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Protein tug of war points toward better therapies for cardiovascular disease
Date:11/15/2012

nt to minimize negative side effects while providing protection," Fulton said.

In this case, a better approach appears to be directly increasing the expression of Hsp70 with a drug such as geranylgeranylacetone, or GGA, an antiulcer drug used in Japan with relatively few side effects, Chen said. When the MCG researchers treated human aortic vascular smooth muscle cells with the drug, for example, Hsp70's binding to Nox increased while Nox's ability to generate superoxide decreased.

Next steps include looking at whether this increased expression of Hsp70 actually translates to healthier blood vessels in a cardiovascular model. "If we can upregulate Hsp70 without affecting nitric oxide synthase, it should," said Fulton, the study's corresponding author.

Hsp70 and 90 are chaperones that guide protein folding in different ways and can influence more than just whether Nox enzymes are stable or degraded. Hsp70 levels are regulated by the molecule heat shock factor, which is bound to and repressed by Hsp90. That's one reason why Hsp90 inhibitors increase Hsp70 levels.

Reactive oxygen species are not all bad, the researchers noted. At normal levels, they aid cell signaling and homeostasis as well as the mounting of an immune response. However, excessive levels associated with chronic inflammation are thought to accelerate cardiovascular disease. "A little bit is good; you want a well-honed immune system to fend of pathogens," Fulton said. "Chronic inflammation is the problem."

The researchers completed their studies in normal and diabetic mice diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by at least 50 percent as well as the saphenous, or major superficial leg veins, of patients with cardiovascular disease.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

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