Navigation Links
UT Southwestern researchers unravel control of growing blood vessels

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a basic mechanism by which smooth muscle cells that line the blood vessels can grow ?sometimes abnormally ?suggesting methods of treatment for various coronary diseases. Abnormal growth of cells inside blood vessels is involved in hypertension, coronary artery disease, tumors called leiosarcomas and other conditions.

"By understanding this detailed mechanism, it is now possible to begin to design therapies to interfere with it and thereby potentially prevent various vascular disorders in humans," said Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology and senior author of the paper. The work appears in the August issue of the journal Developmental Cell.

There are three types of muscles in the body ?skeletal, cardiac and smooth. Smooth cells make up the stomach, intestine, blood vessels and other organs. Unlike the skeletal and cardiac muscles, smooth muscle cells can either rest in their final form, which allows vessels to contract, or they can divide into new cells.

Researchers have known about several signals that can stop smooth muscle cells from dividing and enable them to contract, but little is known about how this cascade of interactions works. The protein myocardin, discovered in Dr. Olson's lab in 2003, is known to bind to DNA and stimulate the expression of genes that control muscle contraction. How myocardin is controlled, however, has been a mystery, said Dr. Olson, director of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Basic Research in Cancer and the Nearburg Family Center for Basic Research in Pediatric Oncology.

He and fellow researchers focused on a molecule called Foxo4, to see whether it might control myocardin; they found that it turns off myocardin, thus allowing smooth muscle cells to stop contracting and grow. The level of Foxo4, in turn, increases or decreases depending on what kind of signals the smooth muscle receives.

This complexity suggests man y pathways for future treatments. For instance, a treatment might directly control the level of Foxo4, or it may involve one of the signals that control Foxo4.

"Now that we understand the 'nuts and bolts' of this problem, we can use that information to find ways of disrupting the disease process," Dr. Olson said. "We have several ideas in this regard, which we intend to test in mice in the near future."


Source:UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. UT Southwestern researchers discover master switch in cell death
2. UT Southwestern researchers develop screening test for cells that activate immune system
3. DNA end caps may lead to cancer treatments, UT Southwestern researchers report
4. UT Southwestern researchers find gene mutation that leads to broken hearts
5. Napoleons mysterious death unmasked, UT Southwestern researcher says
6. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
7. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
8. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
9. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
10. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
11. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform ... ) The integration ... security to access and transact across channels. Using ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016  A new partnership announced ... accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the ... priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine ... readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the ... brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing ... to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is ... treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 ... countries. Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: