Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel genetic pathway responsible for triggering vascular growth

Date:
April 5, 2010
Source:
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a critical step for blood vessel growth in zebrafish embryos, providing new insight into how vascular systems develop and offering a potential therapeutic target for preventing tumor growth.

Most solid cancers can't grow beyond a limited size without an adequate blood supply and supporting vascular network. Because of this, cancer researchers have sought to understand how a tumor's vascular network develops -- and, more importantly, how to prevent it from developing: If the vascular network never develops, the theory goes, the tumor cannot grow.

Related Articles


Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have discovered a critical step for blood vessel growth in zebrafish embryos, providing new insight into how vascular systems develop and offering a potential therapeutic target for preventing tumor growth. UMMS Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and the Program in Gene Function and Expression Nathan Lawson, PhD, and colleagues have identified a novel microRNA-mediated genetic pathway responsible for new blood vessel growth, or angiogenesis, in zebrafish embryos.

Published online by Nature, Dr. Lawson's work provides new insights into how vascular systems use the forces of existing blood flow to initiate the growth of new vessels.

Focusing on the development of the fifth and sixth aortic arches in the zebrafish, Dr. Lawson describes how the forces exerted by blood flow on endothelial cells are a critical component for expressing a microRNA that triggers new vessel development. In the early stages of development, when blood flow is present in the aortic vessels, but the vascular linkages between the two arches have yet to be established, the stimulus provided by active blood flow leads to expression of an endothelial-cell specific microRNA (mir-126). In turn, this microRNA turns on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a chemical signal produced by surrounding cells that normally stimulates angiogenesis. Thus, blood flow allows the endothelial cells to respond to VEGF by growing into new blood vessels. However, when blood flow in the aortic arches was restricted, mir-126 failed to be expressed. In the absence of this microRNA, new blood vessels were unable to develop due to a block in VEGF signaling.

"We have known for over a hundred years that blood flow makes new vessels grow," said Dr. Lawson. "But we never really knew how cells in a growing vessel interpreted this signal. Our results show that miR-126 is the crucial switch that allows flow to turn on VEGF signaling and drive blood vessel growth. Since VEGF is crucial for tumor progression, not to mention a number of other vascular diseases, our findings may provide new ways to modify this pathway in these settings."

In his research, Dr. Lawson identifies the microRNA as a key facilitator in the integration of the physiological stimulus of blood flow with the activation of VEGF signaling, which guides angiogenesis, in endothelial cells. As a result, regulation of the microRNA, mir-126, could be a potential therapeutic target in limiting blood vessel development in solid cancers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Massachusetts Medical School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stefania Nicoli, Clive Standley, Paul Walker, Adam Hurlstone, Kevin E. Fogarty & Nathan D. Lawson. MicroRNA-mediated integration of haemodynamics and Vegf signalling during angiogenesis. Nature, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nature08889

Cite This Page:

University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Novel genetic pathway responsible for triggering vascular growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100404203128.htm>.
University of Massachusetts Medical School. (2010, April 5). Novel genetic pathway responsible for triggering vascular growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100404203128.htm
University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Novel genetic pathway responsible for triggering vascular growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100404203128.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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