Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery could lead to anti-clotting drugs with less risk of bleeding

Date:
October 28, 2013
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a molecular switch that causes small, beneficial clots that stop bleeding to enlarge further during wound healing. By blocking this switch in lab mice, the researchers prevented small clots from growing -- a process that can pose a danger in humans -- while preserving their ability to staunch bleeding. Their findings open up the possibility for developing potent anti-clotting drugs that don't raise the risk of bleeding.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered a molecular switch that causes small, beneficial clots that stop bleeding to enlarge further during wound healing. By blocking this switch in lab mice, the researchers prevented small clots from growing -- a process that can pose a danger in humans -- while preserving their ability to staunch bleeding. Their findings, published online in Nature, open up the possibility for developing potent anti-clotting drugs that don't raise the risk of bleeding.

"Existing anti-clotting drugs significantly reduce the body's ability to form blood clots, so people on these drugs are at risk of serious bleeding," says Xiaoping Du, professor of pharmacology in the UIC College of Medicine and lead author of the paper. "By exploiting this switch we found, we can develop very powerful drugs that prevent the big clots that cause heart attacks and strokes, while preserving the body's ability to form the smaller, primary clots you need to stop bleeding."

Anti-clotting drugs, also known as blood thinners, can help prevent strokes, heart attacks, and deep vein clots. They are also prescribed to reduce the risk of dangerous clots after surgery. But the drugs also increase the risk of bleeding, and must be used with great care.

Du and colleagues investigated a protein called integrin, found in the cell membrane of platelets, the specialized blood cells that form clots to stop bleeding. Signals given off by injured or torn blood vessels activate integrin, which directs the platelets to bind to the injured blood vessel and to other platelets through a linking-protein called fibrinogen. This cross-linking results in a primary clot, good enough to stop the bleeding in most minor cuts.

The UIC researchers discovered that once fibrinogen gets involved, another molecule called G-alpha-13 latches on to integrin and causes the clot to grow much bigger -- to ensure the bleeding is stopped. Normally, the enlarged clot will shrink back. But in people prone to developing dangerous clots, or in those with narrowed arteries, the enlarged clots can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Having found that G-alpha-13 is responsible for ramping up the clotting process, the researchers were able to develop a molecule that blocks G-alpha-13 from binding to integrin. Mice given the blocker-drug can form primary clots that stop bleeding but never enter the growth phase.

"This is exciting, because new drugs based on blocking G-alpha-13 can preserve the ability to form primary clots, which are necessary to heal wounds, but will prevent the clots from growing too large and clogging blood vessels," Du said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bo Shen, Xiaojuan Zhao, Kelly A. O’Brien, Aleksandra Stojanovic-Terpo, M. Keegan Delaney, Kyungho Kim, Jaehyung Cho, Stephen C.-T. Lam, Xiaoping Du. A directional switch of integrin signalling and a new anti-thrombotic strategy. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12613

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Discovery could lead to anti-clotting drugs with less risk of bleeding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028134947.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2013, October 28). Discovery could lead to anti-clotting drugs with less risk of bleeding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028134947.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Discovery could lead to anti-clotting drugs with less risk of bleeding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028134947.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Care Workers 'Chasing' Ebola Outbreak

Health Care Workers 'Chasing' Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 12, 2014) The worst known Ebola outbreak is proving extremely difficult to contain. Hospitals are full, and victims of the virus are suffering in the streets. 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