Scientists find on-off cell switch in eye

May 18, 2006

Boston scientists have discovered a blood vessel cell switch that controls vessel growth, opening the way for new drugs to combat eye problems.

The finding by the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston, published in the current issue of The EMBO Journal, is believed capable of leading to new, better targeted drugs for diseases such as cancer, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

The researchers at Schepens, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, learned that the switch is turned on and off by the balance between two enzymes, which compete for the same lipid membrane to fulfill both growth and regression.

An important natural process, new vessel growth, or angiogenesis, restores blood flow after injury, increases circulation in a damaged heart and prepares a woman¹s body for pregnancy. But, when uncontrolled it can feed cancer tumors and damage delicate retinal tissues.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: McKinsey report says obesity costs hit $2 trillion

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Important clue to how the circulatory system is wired

Nov 25, 2013

A new mechanism that regulates the way blood vessels grow and connect to each other has been discovered by an international team of researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and Heinrich Heine University ...

Important clue to how the circulatory system is wired

Nov 25, 2013

A new mechanism that regulates the way blood vessels grow and connect to each other has been discovered by an international team of researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and Heinrich Heine University ...

Flipping the 'off' switch on cell growth

Feb 22, 2013

A protein known for turning on genes to help cells survive low-oxygen conditions also slows down the copying of new DNA strands, thus shutting down the growth of new cells, Johns Hopkins researchers report. Their discovery ...

Recommended for you

Brain-dwelling worm in UK man's head sequenced

3 hours ago

For the first time, the genome of a rarely seen tapeworm has been sequenced. The genetic information of this invasive parasite, which lived for four years in a UK resident's brain, offers new opportunities ...

US seniors' health poorest, global survey shows

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)— Seniors in America have more chronic health problems and take more medications than seniors in 10 other industrialized countries do, according to a new global survey. The United States also ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.