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New type of cell communication regulates tumour growth and blood vessel formation

A new type of cell communication that results in suppressed blood vessel formation and delayed tumour growth has been discovered at Uppsala University.

In the present study, published in Developmental Cell, the researchers have studied how an additional molecule participates in the cell communication in response to VEGF.  If this molecule, called NRP1, is present on the same cell as the VEGF-receptor a positive signal is delivered into the cell, leading to blood vessel growth. On the other hand, if NRP1 is present on another adjacent cell, e.g. a tumour cell, binding of VEGF will lock the receptor to the cell surface and it will loose its ability to send a positive signal into the cell.

“We call this kind of inhibited signalling trans communication and it suppresses the formation of new blood vessels. This results in delayed tumour growth. If trans communication occurs very early in tumour development tumour growth can be inhibited completely,” says Lena Claesson-Welsh, professor at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology and SciLifeLab, who is responsible for the study.

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Source Uppsala Bio

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