Researchers identify a protein involved in blood circulation in tumours and demonstrate that deleting it opens up the tumour to the immune system. The team believe that the protein, RGS5, could be a target for anti-cancer therapy, in particular when combined with approaches that also enhance an anti-tumour immune response.
Formation of new blood vessels in solid tumours, termed angiogenesis, enables tumour enlargement. In Nature, Ruth Ganss and colleagues establish a previously unknown role of RGS5, a signalling molecule, in this process and show that it alters blood vessels. They removed Rgs5 gene function, which leads to normalization of blood vessels within the tumour and allows more immune cells to target it. They conclude that their finding expands potential therapeutic opportunities.
Ruth Ganss (Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, Perth, WA, Australia)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature press release.
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