Angiocidin, a tumor-inhibiting novel protein discovered by Temple University researchers, may also have a role as a new therapeutic application in treating leukemia, according to a study by the researchers.
The study, "The Novel Angiogenic Inhibitor, Angiocidin, Induces Differentiation of Monocytes to Macropahges," will be published in the July 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/future/68.14.shtml). The research was done by Temple biology doctoral student Anita Gaurnier-Hausser under the direction of George Tuszynski, a professor of neuroscience in Temple's School of Medicine and a professor of biology in Temple's College of Science and Technology.
"Angiocidin is a protein that has a lot of anti-cancer activity and inhibits angiogenesis, a physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels, which is a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a malignant state," said Tuszynski, who discovered the protein.
Tuszynski said that over the years, the researchers had looked at the protein's effect on solid tumors like breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.
"All of these cancers are inhibited by Angiocidin by virtue of the fact that this protein inhibits vascularization or the formation of new vessels," he said. "We decided we wanted to look to see if Angiocidin had any effect on hematologic malignancy, and we chose leukemia."
Tuszynski said leukemia cells arise from monocytes, a specific white blood cell that is a part of the human body's immune system that protects against bloodborne pathogens and moves quickly to sites of infection. As monocytes enter tissue, they undergo a series of changes to become macrophages.
When the researchers treated the leukemia cells, "our molecule was able to induce a differentiation of these mono
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