moreno-Navarrete  JM, Tinahones FJ, Fernandez-Real JM, Oresic M, Vidal-Puig A. Pparγ dependent regulation of lipolytic nodes and metabolic flexibility. Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Apr;32(8):1555-65


10 ) Pietiläinen KH, Róg T, Seppänen-Laakso T, Virtue S, Gopalacharyulu P, Tang J,  Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Maciejewski A, Naukkarinen J, Ruskeepää AL, Niemelä PS, Yetukuri L, Tan CY, Velagapudi V, Castillo S, Nygren H, Hyötyläinen T, Rissanen A, Kaprio J, Yki-Järvinen H, Vattulainen I, Vidal-Puig A, Orešič M. Association of lipidome remodeling in the adipocyte membrane with acquired obesity in humans. PLoS Biol. 2011 Jun;9(6):e1000623.


11) Gurung IS, Medina-Gomez G, Kis A, Baker M, Velagapudi V, Neogi SG, Campbell M, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Lelliott C, McFarlane I, Oresic M, Grace AA, Vidal-Puig A, Huang CL. Deletion of the metabolic transcriptional coactivator PGC1β induces cardiac arrhythmia. Cardiovasc Res. 2011 Oct 1;92(1):29-38.




1) Rodriguez-Cuenca S*, Barbarroja N* and Vidal-Puig A.  Dihydroceramide desaturase 1, the gatekeeper of ceramide induced lipotoxicity. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Jan;1851(1):40-50.


2) Carobbio S, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Vidal-Puig A. Origins of metabolic complications in obesity: ectopic fat accumulation. The importance of the qualitative aspect of lipotoxicity. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Nov;14(6):520-6.



Funding Acknowledgements: