A manmade protein with a tail of amino acids delivered to target cells can dramatically reduce blood vessel growth that obstructs vision or feeds a tumor, researchers have found.
This new approach to inhibiting blood vessel growth, or angiogenesis, delivers "intraceptors" that sequester VEGF, a "linchpin" protein needed to make blood vessels, says Dr. Balamurali K. Ambati, corneal specialist at the Medical College of Georgia and corresponding author on the study.
In a test tube as well as animal models for corneal injury and the deadly skin cancer, melanoma, MCG researchers have reduced destructive blood vessel proliferation by up to two-thirds. Findings are published in the May issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. "We have a promising new preclinical approach to treat conditions that involve blood vessel formation," says Dr. Ambati. These include corneal injury, the blinding wet form of macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and tumors, which need blood and oxygen to survive. Other angiogenesis inhibitors in use or under study target VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) after it has moved outside the cell, says Dr. Ambati, reducing new blood vessel growth by 30 percent to 50 percent.
Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
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