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CuraGen, Biogen, and Sloan-Kettering Researchers Probe Angiogenesis

NEW YORK, July 30 - A team of researchers from CuraGen, Biogen, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have used gene-expression techniques to explore the process of inflammation and angiogenesis.


The team, led by Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Filippo Giancotti, used CuraGen's mRNA profiling technique to look at gene-expression changes in endothelial cells. Finding that the extracellular protein fibronectin influences genes involved in inflammation and angiogenesis, the researchers profiled the pathway by which the protein influences intracellular processes, and demonstrated its role in angiogenesis in vivo.


This mechanism involves integrins, a family of cell-surface receptors that make it possible for normal endothelial cells to adhere to matrix proteins like fibronectin and laminin during angiogenesis. This research identified the integrins and the signaling pathways that activate angiogenesis-related gene transcription.


The study appears in a study in the August 2002 edition of Molecular and Cellular Biology.


During angiogenesis, endothelial cells migrate, proliferate, and reassemble to form new blood vessels. Scientists have theorized that inflammation and angiogenesis are coordinated during healthy process like wound healing as well as in disease states like cancer and inflammatory disease.


Understanding these processes can give new insights into arteriosclerosis, stroke, and cancer, the researchers write.


The project included Biogen's Antonin de Fougerolles and Victor Koteliansky and CuraGen's Cynthia Green.

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