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Protein controls blood vessel formation, offers new drug target
Date:12/4/2007

owth after injury (sometimes called pathological or adaptive angiogenesis). Mice born without copies of the CIB1 gene survive and are reasonably healthy unless injured, Parise said.

CIB1 appears to be an attractive drug target to control blood vessel growth since it does not play an essential role during fetal development but instead plays an important role in pathological forms of blood vessel growth, said first author and medical student at UNC Mohamed Zayed, Ph.D.

In experiments in mice missing CIB1 genes, the researchers found that CIB1 is critical for angiogenesis in the retina, as well as angiogenesis in hind legs. In both cases, the new blood vessel growth was prompted by ischemia, or restricted blood flow. However, clinicians treating retinal disease need to restrict blood vessel growth in the eyes, while patients with restricted blood flow in their limbs need to grow need blood vessels. Therefore, CIB1 could be a target for both pro- and anti-angiogenic drug therapies.

Parise notes that the lab is still determining the exact role CIB1 plays in angiogenesis. We think its involved in the chemical pathways that control blood vessel growth, such as signal transduction events, she said. It is also likely that CIB1 is one of many genes that contribute to angiogenesis during ischemia, inflammation and perhaps even tumor growth.


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Contact: Les Lang
llang@med.unc.edu
919-843-9687
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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