Described the key role of a protein in blood vessel formation


Researchers at angiogenesis signaling pathways at

the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) led by Mariona Graupera have shown that the PTEN protein is key to preventing uncontrolled proliferation of cells that form blood vessels in the process of angiogenesis. The study results are published today in the journal Nature Communications.

The growth of blood vessels by outbreaks (sprouting) is a central mechanism of the formation of vasculature and begins by specialization of endothelial cells in various cell types. On the one hand, the tip cells (tip Castilian) that guide the direction of growth and that hardly proliferate and secondly, the Stalk cells (stem in Castilian) growing behind to go forming the lumen of new blood vessels.

Previous studies have shown that Notch signaling pathway is involved in the control of their proliferation by blocking cells Stalk. The team’s work shows how Mariona Graupera active Notch PTEN and it promotes cell cycle arrest and therefore prevents cell proliferation. Researchers have demonstrated both in cell cultures and in mice in the absence of PTEN, although Notch is activated, the proliferation of cells Stalk resulting in the formation of an aberrant vasculature is not stopped.

Knowing the physiology to fight the disease

“Studying the physiology of angiogenesis allows us to better understand diseases in which there is an aberrant growth of blood vessels, such as cancer, and to find better therapeutic approaches,” said Mariona Graupera.

In recent years it has been seen that anti-angiogenic therapies are short-haul and long-term can be harmful. Current approaches are directed to normalize the vasculature so that although nutrients and oxygen to reach tumor cells also do the chemotherapeutic agents.

“In this sense, PTEN can be used to normalize the vasculature and maintain quiescence, the balance in the formation from blood vessels,” concludes the researcher.

Article reference

Helena Serra, Iñigo Chivite, Ana Angulo-Urarte, Adriana Soler, James D. Sutherland, Amaia Arruabarrena-Aristorena, Anan Ragab, Radiance Lim, Marcos Malumbres, Marcus Fruttiger, Michael Strong, Manuel Serrano, Angels Fabra, Francesc Viñals, Oriol Casanovas Pier Paolo Pandofi, Anna Bigas, Arkaitz Carracedo, Holger Gerhard & Mariona Graupera. Mediates PTEN stalk Notch-dependent cell arrest in angiogenesis. Naure Communications. July 31st 2015 doi: 10.1038 / ncomms8935

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