The research, released in the June issue of the journal Cancer Cell, published by Cell Press, has exciting implications for development of more selective vascular-targeted anticancer therapeutics.
A major strategy for destroying cancer cells has been to disrupt the growing blood vessels that support tumor growth. However, current vascular-targeted therapies may also damage normal growing blood vessels. This is a concern because the formation of new blood vessels, or angiogenesis, continues to occur in adults, for example, during pregnancy, menstruation, and wound healing. Dr. Brad St. Croix and colleagues from the National Cancer Institute at Frederick executed a series of studies aimed at identifying markers that can be used to distinguish between proliferating blood vessels in normal and diseased tissues.
The researchers systematically examined gene expression patterns in the endothelial cells that line blood vessels derived from normal resting tissues, regenerating tissues, and tumors. A comparison of the normal vessels revealed several organ-specific endothelial genes that could potentially aid in the delivery of molecular medicine to specific anatomical sites. The study also revealed 13 genes that are selectively overexpressed in tumor blood vessels. Although the function of most of the newly identified genes in tumor blood vessels is unclear, many of the genes encode cell surface proteins, making them appealing targets for the development of new therapeutic agents.
One of the cell surface proteins identified, called CD276, was found to be frequently overexpressed in the blood vessels of a variety of human cancers. The researchers also report that in many of the tumors examined CD276 was also overexpressed by the tumor cells, making this protein a particularly attractive target because a suitable inhibitory molecule might be able to deliver a double blow: one to the tumor cells themselves and the other to the blood vessels that feed it. “These studies reveal that tumor vessels contain a unique molecular fingerprint that can be used to distinguish them from normal proliferating vessels,” explained Dr. St. Croix; “they also provide new targets that could help guide the development of safer vascular-targeted therapies with potentially fewer side effects.”
Erin Doonan | EurekAlert!
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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