Hugo Varela-Rodríguez

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Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH)


Born in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, MX.


Doctor of Science in Biotechnology (LANGEBIO-CINVESTAV)
Master of Science in Biotechnology (FCQ-UACH)
Chemist Bacteriologist and Parasitologist (FCQ-UACH)


Epimorphic regeneration in salamanders

Understand from the omics perspective the different regulatory mechanisms underlying salamanders, which allow them to regenerate a wide diversity of tissues and even complex biological structures, without triggering malignant neoplastic events.

Applications Invited
Data collection and analyzing

Scopus Publications

Scopus Publications

  • Functional Characterization of the Lin28/let-7 Circuit During Forelimb Regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum and Its Influence on Metabolic Reprogramming
    Hugo Varela-Rodríguez, Diana G. Abella-Quintana, Annie Espinal-Centeno, Luis Varela-Rodríguez, David Gomez-Zepeda, Juan Caballero-Pérez, Paola L. García-Medel, Luis G. Brieba, José J. Ordaz-Ortiz, and Alfredo Cruz-Ramirez

    Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, eISSN: 2296634X, Published: 19 November 2020 Frontiers Media SA
    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a caudate amphibian, which has an extraordinary ability to restore a wide variety of damaged structures by a process denominated epimorphosis. While the origin and potentiality of progenitor cells that take part during epimorphic regeneration are known to some extent, the metabolic changes experienced and their associated implications, remain unexplored. However, a circuit with a potential role as a modulator of cellular metabolism along regeneration is that formed by Lin28/let-7. In this study, we report two Lin28 paralogs and eight mature let-7 microRNAs encoded in the axolotl genome. Particularly, in the proliferative blastema stage amxLin28B is more abundant in the nuclei of blastemal cells, while the microRNAs amx-let-7c and amx-let-7a are most downregulated. Functional inhibition of Lin28 factors increase the levels of most mature let-7 microRNAs, consistent with an increment of intermediary metabolites of the Krebs cycle, and phenotypic alterations in the outgrowth of the blastema. In summary, we describe the primary components of the Lin28/let-7 circuit and their function during axolotl regeneration, acting upstream of metabolic reprogramming events.

  • Transient expression of a green fluorescent protein in tobacco and maize chloroplast
    Sigifredo Arévalo-Gallegos, Hugo Varela-Rodríguez, Héctor Lugo-Aguilar, Tania S. Siqueiros-Cendón, Blanca F. Iglesias-Figueroa, Edward A. Espinoza-Sánchez, Gerardo A. Aguado-Santacruz, and Quintín Rascón-Cruz

    Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, eISSN: 07173458, Pages: 1-9, Published: May 2020 Elsevier BV
    Abstract Background Maize is one of the most important crops worldwide and has been a target of nuclear-based transformation biotechnology to improve it and satisfy the food demand of the ever-growing global population. However, the maize plastid transformation has not been accomplished due to the recalcitrant condition of the crop. Results In this study, we constructed two different vectors with homologous recombination sequences from maize (Zea mays var. LPC13) and grass (Bouteloua gracilis var. ex Steud) (pZmcpGFP and pBgcpGFP, respectively). Both vectors were designed to integrate into rrn23S/rrn16S from an inverted repeat region in the chloroplast genome. Moreover, the vector had the mgfp5 gene driven by Prrn, a leader sequence of the atpB gene and a terminator sequence from the rbcL gene. Also, constructs have an hph gene as a selection marker gene driven by Prrn, a leader sequence from rbcL gene and a terminator sequence from the rbcL gene. Explants of maize, tobacco and Escherichia coli cells were transformed with both vectors to evaluate the transitory expression–an exhibition of green and red fluorescent light under epifluorescence microscopy. These results showed that both vectors were expressed; the reporter gene in all three organisms confirmed the capacity of the vectors to express genes in the cell compartments. Conclusions This paper is the first report of transient expression of GFP in maize embryos and offers new information for genetically improving recalcitrant crops; it also opens new possibilities for the improvement in maize chloroplast transformation with these vectors. How to cite: Arevalo-Gallegos S, Varela-Rodriguez H, Lugo-Aguilar H, et al. Transient expression of a green fluorescent protein in tobacco and maize chloroplast. Electron J Biotechnol 2020;44.

  • Effect of gallic acid and myricetin on ovarian cancer models: A possible alternative antitumoral treatment
    Luis Varela-Rodríguez, Blanca Sánchez-Ramírez, Verónica Ivonne Hernández-Ramírez, Hugo Varela-Rodríguez, Rodrigo Daniel Castellanos-Mijangos, Carmen González-Horta, Bibiana Chávez-Munguía, and Patricia Talamás-Rohana

    BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, eISSN: 26627671, Published: 10 April 2020 Springer Science and Business Media LLC
    Background Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of mortality among malignant gynecological tumors. Surgical resection and chemotherapy with intravenous platinum/taxanes drugs are the treatments of choice, with little effectiveness in later stages and severe toxicological effects. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the antineoplastic activity of gallic acid (GA) and myricetin (Myr) administrated peritumorally in Nu/Nu mice xenotransplanted with SKOV-3 cells. Methods Biological activity of GA and MYR was evaluated in SKOV-3 and OVCAR-3 cells (ovarian adenocarcinomas) by confocal/transmission electron microscopy, PI-flow cytometry, H 2 -DCF-DA stain, MTT, and Annexin V/PI assays. Molecular targets of compounds were determined with ACD/I-Labs and SEA. Antineoplastic activity was performed in SKOV-3 cells subcutaneously xenotransplanted into female Nu/Nu mice treated peritumorally with 50 mg/kg of each compound (2 alternate days/week) for 28 days. Controls used were paclitaxel (5 mg/kg) and 20 μL of vehicle (0.5% DMSO in 1X PBS). Tumor lesions, organs and sera were evaluated with NMR, USG, histopathological, and paraclinical studies. Results In vitro studies showed a decrease of cell viability with GA and Myr in SKOV-3 (50 and 166 μg/mL) and OVCAR-3 (43 and 94 μg/mL) cells respectively, as well as morphological changes, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis induction due to ROS generation ( p  ≤ 0.05, ANOVA). In silico studies suggest that GA and MYR could interact with carbonic anhydrase IX and PI3K, respectively. In vivo studies revealed inhibitory effects on tumor lesions development with GA and MYR up to 50% ( p  ≤ 0.05, ANOVA), with decreased vascularity, necrotic/fibrotic areas, neoplastic stroma retraction and apoptosis. However, toxicological effects were observed with GA treatment, such as leukocyte infiltrate and hepatic parenchyma loss, hypertransaminasemia (ALT: 150.7 ± 25.60 U/L), and hypoazotemia (urea: 33.4 ± 7.4 mg/dL), due to the development of chronic hepatitis ( p  ≤ 0.05, ANOVA). Conclusion GA and Myr (50 mg/kg) administered by peritumoral route, inhibit ovarian tumor lesions development in rodents with some toxicological effects. Additional studies will be necessary to find the appropriate therapeutic dose for GA. Therefore, GA and Myr could be considered as a starting point for the development of novel anticancer agents.