Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technique appears to stop abnormal blood vessel growth

01.06.2005


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.


"In theory, our approach works several steps ahead of where existing angiogenesis inhibitors work," he says. "The idea is that, hopefully, this would give you a therapeutic advantage by stopping VEGF where it’s produced. Scientists have found that several types of cells, including blood vessel cells and cancer cells, can make their own VEGF and receptor. If you have a junkie shooting up and making his own drug, you need to get inside him to break that cycle; getting his dealer is not enough. We have focused our research on attacking VEGF within cells. We want to break that autocrine loop," he says of the cell’s ability to supply itself with VEGF and a receptor.

To keep VEGF from ever leaving the protein factory where it’s made, MCG researchers created a gene that makes a version of Flt, a VEGF receptor identified nearly a decade ago, that has a tail of amino acids. The amino acid tail, a retention signal called KDEL, transforms Flt into a homing device and a death sentence for VEGF.

"It’s an arrest mechanism essentially," says Dr. Ambati. "It will bind and sequester. If you are VEGF and I am Flt-KDEL complex, I am going to grab you and keep you from leaving the room." If a protein spends too much time in the factory, called the endoplasmic reticulum, the cell destroys it.

The researchers get intraceptors inside cells by putting the manmade gene that makes them inside a carrier called a plasmid, an approach used in gene therapy and naturally by bacteria in the body to carry around extra genes.

Preliminary evidence indicates this technology can not only prevent blood vessel formation but also help eliminate existing blood vessels, Dr. Ambati says.

Much laboratory work remains before clinical trials are considered, he says. The researchers need to study the process in the retina, the target of abnormal blood vessel growth that occurs in the wet form of macular degeneration as well as diabetic retinopathy. He plans to do additional cancer studies and longer-term follow up the technology’s ability to forestall destructive new growth. Meanwhile, the MCG Office of Technology Transfer and Economic has obtained a provisional patent on the technology.

Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcg.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

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 >>>