Blood protein may hold key to stopping cancer progressionApril 1st, 2009 - 4:24 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, April 1 (ANI): Scientists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have reached a step closer to developing a new drug to inhibit tumour growth in cancer patients, and potentially help in the healing of wounds.
The researchers looked at angiogenesis - the body’s formation of new blood vessels from existing blood vessels - and how some blood proteins are involved in that process and affect blood vessel growth during a study.
They found that a protein called ferritin binds to and cripples the ability of another blood protein, called HKa, to shut down blood vessel growth.
The researcher point out that new blood vessels supply a steady stream of nutrients and oxygen, which are essential for tumour growth.
According to them, their study showed that the binding of the two proteins actually assists in new blood vessel formation by removing HKa’s influence, and therefore promotes tumour growth.
Based on their observations, the researchers hypothesised that if the binding of ferritin and Hka could somehow be prevented, it would help block the growth of tumours.
The finding also has possible implications for wound care, as the healing of wounds needs blood vessel growth.
Thus, according to the researchers, it is possible that by increasing the binding of ferritin to HKa, one could increase the rate at which a serious wound heals.
“It’s been known for a long time that levels of ferritin are increased in people with tumours, but it’s never been understood why that happens,” said Dr. Suzy V. Torti, the study’s lead investigator, an associate professor of biochemistry and an expert in iron biology at the School of Medicine.
“Ferritin appears to play an important role in blood vessel formation. Further, the interaction between ferritin and HKa may represent a new area of interest for possible drug development,” Torti added.
During the study, mice were injected with prostate cancer cells to determine how ferritin and HKa affected the formation of new blood vessels.
The mice injected with the cancer cells grew tumours.
However, upon mixing HKa with the tumour cells, the researchers found that the blood vessel formation was inhibited.
When the team added ferritin to the mixture of HKa and cancer cells, the blood vessel formation was restored, and it allowed the tumours to grow again.
“Blood vessels can either be helpful, for example in wound healing, or they can be harmful, for example by favouring tumour growth,” Torti said.
“Our new finding is that the interaction between ferritin and HKa can influence blood vessel formation. This finding could serve as the basis for strategies to either inhibit or stimulate blood vessels. This opens up a new realm of potential ways to treat tumors or other conditions that depend on new blood vessel formation,” Torti added.
The study has been reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)
- New DNA-cancer vaccine starves tumours of blood - May 25, 2010
- 1930s gonorrhea drug could fight cancer - Nov 07, 2009
- New 'nanodrug' can attack breast cancer cells from the inside out - Mar 30, 2011
- Key protein controlling blood vessel growth in mice's brain identified - Nov 12, 2010
- Potent anticancer drug isolated from weed - Jul 10, 2012
- Tumours capable of making their own blood vessels: Study - Nov 22, 2010
- Human umbilical cord blood cells accelerate diabetic wound healing - Feb 23, 2011
- Boffins identify 'gas pedal', 'brake' for uncontrolled cell growth - Aug 02, 2010
- Newly-created bioactive peptides found to promote wound healing - Dec 08, 2010
- New discovery may help fight breast cancer - Jan 04, 2011
- Novel method might help block for tumour growth - Mar 15, 2011
- Melanoma spreads to lungs using body's immune system - Oct 08, 2010
- Now, a tiny white bread mint like capsule to track cancer in the body - Mar 16, 2011
- Caffeine-exercise combo protects against skin cancer - Apr 04, 2012
- Scientists reveal cancer's hiding spots - Oct 29, 2010
Tags: biochemistry, blood protein, blood proteins, blood vessel formation, blood vessel growth, blood vessels, cancer patients, cancer progression, cripples, new blood, prostate cancer, prostate cancer cells, school of medicine, steady stream, suzy, tumours, wake forest university, wake forest university school, wake forest university school of medicine, wound care