Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein not only aids nerve development, but promotes blood vessel growth, too

02.11.2004


Discovery means angiogenesis may one day be stopped, started for therapeutic use



A protein important to nerve development serves the dual purpose of stimulating the growth of blood vessels, researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine and Stanford University have discovered. The discovery opens the possibility that blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) one day may be induced, or stymied, for therapeutic use against heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses, according to Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine in the U of U School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology. Li is corresponding author of an article that details the findings to be published next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online.

The study focuses on Netrin-1, part of the netrin family of proteins, one of four major classes of neural guidance "cues" that induce axons, or nerve fibers, to extend in specific directions during development. Recent evidence has indicated that the other three classes of neural guidance cues--ephrins, semaphorins, and slits--function as angiogenic regulators. But until now, netrins had not been shown to have a part in blood vessel formation.


Nerves and blood vessels often follow parallel paths of development, which suggests that common cues may induce both processes. In tissue cultures and animal models, Li and the other researchers showed that Netrin-1 "stimulates proliferation, induces migration, and promotes adhesion of endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells."

"It makes sense that factors that guide nerves also guide blood vessel growth," Li said. "This work indicates that there is an expanding number of signals that regulate vessel growth or angiogenesis. Identifying these signals and their interaction are critical steps required for manipulating, blocking, or stimulating blood vessel growth for therapeutic purposes."

The researchers’ data demonstrate that Netrin-1 is a neural guidance cue with the "unique ability to attract both blood vessels as well as axons, and is capable of functioning as a vascular growth factor," they write. Understanding what factors induce blood vessel growth could have important implications for treating disease in the future. Tumors, for example, depend on blood vessels to supply critical nutrients to grow. If blood vessel growth in tumors could be stopped, it may help fight cancer.

Conversely, inducing blood vessel growth may help people with ischemic heart disease whose hearts don’t get enough blood. Although the discovery about Netrin-1 shows promise, therapeutic starting or stopping of blood vessel growth to cure human disease is at least 15 years away--if it proves viable, Li said.

Li began studying whether Netrin-1 promotes blood vessel growth after discovering a vascular receptor for another neural guidance factor. Next, he wants to look at the roles of other netrins in blood vessel development and identify the receptors required for the vascular effects of Netrins.

Along with Li, other researchers on the project included Kye Won Park, Dana Crouse, Satyajit Karnik, and Lise K. Sorensen, the U of U School of Medicine’s Program in Human Molecular Biology and Genetics; Kelly J. Murphy, U of U Department of Cardiology; Mark Lee and Calvin J. Kuo, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hmbg.utah.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>