Autophagy is a fascinating cellular adaptation and cell stress process that goes far beyond the mere “recycling” of cellular compartments. Our research group explores the involvement of this process in the adverse effects associated with anti-HIV therapy, in particular the effects involved in i) metabolic and hepatic alterations and ii) neuropsychiatric toxicity. We have described a novel mechanism of mitochondrial dysfunction related to these drugs, in particular with Efavirenz, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor considered the cornerstone of the antiretroviral combination regimes. We are focused on the interconnection between autophagy and cellular stress responses such as ER stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Our group is part of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Valencia. We also belong to the “Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en el Área Temática de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas” (CIBERehd), a national consortium of biomedical research groups investigating hepatic and digestive diseases funded by the Spanish government, the Research Foundation of the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia” (INCLIVA) and the Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research of the Valencian Regional Community (FISABIO).