Newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels

Newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels

A new study published today found that a newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels when it senses inadequate blood flow to tissues.
The research, published online in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was led by Dr. Philip Marsden, a clinician scientist in the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science of St. Michael's Hospital, and Dr. Jeffrey Man, a researcher in his lab.
Dr. Marsden and his team set out to better understand how blood vessels regulate the delivery of blood and nutrients to tissues and organs, and how to improve healing after injury caused by inadequate blood flow.
The findings are important because they could help scientists better understand cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and strokes, which result from inadequate blood flow. The information could also lead to advances in efforts to grow replacement organs or to block blood vessels in tumours.
Dr. Marsden's lab studies endothelial cells, the cells that line the inside of blood vessels. For this study they looked at a newly described group of genes called long non-coding RNAs, or lncRNAs. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is found in all cells and it has traditionally been thought that its main job was to carry instructions from genes in DNA to make proteins. But lncRNAs have other roles, including determining the eventual function that individual cells will play in an organism. Studying lncRNAs gives researchers opportunities to find new markers and tests to help make diagnoses for patients.
Courtesy: medicalxpress.com/