What is a fruitful way to contain damages caused during an infarction? The answer is: trying to prevent/limit the action of damaging agents and promote the growth of new blood vessels that could help the recovery of damaged sites.
With this question (and answer) in mind, Stefanie Dimmeler Professor of Experimental Medicine and Head of the Molecular Cardiology at the University of Frankfurt and colleagues, set up their investigation on so-called microRNAs (miRNAs), small molecules involved in a number of critical processes including cardiovascular development, angiogenesis and inflammation.
During their study, the EVGN scientists identified a small group of promising miRNAs and developed an antagonist molecule called ANTAGOMIR that proved effective in blocking their noxious effects. These preliminary results were presented during the V Annual European Vascular Genomics Network Meeting held in Bad Hofgastein (Austria). Each year the Meeting convenes top scientists from all Europe and abroad, to discuss the state of the art and the most effective strategies and therapies in the field of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).
miRNAs represent an attractive target for scientists who study CVD. Several investigations proved that they play a pivotal role, still to be defined, in cardiogenesis, cancer and in the regulation of complex processes. They are RNA molecules, but they do not carry any information useful for protein synthesis.Their major role is to degrade specific mRNA molecules to prevent the assembly of selected proteins. Among their targets scientists have identified some proteins that promote angiogenesis (growth of blood vessels): when bound by miRNAs, these molecules are turned off and tissue damages can spread.
“The world of miRNAs is complex and articulated, so far several hundred molecules have been identified” underlined Stefanie Dimmeler in her presentation.
“Therefore we made a thorough screening and spotted a promising cluster in terms of activity on vessel remodelling and angiogenesis. When we checked for their presence we found that some of them were highly expressed in cells from patients with cardiac ischemia or coronary artery disease. This expression peaked at days 1-2 after ischemia. And other in vitro experiments suggested that these miRNAs hamper the repopulation of ischemic tissues by endothelial cells, a highly desirable event”.So the scientists thought of developing an artificial molecule which was specular to the overall structure of some miRNAs, hence able to stick to them as the left and right hands of a person, in order to block their activity.
“We built an experimental ANTAGOMIR – said Dimmeler – in a way that it could adhere to several targets. The results were very promising, albeit still preliminary”. Some miRNAs were repressed – reported the researcher, and there was a good recovery of the heart functions in experimental laboratory models. “The extension of the infarcted site showed a significant reduction, paralleled by a restoration on the process of neovascularization”.
Now the German team plans to investigate in details if in the cluster analyzed there is one (or more) specific miRNA which is responsible of such effects, and to spot the molecular target(s) responsible for the therapeutic effects they observed.For further information on this study please contact:
Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel
The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering