Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCSD scientists find gas pedal -- and brake -- for uncontrolled cell growth

02.08.2010
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a new way to regulate the uncontrolled growth of blood vessels, a major problem in a broad range of diseases and conditions.

The findings are published in the online edition of Nature Medicine by David A. Cheresh, PhD, professor of pathology in the UC San Diego School of Medicine and associate director for translational research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, and colleagues at the cancer center and at the University of Michigan.

Blood vessels grow and expand in association with a number of diseases. In particular, new blood vessel growth (known as angiogenesis) occurs during the growth of tumors, enabling them to expand and metastasize or spread to other parts of the body.

Uncontrolled vascular growth can lead to vascular malformations and hemangiomas, which may become life-threatening. According to the National Cancer Institute, as many as 500 million people worldwide could benefit from therapies targeting angiogenesis.

Researchers have been trying to identify the switch mechanism that converts normal blood vessels from the resting state to the proliferative or diseased state. Cheresh, along with the study's first author Sudarshan Anand, also of the UCSD School of Medicine and the Moores Cancer Center, and colleagues discovered how an "angiogenic switch" turns on and developed a strategy to turn it back off.

During normal blood vessel formation or regeneration, endothelial cells forming the inner layer of blood vessels are exposed to factors in the local microenvironment that initiate the switch, causing blood vessels to begin to expand. Cheresh and colleagues identified a small microRNA (miR-132) responsible for controlling the switch.

Cheresh described the process in terms of a car and its brakes: "In tumor vessels or in hemangiomas, this particular microRNA is abundant and capable of maintaining extensive vascular growth. The effect is similar to a car that's speeding out of control because its gas pedal is stuck to the floor and its brakes aren't working."

The researchers designed a complementary microRNA, or anti-miR, that binds to and neutralizes the original microRNA. "This anti-miR therapy in effect restores functionality to the brake pedal and uncontrolled blood vessel growth comes to a halt," said Cheresh, who noted the new anti-miR turned off the angiogenic switch controlling disease severity in mouse models of cancer and of retinal disorders.

As part of their study, Cheresh and colleagues designed a nanoparticle that's capable of delivering the microRNA or the anti-microRNA directly to the diseased or proliferating blood vessels. This delivery vehicle ensures the therapeutic benefit is maximized while reducing the possibility of toxicity or side effects.

By delivering more of this microRNA, the scientists said, it may be possible to promote new blood vessel development in patients who have suffered tissue damage from stroke, heart attacks, or diabetes. Conversely, treating patients with the anti-miR might reduce or inhibit blood vessel development in tumors or help reduce inflammation.

Co-authors with Cheresh and Anand are Bharat K. Majeti, Lisette M. Acevedo, Eric A. Murphy, Rajesh Mukthavaram, Lea Scheppke, Miller Huang, David J. Shields, Jeffrey N. Lindquist and Sara M. Weis, all of the UC San Diego department of pathology and Moores Cancer Center; and Philip E. Lapinski and Philip D. King of the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Scott LaFee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The body's street sweepers
18.12.2017 | Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

nachricht Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change
18.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

The body's street sweepers

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Fast flowing heat in layered material heterostructures

18.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>