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Albert Jordan: Chromatin regulation of human and viral gene expression

Lab Presentation

We focus our research on the control of gene expression in human cells by chromatin organization, components and modifications, with a focus on the linker histone. The linker histone in mammals, participating in nucleosome spacing and higher-order chromatin structure, is a family of different histone H1 subtypes, including 7 somatic variants. It is poorly understood why so many H1 variants exist and whether they have particular features relevant to its functionality. Knock-out experiments have suggested that the different variants are redundant and one isoform can substitute for another, but slowly new reports including ours are suggesting specific roles for the H1 variants, including involvement in specific gene expression regulation, and differential distribution in the human genome. In a second line of research, we use an HIV promoter model to investigate the influence of chromatin organization at the integration site on HIV expression, with a focus on the role of heterochromatin on the establishment of viral latency, and we search for therapies for reactivation.

Albert Jordan Vallès
  • Albert Jordan
  • C/ Baldiri i Reixac, 4
  • 08028 Barcelona, Spain
  • Phone: +34 93 402 0487
  • E-mail:

Principal Investigator

Past students

  • Alberto Bustillos

    PhD Student

  • Andrea Izquierdo

    PhD Student

  • Erik Abner

    PhD Student

  • Lluís Millan

    PhD Student

  • Edurne Gallastegui

    PhD Student



  • Abner E, Jordan A (2019) HIV ‘shock and kill’ therapy: in need of revision. Antiviral Research 166: 19-34. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2019.03.008
  • Salmerón-Hernández A, Noriega-Reyes MY, Jordan A, Baranda-Avila N, Langley E (2019) BCAS2 Enhances Carcinogenic Effects of Estrogen Receptor Alpha in Breast Cancer Cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences Feb 22;20(4). pii: E966. doi: 10.3390/ijms20040966
  • Carbonell A, Fueyo R, Izquierdo-Bouldstridge A, Moreta C, Jordan A (2018) Epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease: BCEC 2017. Epigenetics 13(3): 331-341. doi: 10.1080/15592294.2018.1434391
  • Abner E, Stoszko M, Zeng L, Chen H-C, Izquierdo-Bouldstridge A, Konuma T, Zorita E, Fanunza E, Zhang Q, Mahmoudi T, Zhou M-M, Filion G, Jordan A (2018) A new quinoline BRD4 inhibitor targets a distinct latent HIV-1 reservoir for re-activation from other ‘shock’ drugs. Journal of Virology 2018 Apr 27;92(10). pii: e02056-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02056-17
  • Izquierdo-Bouldstridge A*, Bustillos A*, Bonet-Costa C, Aribau P, Garcia D, Dabad M, Esteve-Codina A, Pascual L, Peiro S, Esteller M, Murtha M, Millán-Ariño Ll, Jordan A (2017) Histone H1 depletion triggers an interferon response in cancer cells via activation of heterochromatic repeats. Nucleic Acids Research 45(20): 11622-42.
  • Perearnau A, Orlando S, Islam A, Gallastegui E, Martínez J, Jordan A, Bigas A, Aligué R, Pujol MJ, Bachs O (2017) p27Kip1, PCAF and PAX5 cooperate in the transcriptional regulation of specific target genes. Nucleic Acids Research 45(9):5086-99.
  • Castaño J, Morera C, Sesé B, Boue S, Bonet-Costa C, Marti M, Roque A, Jordan A, Barrero MJ (2016) SETD7 regulates the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. PLOS One doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149502. abstract
  • Jordan A (2016) Editor of the Special Issue: Histone H1 in gene expression and development. BBA Gene Regulatory Mechanisms 1859(3): 429-540. link
  • Jordan A (2016) Editorial-Histone H1 in gene expression and development. BBA Gene Regulatory Mechanisms 1859(3): 429-30. abstract
  • Millán-Ariño Ll, Izquierdo-Bouldstridge A, Jordan A (2016) Specificities and genomic distribution of somatic mammalian histone H1 subtypes. BBA Gene Regulatory Mechanisms 1859(3): 510-19. abstract
  • Noriega-Reyes MY, Rivas-Torres MA, Oñate-Ocaña LF, Jordan-Vallés A, Baranda-Avila N, Langley E (2015) Novel role for PINX1 as a coregulator of nuclear hormone receptors. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 414: 9-18. abstract
  • Mayor R*, Izquierdo-Bouldstridge A*, Millán-Ariño Ll, Bustillos A, Sampaio C, Luque N, Jordan A (2015) Genome distribution of replication-independent histone H1 variants shows H1.0 associated with nucleolar domains and H1X associated with RNA polymerase II-enriched regions. Journal of Biological Chemistry 290(12):7474-91. abstract
  • Terme JM, Millán-Ariño Ll, Mayor R, Luque N, Izquierdo-Bouldstridge A, Bustillos A, Sampaio C, Canes J, Font I, Sima N, Sancho M, Torrente L, Forcales S, Roque A, Suau P, Jordan A (2014) Dynamics and dispensability of variant-specific histone H1 Lys-26/Ser-27 and Thr-165 post-translational modifications. FEBS Letters 588(14):2353-62. abstract
  • Millán-Ariño Ll, Islam A, Izquierdo-Bouldstridge A, Mayor R, Terme JM, Luque N, Sancho M, López-Bigas N, Jordan A (2014) Mapping of six somatic linker histone H1 variants in human breast cancer cells uncovers specific features of H1.2. Nucleic Acids Research 42:4474-4493. abstract
  • Gallastegui E, Marshall B, Vidal D, Sanchez-Duffhues G, Collado JA, Alvarez-Fernández C, Luque N, Terme JM, Gatell JM, Sánchez-Palomino S, Muñoz E, Mestres J, Verdin E, Jordan A (2012) Combination of biological screening in a cellular model of viral latency with virtual screening identifies novel compounds that reactivate HIV-1. Journal of Virology 86(7):3795-3808. abstract
  • Novellasdemunt L, Obach M, Millán-Ariño Ll, Manzano A, Ventura F, Rosa JL, Jordan A, Navarro-Sabate A, Bartrons R (2012) Progestins activate 6-Phosphofructo-2-kinase/Fructose-2,6-Bisphosphatase (PFKFB3) in breast cancer cells. Biochemical Journal 442(2):345-56. abstract
  • Terme JM*, Sesé B*, Millán-Ariño L, Mayor R, Izpisua-Belmonte JC, Barrero MJ, Jordan A (2011) Histone H1 variants are differentially expressed and incorporated into chromatin during differentiation and reprogramming to pluripotency. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286(41):35347-57. abstract
  • Gallastegui E, Millán-Zambrano G, Terme JM, Chávez S, Jordan A (2011) Chromatin reassembly factors are involved in transcriptional interference promoting HIV latency. Journal of Virology 85(7):3187-202. abstract
  • Terme JM, Calvignac S, Duc Dodon M, Gazzolo L, Jordan A (2009) E box motifs as mediators of proviral latency of human retroviruses. Retrovirology 6: 81. abstract
  • Quiles I, Millán-Ariño L, Subtil-Rodríguez A, Miñana B, Spinedi N, Ballaré C, Beato M, Jordan A (2009) Mutational analysis of progesterone receptor functional domains in stable cell lines delineates sets of genes regulated by different mechanisms. Molecular Endocrinology 23: 809-26. abstract
  • Vanti M*, Gallastegui E*, Respaldiza I, Rodríguez-Gil A, Gómez-Herreros F, Jimeno-González S, Jordan A and Chávez S (2009) Yeast genetic analysis reveals the involvement of chromatin reassembly factors in repressing HIV-1 basal transcription. PLOS Genetics 2009 Jan;5(1):e1000339. abstract
  • Sancho M, Diani E, Beato M, Jordan A (2008) Depletion of human histone H1 variants uncovers specific roles in gene expression and cell growth. PLOS Genetics 2008 Oct;4(10):e1000227. abstract
  • Subtil-Rodríguez A, Millán-Ariño L, Quiles I, Ballaré C, Beato M, Jordan A (2008) Progesterone induction of 11ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 promoter in breast cancer cells involves coordinated recruitment of STAT5A and PR to a distal enhancer and polymerase tracking. Molecular and Cellular Biology 28: 3830-3849. abstract
  • Vicent GP, Ballaré C, Nacht AS, Clausell J, Subtil-Rodríguez A, Quiles I, Jordan A, Beato M (2008) Convergence on chromatin of non-genomic and genomic pathways of hormone signaling. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 109: 344-349. abstract
  • Vicent GP, Ballaré C, Nacht AS, Clausell J, Subtil-Rodríguez A, Quiles I, Jordan A, Beato M. (2006) Induction of progesterone target genes requires activation of Erk and Msk kinases and phosphorylation of histone H3. Molecular Cell 24: 367-381. abstract
  • Larsson KM, Jordan A, Eliasson R, Reichard P, Logan DT, Nordlund P (2004) Structural mechanisms of allosteric substrate specificity regulation in a ribonucleotide reductase. Nature Structure and Molecular Biology 11: 1142-1149. abstract
  • Jordan A, Bisgrove D, Verdin E. (2003) HIV reproducibly establishes a latent infection after acute infection of T cells in vitro. EMBO Journal 22: 1868-1877. abstract
  • Pion M, Jordan A, Biancotto A, Dequiedt F, Gondois-Rey F, Rondeau S, Vigne R, Hejnar J, Verdin E, Hirsch I (2003) Transcriptional suppression of in vitro-integrated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 does not correlate with proviral DNA methylation. Journal of Virology 77: 4025-4032. abstract
  • Jordan A, Defechereux P, Verdin E (2001) The site of HIV-1 integration in the human genome determines basal transcriptional activity and response to Tat transactivator. EMBO Journal 20: 1726-1738. abstract




For a complete list of A. Jordan publications, search PubMed for:

(jordan a and bonet-costa c ) or (jordan a and izquierdo-bouldstridge a) or (jordan a and bartrons r) or (jordan a and terme jm) or (jordan a and chavez s) or (jordan a and beato m) or (jordan a and verdin e) or (jordan a and reichard p) or (jordan a and gibert i) or (jordan a and uhlin u) or (jordan a and eklund h) or (valles aj) or (jordan a and biochim biophys acta) or (jordan a and bachs o) or (jordan a and langley e) or (jordan a and abner e)


A new quinoline BRD4 inhibitor targets a distinct latent HIV-1 reservoir for re- activation from other ‘shock’ drugs

Researchers of the IBMB have shown that a previously identified Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) latency-reversing agent (MMQO) acts as a bromodomain inhibitor. Despite of very different chemical structures, MMQO mimics the action of JQ1, a well-known bromodomain inhibitor, and binds to the bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) family protein BRD4. Utilizing barcoded HIV-1minigenomes, we demonstrate that PKC pathway activators, HDAC and bromodomain inhibitors all target different subsets of proviral integrations. Considering the fundamental differences of these compounds and the synergies displayed between them, we propose that the field should concentrate on investigating the development of combinatory "shock" cocktail therapies for an improved reservoir reactivation aiming to eradicate the latent functional proportion of HIV-1 proviruses in a patient.

Histone H1 depletion triggers an interferon response in cancer cells

Researchers of the IBMB have shown that simultaneous depletion of particular histone H1 variants in human breast cancer cells triggers the cellular interferon response, originally designed to fight against invading pathogen-associated nucleic acids such as DNA or RNA viruses. They have shown that this is due to the derepression of heterochromatic non-coding RNAs such as satellites and endogenous retroviruses, which may be naturally repressed with the participation of particular histone H1 subtypes such as H1.2 and H1.4.

JOB OPENINGS:  Interested in joining the group?

Pre- and post-doc candidates with an outstanding CV to apply to competitive fellowships will be always considered.

We are currently seeking for candidates to apply to competitive Predoctoral or Postdoctoral fellowship/contracts in the following projects:

 1. Specificity of human histone H1 variants in chromatin structure, gene expression and proliferation. 

 2. Genomic determinants of the HIV-1 latency state and therapeutic strategies.

Predoc candidates should have academical records (Biology or similar degree) above 2.5 (Spanish rating) to be eligible.

Candidates, send CV and an introductory letter (experience, references, motivation…) by email to

Especificidad funcional de las variantes de la histona H1 humana.

  • AGENCY: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación - Plan Nacional BFU
  • PERIOD: 2018 - 2020
  • IP: Albert Jordan Vallès

Especificidad funcional de las variantes de la histona H1 humana.

  • AGENCY: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación - Plan Nacional BFU
  • PERIOD: 2015 - 2017
  • IP: Albert Jordan Vallès

Especificidad funcional de las variantes de la histona H1 humanas.

  • AGENCY: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación - Plan Nacional BFU
  • PERIOD: 2012 - 2014
  • IP: Albert Jordan Vallès

Determinantes genómicos del estado latente del VIH-1 y estrategias terapéuticas.

  • PERIOD: 2011 - 2013
  • IP: Albert Jordan Vallès

Estrategias terapéuticas para la reactivación del Virus de la Immunodeficiencia Humana en células latentes.

  • AGENCY: Fundación Eugenio Rodríguez Pascual
  • PERIOD: 2011
  • IP: Albert Jordan Vallès

Genómica estructural y aplicada.

  • AGENCY: AGAUR-DURSI – Grupos reconocidos
  • PERIOD: 2009 - 2013
  • IP: Joaquim Roca / Marian Martínez Balbas / Xavier de la Cruz / Albert Jordan

Especificidad de las variantes de la histona H1 humanas en la estructura de la cromatina, expresión génica y proliferación.

  • AGENCY: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación - Plan Nacional BFU
  • PERIOD: 2009 - 2011
  • IP: Albert Jordan Vallès

Reactivación del VIH en células T latentemente infectadas in vitro e in vivo.

  • PERIOD: 2006 - 2009
  • IP: Albert Jordan Vallès

Latencia del VIH. Estudio del mecanismo molecular y búsqueda de dianas para la reactivación.

  • AGENCY Instituto de Salud Carlos III - Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria
  • PERIOD: 2006 – 2008
  • IP: Albert Jordan Vallès

Regulación transcripcional y reorganización de la cromatina en los promotores pS2, 11 beta-HSD y MMTV en células de cáncer de mama en respuesta a hormonas esteroideas.

  • AGENCY: Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología - Plan Nacional SAF
  • PERIOD: 2002 - 2005
  • IP: Albert Jordan Vallès

Albert Jordan, PhD

After graduating in Biology at Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) Albert Jordan went on to do his Ph.D. (1992-95) in the laboratory of Drs Jordi Barbé and Isidre Gibert at the Dept. Genetics and Microbiology, UAB, where he was a Lecturer afterwards (1996-98). In the meantime he spent five consecutive summer periods in Dr Peter Reichard’s laboratory at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. He then moved to San Francisco to undertake his postdoctoral work in the group of Dr Eric Verdin at the Gladstone Institutes-UCSF (1999-2001), where he became interested in the role of chromatin in human and viral gene expression control. In 2002 he got a Ramon y Cajal appointment to join the group of Dr Miguel Beato at CRG (Barcelona) where he became staff scientist afterwards. Later, in 2008, he got a permanent CSIC position to start an independent group at IBMB, Dept. Molecular Genomics. He has been Department director on 2011-13 and 2015-present. In parallel, Dr Jordan has been appointed coordinator of the Molecular Biology section of the Catalan Society of Biology (SCB) between 2009-16, coordinator of the Chromatin and Epigenetics section since 2017, and Sections Coordinator and member of the Directive Committee of SCB since 2012. Dr Jordan has been awarded several public and private grants, directed 9 PhD thesis and published more than 40 papers.

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