A sort of biochemical scaffold for a compound that enables blood pressure to be low, heart bypass grafts to remain open and nerves to communicate has been identified by Medical College of Georgia researchers.
Dr. Richard C. Venema (left) and Dr. John D. Catravas have received American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health funding to study a biochemical scaffold they have discovered that helps keep blood pressure low and heart bypass grafts open.
A process called co-localization looks for the presence of two key proteins in the scaffold the researchers found; the antibody for heat shock protein 90 is labeled green and the one for sGC is labeled red. The yellow images show the proteins are found together in the living endothelial and smooth muscle cell. The left side shows the proteins in the endothelial cell and the right shows a smooth muscle cell.
Researchers say identifying the framework for how these and other very positive health benefits occur should help them find ways to augment the benefits and identify new treatments for cardiovascular disease, which may result when the support structure falls apart.
"Its a whole new ball game," Dr. John D. Catravas, director of the Vascular Biology Center, said of the findings which contradict previous understanding of how the compound, cyclic GMP, which also helps keep blood vessels open and enables penile erection, is ultimately produced.
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