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A paper in Cancer Cell, from Prof Alison Banham, Prof Adrian Harris and Dr Francesca Buffa, has led to the identification of ELTD1 as a key regulator of angiogenesis.

This image shows a three-dimensional reconstruction of the vasculature system of a mouse embryo at 10 days of gestation. It can be appreciated how the vessel network is already branched at a very high level of complexity, to allow the first blood cells to reach every part of the developing embryo.#

Credit: Emanuele Azzoni, Marella de Bruijn

From the RDM Image Competition 2015
A 3D reconstruction of the vasculature system of a mouse embryo at 10 days of gestation.

Using a computer based (in silico) meta-analysis approach the researchers defined a transcriptional programme underlying angiogenesis in human cancer. They identified ELTD1, an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor whose expression is induced by VEGF/bFGF and repressed by DLL4 signalling. In multiple cancer types, a significant upregulation of ELTD1 is seen in tumour-associated endothelial cells. Silencing of ELTD1 impairs endothelial sprouting and vessel formation in vitro and in vivo, drastically reducing tumour growth and greatly improving survival. Clinically ELTD1 represents an important candidate for targeted antiangiogenic approaches.

The full text of the publication is available from Cancer Cell.

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