Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
PZ HTL SA

Imbalance in Molecular Signaling Pathways Leads to Arteriosclerosis

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 30 May 2013
Image: Senior author Dr. Dwight A. Towler (Photo courtesy of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute).
Image: Senior author Dr. Dwight A. Towler (Photo courtesy of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute).
A recent paper described how an imbalance in expression of two genes contributes to development of cardiovascular disease by driving epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cells lining the arteries, which cause them to calcify and harden, thereby increasing systolic blood pressure, and ultimately impairing distal blood flow.

EMT is a process by which epithelial cells lose their cell polarity and cell-cell adhesion, and gain migratory and invasive properties to become mesenchymal cells. EMT is essential for numerous developmental processes including mesoderm formation and neural tube formation. EMT has also been shown to occur in wound healing, in organ fibrosis, and in the initiation of metastasis for cancer progression.

Investigators at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Orlando, FL, USA) studied the metabolic processes leading to arteriosclerosis by focusing on the interaction between the Dkk1 (dickkopf WNT signaling pathway inhibitor 1) and WNT7b (Wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 7b) genes.

The Dkk1 gene encodes a protein that plays a key role in increasing the population of connective-tissue cells during wound repair, but prolonged Dkk1 signaling can lead to fibrosis and a stiffening of artery walls. WNT7b (Wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 7b) is a member of a gene family consisting of structurally related genes that encode secreted signaling proteins. These proteins have been implicated in oncogenesis and in several developmental processes, including regulation of cell fate and patterning during embryogenesis.

The investigators reported in the May 16, 2013, online edition of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology that suppression of WNT7b signaling by Dkk1 enhanced EMT in aortic epithelial cells. This increased fibrotic mineralization of aortic epithelial cells through the accumulation of collagen and calcium. Inhibition of Dkk1 promoted WNT7b signaling, which prevented EMT and maintained the elastic morphology of the arterial wall epithelial cells.

"I think the strategy going forward is to find ways to modulate or inhibit Dkk1 function, but we are going to have to do it in a time-sensitive and cell type-specific fashion," said senior author Dr. Dwight A. Towler, professor of diabetes and obesity research at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. "In diseases such as chronic renal deficiency or diabetes, where unregulated Dkk1 signaling can be destructive, it may be appropriate to restrain the action of Dkk1 for a prolonged period of time."

Related Links:

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute




Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel

Retinoic Acid Prevents Precancerous Breast Cells from Progressing to Full-Blown Cancer

Retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A, was found to prevent pre-cancerous breast cells from progressing to full-blown cancer but did not have any effect on breast tumor cells. Investigators at Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA, USA) worked with a novel breast cancer model that had been developed by treating... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Mitochondrial Cause of Aging Can Be Reversed

Researchers have found a cause of aging in lab animals that can be reversed, possibly providing an avenue for new treatments for age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, and inflammatory diseases. The researchers plan to begin human trials late 2014. The study, which was published December... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more

Business

view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.