Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein might be key to cutting cancer cells' blood supply

Date:
May 13, 2011
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a protein that guides blood vessel development and eventually might lead to a treatment to keep cancer cells from spreading.

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have discovered a protein that guides blood vessel development and eventually might lead to a treatment to keep cancer cells from spreading.

The researchers showed in mice that the Ras interacting protein 1 (Rasip1) is so specific and central to so many cellular processes that without it new blood vessels simply cannot form, said Dr. Ondine Cleaver, assistant professor of molecular biology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study in the April issue of Developmental Cell.

"What we've found is really the first factor that is important in all blood vessels for inner channel formation and tubulogenesis, i.e., the transformation of something that looks like a rope into something that looks like a garden hose," Dr. Cleaver said.

Cancer cells depend on the body's creation of new blood vessels to deliver the nutrients that fuel cancer's rapid growth. Cancerous tumors also use the circulatory system as a superhighway through which they send malignant cells to colonize other parts of the body. A Rasip1-blocking drug conceivably could fight cancer on two fronts: by starving the cancerous cells and by cutting off their transport routes, Dr. Cleaver said.

During fetal development the body creates many tube-shaped organs such as the intestines of the digestive system and the vessels of the cardiovascular system. The mechanisms by which blood vessel progenitor cells transform into tubes that can carry blood are only beginning to be understood, she said.

Scientists have found many regulatory molecules important in different tissues and even in other aspects of blood vessel formation or maintenance, but all of them are active in multiple body tissues. Rasip1 is the first blood vessel-specific regulator of molecular switches called GTPases, she said. The protein appears to be active only in the endothelium, the layer of cells that line the blood vessels, and is not found in the smooth muscle cells that make up the outside of the vessels.

The UT Southwestern scientists also discovered that Rasip1 and a protein binding partner are both required for blood vessels to form channels through which blood can flow, she said.

Most approaches to therapies aimed at blocking blood vessel formation have focused on growth factors that occur outside the cell rather than intrinsic cellular growth factors like Rasip1, Dr. Cleaver said.

"Although this is still a mouse study, we feel that future studies of Rasip1 and the molecular processes under its control hold great promise to provide tools and models for advancing clinical therapies aimed at blocking vessel formation in tumors," she said.

The researchers now plan to look for drugs that block Rasip1 in order to eventually develop strategies to stop the growth of functional blood vessels and starve cancerous tumors, she said.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were lead author and doctoral candidate Ke Xu; Stephen Fu, research technician II; Diana Chong, former research associate; Brian Skaug, a student in the Medical Scientist Training Program; and Dr. Zhijian "James" Chen, professor of molecular biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Researchers from the University of Missouri and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center also participated.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and the March of Dimes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ke Xu, Anastasia Sacharidou, Stephen Fu, DianaC. Chong, Brian Skaug, ZhijianJ. Chen, GeorgeE. Davis, Ondine Cleaver. Blood Vessel Tubulogenesis Requires Rasip1 Regulation of GTPase Signaling. Developmental Cell, 2011; 20 (4): 526 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.02.010

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Protein might be key to cutting cancer cells' blood supply." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512083145.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2011, May 13). Protein might be key to cutting cancer cells' blood supply. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512083145.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Protein might be key to cutting cancer cells' blood supply." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512083145.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 Video provided by AFP
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