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Recent developments at Burnham Institute for Medical Research, May 2009
Date:5/12/2009

cancerous epithelial cells is very different. Several studies have suggested that glycan changes play a role in cancer metastasis, although the mechanisms by which they may do so have proved elusive. In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Dr. Michiko Fukuda, in collaboration with Dr. Minoru Fukuda, has now identified a receptor for cancer glycans in the blood vessels of the lung. Antibodies to this receptor prevented melanoma cells from entering into and growing in the lung. Since the glycan being studied is also expressed on the surface of colon, breast, lung and ovarian cancers, these findings have broad implications for the therapeutic targeting of tumor-associated glycans.

Maintaining the pipeline for blood flow

We know that the blood supply to a given body organ must be regulated in parallel with its growth. In disease states such as cancer, growth of blood vessels can feed the tumor, contributing to the disease process. The factors that control blood vessel growth are not completely understood. Dr. Masa Komatsu and colleagues at Burnham have recently discovered another piece of the puzzle for understanding how blood vessel growth is controlled. The Komatsu laboratory previously demonstrated that the R-ras regulator of cell signaling keeps blood vessel growth in check. When the R-ras gene is not active, blood vessel growth increases wildly. In a recent study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Komatsu group found that an important regulator called GABP increases the activity of the R-ras gene. This discovery identifies a potential target for new therapies aimed at reducing the blood supply to tumors.

Custom-made drugs to fight inflammation

Inflammation is a fundamental response to tissue injury. However, in many different diseases, including arthritis, asthma and psoriasis, inflammation causes harm. One of the key mediators of the inflamma
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Contact: Josh Baxt
jbaxt@burnham.org
858-795-5236
Burnham Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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