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Research yields potential target for cancer, wound healing and fibrosis
Date:3/18/2009

New Orleans, LA Research conducted by Allison Berrier, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oral and Craniofacial Biology at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Dentistry, and colleagues, provides insights that may help scientists design novel approaches to control wound healing and fight diseases such as cancer and fibrosis. The paper, β1 Integrin Cytoplasmic Domain Residues Selectively Modulate Fibronectin Matrix Assembly and Cell Spreading through Talin and Akt-1, will be published in the March 20, 2009 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The research team also included Drs. J. Angelo Green and Kenneth Yamada at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, as well as Dr. Roumen Pankov at Sofia University in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The research concerns the regulation of integrins proteins on the surface of cells that serve dual roles of anchoring cells within tissues and controlling cell behavior. Integrins anchor to extracellular proteins found outside the cell and this contact regulates important cellular activities that are critical for survival, proliferation and differentiation in both healthy tissues and tumors. Integrins are involved in the cellular response to injury and infection and are needed to repair damaged tissue.

Of the many integrins that exist, the beta-1 integrin is of great interest because it is involved in nearly every cell in the body. Its importance is demonstrated by the fact that mice, which are typically used as models for disease, cannot survive without the beta-1 integrin gene.

Beta-1 integrin is a cell surface protein that spans the membrane and has a portion of the protein outside the cell and a portion of the protein inside the cell. The beta-1 integrin tail is the portion found inside the cell. The beta-1 integrin tail has two functions -- it connects integrins to the cellular infrastructure and to signaling pathways.

This study advances e
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Contact: Leslie Capo
lcapo@lsuhsc.edu
504-452-9166
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Source:Eurekalert

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