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UMMS researchers uncover novel genetic pathway responsible for triggering vascular growth
Date:4/4/2010

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.


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Contact: Jim Fessenden
james.fessenden@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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