Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New protein ’stop sign’ alters blood vessel growth

19.11.2004


In experiments with mice, a research team led by Johns Hopkins scientists has discovered an unusual protein pair that stops blood vessels’ growth in the developing back. Results of the studies, published today in the express online edition of Science, are of special interest to researchers trying to prevent blood flow that nourishes tumors or exploit the signals vessels emit during growth to help regrow damaged nerves.



During an animal’s prenatal development, protein "signs" tell growing blood vessels which way to go and when to stop or turn back. Scientists already knew that one big family of "stop" proteins works by binding to two proteins, called receptors, on the leading edge of a budding blood vessel. In new experiments, the Hopkins-led team reports on one member of this family of proteins that works differently from the others.

"Unlike all of the others in this group, called semaphorins, this protein only needs one protein receptor partner," says lead author Chenghua Gu, D.V.M., Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience in Hopkins’ Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. "It’s a totally new observation of blood vessel growth in development, and it has made us rethink how the semaphorins control this process."


Semaphorins float freely in tissues adjacent to blood vessels and nerves and stop them from migrating into inappropriate areas. Although the protein the team studied, known as Sema3E, belongs to this family, its binding partners and exact job were unclear until now.

Gu and others from the laboratories of Hopkins neuroscience professors Alex Kolodkin, Ph.D., and David Ginty, Ph.D., engineered a version of Sema3E that colors its binding partner blue. They found that the resulting blue pattern on the developing mice looked suspiciously like the pattern of plexin-D1, a previously described protein found in blood vessels and nerves.

To prove that this was indeed Sema3E’s binding partner, the researchers inserted the plexin-D1 protein into cultured monkey cells that don’t naturally contain it. They discovered that the Sema3E protein bound tightly to the monkey cells and created a signal. Surprisingly, the two proteins didn’t need a third that is known to work with semaphorins in other situations.

To see how each of these three proteins affects blood vessel migration, Gu and colleagues from Hopkins, Yutaka Yoshida, Ph.D., and other collaborators from Columbia University and the Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille in France engineered mice to lack each of the three proteins. In mice without Sema3E or plexin-D1, blood vessels along a particular part of the back were disorganized. In contrast, mice lacking the third protein (called neuropilin) grew the vessels normally.

"We know that these two proteins are crucial for the growth of blood vessels in the back, but now we’re investigating whether the pair controls blood vessels and nerves in other parts of the developing mouse, too," says Ginty, also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Sema3E was originally isolated from an invasive tumor cell line, so it’s thought to be associated with progression of cancer. Both plexin-D1 and Sema3E are found in many species, including humans, and when disrupted could contribute to vascular birth defects, coronary heart disease, and adult nerve regeneration problems, say the researchers.

This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, the Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médical (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Association Française contre les Myopathies (AFM) and a European Commission contract.

Authors on the paper are Gu, Ginty, Kolodkin, Dorothy Reimert and Janna Merte from Hopkins; Yoshida and Thomas Jessell from HHMI at Columbia University, New York; and Jean Livet, Fanny Mann and Christopher Henderson from the Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille (IBDM), France.

Joanna Downer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>