How does the body go about generating blood vessels? This question has been studied by a research team from Uppsala University in collaboration with colleagues from the National Institutes of Health in the United States. The findings show that a relatively unknown protein, CLIC4, forms blisters that later develop into the hollow interior of the vessel. The study is being published in the December 23 issue of Journal of Biological Chemistry.
The scientists in the project mapped what proteins change in different ways in connection with the formation of tubular structures, such as blood vessels. It turned out that a large number of proteins changed, and the researchers were able to determine the identity of 27 of them. The most exciting of these proteins is called CLIC4, intracellular chloride channel No. 4.
Not much is known about CLIC4, but studies of a related protein in roundworms show that it participates in the formation of the worm¹s excretion canal. There are several indications that tubular structures are created in a similar manner in primitive organisms and humans.
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