November 29, 2023

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What proteins can make blood vessels grow?

What proteins can make blood vessels grow?


What proteins can make blood vessels grow? Two proteins play a key role.

 Recently, scientists have made important progress in deciphering the mechanism of angiogenesis: According to a paper published in the journal “Nature Metabolism”, two proteins called YAP and TAZ play a key role in “sprouting” blood vessels, even if This is also true in cases where the metabolic resources required for angiogenesis are insufficient.


What proteins can make blood vessels grow?


What proteins can make blood vessels grow?



Blood vessels are found throughout the body, ensuring that organs receive the nutrients and oxygen they need. Age-related cardiovascular disease often leads to atrophy of blood vessels, while malignancies are erroneous overgrowths of blood vessels.

Wet macular degeneration is also associated with new blood vessels sprouting in the wrong places. In the worst case, the condition can lead to blindness.


Michael Potente, Professor of Translational Vascular Biomedicine at the Berlin Institutes of Health (BIH) and visiting researcher at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine at the Helmholtz Association, said: “In order to develop targeted treatments for these diseases , we wanted to find out how exactly the growth of new blood vessels – a process called angiogenesis – is regulated in the body.”


YAP and TAZ play an important role in angiogenesis, the researchers said.

These proteins are part of the Hippo signaling pathway, which regulates organ growth and size in nearly all organisms.

If two molecules, YAP and TAZ, are active in vascular endothelial cells, the genes they read lead to increased growth of certain surface transporters.

This allows blood vessel cells to take in more nutrients that are essential for growth and cell division. The functions of YAP and TAZ are similar, so they act as a kind of “opening the door”.


This increase in nutrient absorption causes another protein called mTOR to be activated. mTOR is an important control point in cells, triggering cell growth and division. This allows new vascular networks to expand.


The finding is based on mouse experiments. The mouse retina is an ideal model for studying vascular development.

Using a strain of transgenic mice, the researchers found that endothelial cells that do not produce YAP and TAZ almost never divide, which inhibits the growth of blood vessels in the mice.


However, the research team did not yet know which signals regulate the activity of YAP and TAZ in endothelial cells. Next, the team wanted to investigate the extent to which the mechanism they describe is also involved in the regeneration and repair process of blood vessels.





What proteins can make blood vessels grow?

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