‘Mutant’ proteins may open up blocked arteries

March 25th, 2008 - 3:32 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 25 (IANS) Researchers have identified new proteins that could help open up blocked arteries, one of the prime causes of disease and death today. Michael Blaber of Florida State University (FSU) and his team are creating mutant forms of a human protein that can be injected to spur growth of new blood vessels and restore blood flow in damaged areas of the heart.

“This research offers the potential to treat people who currently are being sent home to die,” Blaber was quoted as saying in a university press release.

“We’ve tested a group of mutants in the laboratory with unusual properties of increased stability and activities. The results are very promising.”

“Mutant” synthetic proteins mimic their natural counterparts used in angiogenic therapy. Those engineered at the FSU College of Medicine stimulate cell growth while maintaining greater stability under conditions common to angiogenic therapy.

Normally clogged blood vessels or arteries are treated through angioplasty or bypass surgery. Some patients, however, have small blockages not amenable to traditional approaches. In most cases, they are sent home with a life expectancy that, no matter how it is phrased, sounds like a death sentence.

The work has enormous potential commercial applications and already has drawn the attention of private companies interested in the results.

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