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Targeting cancerous vessels

By lowering the level of a neuronal protein, researchers halted the growth of blood vessels that tumors rely on for survival. The findings are reported online in the Journal of Experimental Medicine ( on Jan. 4.

Formerly known for its effects on neuronal growth, the team found that the protein {delta}-catenin is also produced by cells in human blood vessels. By diminishing {delta}-catenin expression, the team disrupted vessel development, or angiogenesis, associated with inflammation in tumors and wounds. As expected, samples of human lung tumors expressed more {delta}-catenin than the surrounding tissues. And normal angiogenesis remained the same regardless of {delta}-catenin.

Because blocking {delta}-catenin stunts only inflammation-induced angiogenesis, the protein may be a promising anti-cancer target, says Charles Lin, an author on the study at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee.


Contact: Rita Sullivan
Rockefeller University Press

Page: 1

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