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Friday Science Review: May 31, 2013

During development several proteins guide the mapping of blood vessels throughout our body, providing different cues to direct them where they should go and, equally as important, not go. New research published in Nature from the lab of Dr. Sabine Cordes at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto describes the role of a protein called gumby in the formation of the microvasculature. Mice lacking gumby displayed normal patterning of the major vasculature, but patterning of the smaller vascular networks in the head and trunk of the mice was greatly disrupted. Genetic mapping allowed the authors to determine that mutations in the Fam105b gene were underlying the defects observed in the “gumby mice”, and identified the gumby protein as a deubiquitinase. This means that gumby can counteract ubiquitination, a process in which proteins are tagged for a certain fate; this fate may be degradation, movement within a cell, or initiation of cellular processes. The authors also found that gumby interacts with a ubiquitinating complex called LUBAC, and that together these proteins can modulate the Wnt pathway, a pathway important in the development of the vasculature. Because LUBAC and gumby serve opposing functions, the interaction of these two proteins effectively creates a signaling axis that allows for flexibility in the management of the Wnt pathway, and ultimately the development of the vasculature. Identification of these pathways and the genes underlying them creates new possible targets for the management of disorders of vasculature mapping, as well as disorders in other systems that require significant mapping, such as the nervous system.

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One response to “Friday Science Review: May 31, 2013

  1. Pingback: Friday Science Review: May 31, 2013 « Non Resource Report

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