Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Universal Signalling Pathway In Vertebrates Mediates Formation Of Blood Vessels Both In Embryos And Tumours

Date:
March 12, 2008
Source:
ETH Zurich
Summary:
A signaling pathway that is universal in vertebrates mediates the formation of blood vessels (vascularisation) both in embryos and tumours. The research into this mechanism opens up new opportunities to develop novel medicines for cancer treatment.

André Brändli and Roland Kälin discovered that the formation of new blood vessels needs a particular cellular signal path that is the same in the development of vertebrate embryos and in cancerous diseases.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Pfizer

A specific signalling pathway mediating blood vessel formation has brought two ETH Zurich researchers of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences the Pfizer Research Prize 2008 in the field of fundamental cardiovascular research.

André Brändli, Professor at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and his former doctoral student Roland Kälin  researched a signalling pathway that is universal in vertebrates and mediates the formation of blood vessels (vascularisation) both in embryos and tumours. The research into this mechanism opens up new opportunities to develop novel medicines for cancer treatment.

Universal in vertebrates

André Brändli and Roland Kälin discovered that the formation of new blood vessels needs a particular cellular signal path that is the same in the development of vertebrate embryos and in cancerous diseases.

The APJ receptor protein acting as a receiver is located on the surface of blood vessels. The corresponding messenger is the protein Apelin which is secreted by cells and activates APJ. The genes carrying the information for APJ and Apelin are now activated during the formation of new blood vessels, thus initiating production of the two proteins. This can be demonstrated both in clawed frog tadpoles or mouse embryos and in human blood vessel cells. This means the signalling pathway is universal and has remained unchanged throughout the history of vertebrate evolution. Furthermore the production of Apelin is highly localised, occurring only where new blood vessels start to form (neovascularisation).

Blocking the signal stops growth

The studies by Brändli and Kälin also showed that this signalling pathway is reactivated in pathological vascularisation of the kind observable in cancer growth. The researchers found no Apelin and little APJ on the blood vessels in healthy brain tissue. However, the genes coding for Apelin and APJ are highly active in the oxygen-depleted areas of malignant brain tumours and their blood vessels. If the Apelin/APJ signal path is blocked, new blood vessels are unable to grow and tumour formation is suppressed. This was shown by studies on tadpoles.

The experiments showed that although Apelin cannot affect the rate of cell division, it does effectively trigger new blood vessel formation and stimulates the migration of blood vessel cells.

Basis for new medicines

The fact that Apelin and APJ are strongly present in the origination and growth of brain tumours could be useful in the diagnosis and prognosis of brain tumours. New medicines could interfere with the Apelin/APJ signal path to control vascularisation. APJ might be especially suitable for this purpose, since medicines which are aimed at such so-called G-protein linked receptors, and which inhibit them, are already licensed nowadays. Specific antibodies could also be used to inhibit Apelin. The work by Brändli and Kälin has laid a foundation for further research and the development of therapeutic agents.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ETH Zurich. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ETH Zurich. "Universal Signalling Pathway In Vertebrates Mediates Formation Of Blood Vessels Both In Embryos And Tumours." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307101615.htm>.
ETH Zurich. (2008, March 12). Universal Signalling Pathway In Vertebrates Mediates Formation Of Blood Vessels Both In Embryos And Tumours. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307101615.htm
ETH Zurich. "Universal Signalling Pathway In Vertebrates Mediates Formation Of Blood Vessels Both In Embryos And Tumours." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307101615.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins