The results of this research project, which was initiated in 2005 and is supported by Bizkaia:Xede and the Basque Government's Etortek programme, were published in the prestigious scientific journal Circulation.
By activating a protein called HIF, the strategy is to stimulate revascularisation and the repair of the damaged organ following ischemia caused by the obstruction of a blood vessel preventing normal blood flow. These obstructions occur, for example, in the event of thrombosis in a limb, myocardial infarction or a stroke. In this sense, it is important to highlight the fact that cardiovascular diseases are the principal cause of death throughout the world (in the European Union, they account for 40% of all deaths, a figure equivalent to 2 million deaths per year).
In general, cells tend to respond to the lack of oxygen caused by poor blood flow by activating HIF. However, in the case of an ischemic pathology, HIF is not sufficiently activated.
Dr Berra, Cellular Biology and Stem Cell Unit's leader, stated that they decided to over-produce HIF following ischemia as an attractive therapeutic alternative. For their research purposes, they used an ischemic model provoked in a mouse leg through ligation of the femoral artery. In other words, they closed off the femoral artery and stopped the blood flow to the limb. When this happens, the leg develops necrosis and after a time, the mouse dies.
The aim was to artificially help stimulate the production of HIF after the femoral artery had been closed off. And they saw that when they did this, the mouse's leg revascularised and no longer entered into a degenerative process.
How is this high level of HIF production achieved? HIF is a protein which, when not required, degrades constitutively and this degradation is regulated by enzymes called PHDs.
These enzymes hydroxylate HIF and, as a result of this hydroxylation, the protein degrades. Therefore, when these enzymes are inhibited, HIF cannot degrade and so accumulates. To inhibit PHDs, they use siRNAs, explains Dr Berra.
Oihane Lakar | EurekAlert!
Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences
Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences