Transgenic animal models

Unit headFran-unidaddetransgnicos120

Francisco José Rodríguez Díaz


Bioterio, c/Catedrático José María Serrano, 33013, Oviedo, España


Research lines

Transgenic mice have become a powerful and extremely useful tool to unveil the molecular mechanisms underlying the crucial steps in carcinogenesis. New mouse models specifically developed to study tumor processes have helped to provide an increasing knowledge about the molecular basis of cancer disease.
Among the several research lines carried out by different groups from Instituto Universitario del Principado de Asturias (IUOPA), our unit has developed so far more than twelve “knock out” mice for different protease genes, which has definitively contributed to expand our knowledge about the involvement of these enzymes in the different stages of tumor progression.
Since the Transgenic Unit was founded in 2008, we have tried to offer IUOPA groups the technological support required for either generate, maintain and share new genetically modified murine models for both gain and loss of function.
Currently the unit is generating new animal models, which are deficient in several genes previously identified by different groups from IUOPA, all of great interest in Oncology research.


Group heal biography

The Head of the Unit began to work at Dr. Lopez-Otin’s laboratory in 1999 and started working in the generation of knock-out mice under his supervision. Early at the beginning he was in charge of both, manipulation and culture of ES cells. The work accomplished during the first years helped to establish knock-out mice deficient for important proteases as it was further demonstrated: FACE-1, FACE-2, MT-5 and MMP-19. He was also in charge of maintenance of all genetically modified mice generated during this period.
In 2005 he was in charge of setting up the technology required for microinjection and aggregation of previously modified murine ES cells into normal embryos with the intention of creating new chimaeras. These were further crossed back with normal females in order to generate the new knock-out mice deficient for the interested genes. By this way two new mouse models, Aut1 and Mtp2 deficient, were generated.
Finally in 2007, along with the simultaneous opening of new animal facilities at the School of Medicine campus, the IUOPA Transgenic Core Unit started its research activities at this new location, including the responsibility of generating new transgenic and knock-out mice.


Selected publications

  • Folgueras AR, Freitas-Rodríguez S, Ramsay AJ, Garabaya C, Rodríguez F, Velasco G, López-Otín C. Matriptase-2 deficiency protects from obesity by modulating iron homeostasis. Nat Commun. 2018 Apr 10;9(1):1350. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03853-1.
  • Clea Bárcena, Pedro M. Quirós, Sylvère Durand, Pablo Mayoral, Francisco Rodríguez, Xurde M. Caravia, Guillermo Mariño, Cecilia Garabaya, María Teresa Fernández-García, Guido Kroemer, José M.P. Freije, Carlos López-Otín. Methionine Restriction Extends Lifespan in Progeroid Mice and Alters Lipid and Bile Acid Metabolism. Cell Rep. 2018 Aug 28;24(9):2392-2403. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.07.089.
  • Caravia XM, Fanjul V, Oliver E, Roiz-Valle D, Morán-Álvarez A, Desdín-Micó G, María Mittelbrunn, Roberto Cabo, José A. Vega, Francisco Rodríguez, Antonio Fueyo, Mónica Gómez, Manuel Lobo-González, Héctor Bueno, Gloria Velasco, José M. P. Freij, Vicente Andrés, Borja Ibáñez, Alejandro P. Ugalde, Carlos López-Otín. The microRNA-29/PGC1α regulatory axis is critical for metabolic control of cardiac function. PLoS Biol. 2018 16(10): e2006247. pbio.2006247
  • Olaya Santiago-Fernández, Fernando G. Osorio, Víctor Quesada, Francisco Rodríguez, Sammy Basso, Daniel Maeso, Loïc Rolas, Anna Barkaway, Sussan Nourshargh, Alicia R. Folgueras, José M. P. Freije, Carlos López-Otín . Development of a CRISPR/Cas9-based therapy for Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. Nat Med. 2019 Feb 18. doi: 10.1038/s41591-018-0338-6.
  • Rocio G. Urdinguio, Virginia Lopez, Gustavo F Bayón, Rafael Diaz de la Guardia, Marta I. Sierra, Estela García-Toraño, Raúl F. Perez, María G. García, Antonella Carella, Patricia C. Pruneda, Cristina Prieto, Marija Dmitrijeva, Pablo Santamarina, Thalía Belmonte, Cristina Mangas, Elena Diaconu, Cecilia Ferrero, Juan Ramón Tejedor, Juan Luis Fernandez-Morera, Cristina Bravo, Clara Bueno , Alejandra Sanjuan-Pla, Ramón M. Rodríguez, Beatriz Suarez-Alvarez, Carlos López-Larrea, Teresa Bernal, Enrique Colado, Milagros Balbín, Olivia García-Suarez, María Dolores Chiara, Inés Sáenz-de-Santa-María, Francisco Rodríguez, Ana Pando-Sandoval, Luis Rodrigo, Laura Santos, Ana Salas, Jesus Vallejo-Diaz, Ana Clara Carrera, Daniel Rico, Inmaculada Hernández-López, Amparo Vayá, José M Ricart, Edward Seto, Núria Sima-Teruel, Alejandro Vaquero, Luis Valledor, Maria Jesus Cañal, David Pisano, Osvaldo Graña, Tim Thomas, Anne K. Voss, Pablo Menéndez, Ana Villar-Garea, Rainer Deutzmann, Agustín F. Fernandez and Mario F. Fraga. Chromatin regulation by Histone H4 acetylation at Lysine 16 during cell death and differentiation in the myeloid compartment. Nucleic Acid Research. 12-3-2019
  • Bárcena C, Valdés-Mas R, Mayoral P, Garabaya C, Durand S, Rodríguez F, Fernández-García MT, Salazar N, Nogacka AM, Garatachea N, Bossut N, Aprahamian F, Lucia A, Kroemer G, Freije JMP, Quirós PM, López-Otín C. Healthspan and lifespan extension by fecal microbiota transplantation into progeroid mice. Nat Med. 2019 Jul 22. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0504-5.



Name Possition e-mail Phone number
Francisco José Rodríguez Díaz Group leader 985102731
Aranzazu Moyano Molina Technician 985102731
Rebeca Feijoo Rodríguez Technician 985102731