Researchers identify genes that are key to keeping blood vessels healthy

gene
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

What keeps our blood vessels viable, allowing them to do the vital work of transporting blood to and from the heart? Yale researchers have identified two genes that are central to this critical function.

The research team did experiments with mice lacking the genes, known as ERK1 and ERK2, in cells lining blood vessels. Without the genes, which send signals that trigger cell survival, the vessels began to disintegrate. The researchers also applied machine learning to identify molecular pathways that kept blood vessels normal. They observed that the impact of removing ERK1/2 led to an increase in , scarring, and —findings that are similar to common cardiovascular complications reported by people treated with anti-cancer therapies that target to kill tumors.

The findings illuminate the role of these genes, and could inform strategies to develop future therapies for cancer and other conditions. The study, led by Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.


Explore further

Stem cell identity unmasked by single cell sequencing technology

More information: Nicolas Ricard et al. Endothelial ERK1/2 signaling maintains integrity of the quiescent endothelium, The Journal of Experimental Medicine (2019). DOI: 10.1084/jem.20182151
Journal information: Journal of Experimental Medicine

Provided by Yale University
Citation: Researchers identify genes that are key to keeping blood vessels healthy (2019, June 14) retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-06-genes-key-blood-vessels-healthy.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

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