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MicroRNA regulation of αvβ3 signaling in pathological angiogenesis

Niña Hartman

Appointment Period: 2011-2013, Grant Years: [27,28]

Nina Hartman

The ability to grow a nascent blood supply from preexisting vessels, termed ‘pathological angiogenesis’, is a fundamental requirement for tumor growth. Work done in the Cheresh lab over the past two decades has identified major molecular determinants of pathological angiogenesis including integrins—a class of cell adhesion molecules. Specifically, integrin αvβ3 is an integrin that is uniquely expressed on angiogenic endothelium and mediates growth of neovessels. In fact, inhibitors targeting integrin αvβ3 have shown excellent preclinical activity in mouse tumor models and are currently in Phase III trials for glioblastoma multiforme. More recent studies in the Cheresh lab have identified a role for microRNAs. microRNAs are short (21-23 nucleotides), single-stranded, non-coding RNAs involved in the regulation of angiogenesis. My work in the Cheresh lab will focus on identification and characterization of microRNAs that are uniquely modulated by integrin αvβ3 signaling and elucidate their biological roles using in vitro and in vivo models of pathological angiogenesis.